Naomi Campbell: Racial prejudice in the modelling industry is “insulting”

"I read a piece in which they interviewed five casting directors who said things like they're a different shape"

Naomi Campbell has spoken out against the lack of black models in the fashion industry. 

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The 43-year-old British model – who fronts Top Model rival The Face on Sky Living – told the 90th anniversary edition of Radio Times about her initial surprise upon discovering the racial prejudice she says exists within the industry. 

“I wasn’t brought up thinking black and white,” she said. “I come from a mixed-race family – I have white cousins – so it was quite shocking to me when I finally understood it was out there.” 

Campbell went on to state she’s never felt held back by her colour, but gets calls from models who have been all the time. “During the last collection [at New York Fashion Week] only six per cent of the models used in all the shows were black. I read a piece in which they interviewed five casting directors who said things like they’re a different shape. It’s insulting.”

In what proved to be a tricky interview for journalist Kirsty Lang, Campbell went on to discuss the reported sacking of Coco Rocha and Karolina Kurkova who both appeared as mentors on the US version of The Face. “Coco never won a challenge,” she explained. “You have to watch reality TV to understand it, and I don’t think Coco has ever watched any.”

But despite being handed a half-hour slot with the famously quick-tempered supermodel, our interviewer was bundled out 17 minutes in for attempting to ask an awkward question. Find out what it was in the 180-page bumper 90th anniversary edition of Radio Times – on sale from Tuesday, priced £1.60.

 


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