Naomi Campbell (1970- ) was a British supermodel of the 1990s. Top clothes designers wanted her to walk down the catwalk showing off their latest creations. She was the first black woman to appear on the cover of French Vogue.
She had both beauty and grace.
She still looks fabulous, as she puts it, but now she is becoming more famous for throwing mobile phones at servants and recovering from her years of cocaine and drink rather than for her beauty.
In three years she will turn 40.
She was discovered by Beth Boldt at age 15 walking in Covent Garden near her school in London. Boldt said, “She just glowed. I followed her to see how she moved and asked her if she wanted to be a model. She said yes.” A year later she was on the cover of British Elle.
In 1989 she became the first black woman to appear on the cover of any noted American fashion magazine. On that day she cried.
By the middle 1990s she was one of the top four supermodels.
For a while, from 1993 to 1997, she was part of PETA, which is against killing animals to make clothes. In 1993 Campbell promised she would never put on anything that was made from a dead animal. But then one afternoon while she was eating with Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue, a PETA diehard came up and threw a dead racoon onto Wintour’s plate. It was too much.
The happiest day of her life, she says, was when she met Nelson Mandela in 1998 (pictured above). She has helped him to raise money for the Children’s Fund. She has helped other good causes as well.
She has met Castro, whom she also admires. Castro says she seems surprisingly different in person.
In addition to Castro and Mandela, her heroes include Josephine Baker and Toni Morrison.
In December 1999, about to turn 30, she appeared in Playboy.
Of her beauty she is proudest of her legs.
She has appeared in film, music videos and on television shows. In Japan she sang a number one song with Toshi Kubota. She “wrote” a book called “Swan” about the fashion industry.
She wants to become an actress but is not good at it.
She has never married. Her men seem to last no more than a year or so. Although she is beautiful, she is hard to get along with. She is used to people telling her yes and having everything her way. She is famous for not controlling her anger.
Even though she is rich and famous, what she wants most is to be a wife and mother.
She hates London and loves New York, yet she spends most of her time in London, where she is from.
She is the daughter of Jamaican parents. She is mostly African by blood but one of her great grandmothers was Chinese (Hakka, in fact). Her father left before she was born and she barely saw her mother, a dancer who was always on the road.