Yes, Naomi Campbell is starring in a new reality series about finding new models, The Face, on Oxygen, which premiered last week. Yes, she’s known to be a pure b-word walking. And yes, most certainly yes, she can still strut any of those modern day supermodels out of their panties on a runway.
Ms. Campbell has also done very well for herself in the business world. Wearing hats that include Editor, Perfumer and now, TV Executive Producer.
The supermodel who once ruled the runway is much more fierce than just a pair of legs.
BlackEnterprise.com sat down with the star to talk about her transition to TV.
BlackEnterprise.com: What perfume brands have you produced in your career?
Naomi Campbell: I started my fragrance line in 1999 and now the full line of
Naomi Campbell Fragrances, includes 13 different perfumes. My 14th scent – Queen of Gold – will launch this summer. I’ve always thought that it was important to wear a scent that reflects your attitude on each given day. Your fragrance is like an expression of your inner thoughts and feelings and I rarely feel the same way every day. That’s why I enjoy offering people a variety of options with my perfume line.
Talk about how you got the editor’s job at Interview Magazine.
I came up with the idea to work with Interview Magazine in Russia and Europe and called Peter Brant, who is a close friend, to run it by him and he liked the idea. That’s how it all started. I’ve always loved meeting new people and hearing about their lives, careers and stories. It’s really fascinating. I had the opportunity to interview Hugo Chavez for GQ UK in 2010. It was a really unique experience, and I knew I wanted to continue to interview interesting
people. That’s when I thought about working with Interview Magazine.
In the fall of 2011 I was named Editor-at-Large of the Russian and German editions of the magazine, which was a dream come true. As an Editor-at-Large, I’ve been able to interview so many different people from all walks of life, including Sean Penn, Zaha Hadid, Ronnie Wood, Julian Schnabel, Lenny Kravitz, Robert Peng, Edward Sexton, and most recently Kate Moss and Iman. It’s been a really great opportunity.
Let’s talk about your business aspirations outside of fashion?
Throughout my career I’ve always been interested in opportunities outside of the fashion world. I’ve been able to work with people in the music, TV, film, fashion, beauty and business worlds and all of the experiences have helped me grow and build my brand.
At the moment, I’m looking forward to my foray into TV as an executive producer and supermodel coach on Oxygen’s “The Face.” It’s been a great learning experience and I’ve enjoyed learning more about the production. I’m also focused on my charity, “Fashion For Relief” (which helps mobilize the fashion industry to support important causes), perfume line and my job as Editor-at-Large for Interview Russia and Interview Germany.
What brands do you still support and that support you?
Naomi: I support and love so many different brands. As far as fashion goes, some of my favorite brands and designers are Azzedine Alaia, Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Roberto Cavalli, Pucci, and Marc Jacobs (his own brand and Louis Vuitton ).
What agency represents your modeling career?
My manager is Robert Ferrell at Marilyn Celebrities Paris and New York.
Are you still interested in pursuing acting?
At this point, I’m focused on my new Oxygen TV show, “The Face.” As a coach on the series, I’ve had the great opportunity to mentor and guide aspiring models. I’m also an executive producer, and in that role I’ve been responsible for choosing contestants for the competition; bringing in designers, photographers and fashion industry executives to participate in the challenges; consulting on the types of test shoots that are done in order to ensure they are authentic and realistic; and creating unique opportunities for the contestants that mirror real-life situations.
I’ve been focusing a lot of my time and energy on this project lately!
Oh, how the modeling industry has changed in the last 26 years since you began modeling…
The modeling industry is certainly more corporate than it was years ago. There are lots of great things that have not changed over the years – it’s still an exciting industry with lots of talented models and genius designers, and the thrill and adrenaline rush of the runway still exists!
Name the biggest international cities for fashion in 2013.
I think the biggest cities for fashion are Paris, London, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo, Shanghai and Mumbai.