After being discovered on the streets of London at only 14 years old, Naomi Campbell took the fashion world by storm.
She was the first black model the grace the covers of Time Magazine and French Vogue, and has been a muse for countless designers for nearly three decades.
These days Campbell brings her industry savvy and strong personality to Oxygen’s The Face. The model competition gives viewers unprecedented access inside the world of the fashion industry as three teams of aspiring models, each led by a supermodel coach, are guided through real-life assignments, including photo shoots and commercials.
The Face is back for a second season with Campbell and two new super model coaches, Anne V and Lydia Hearst.
In an interview with theGrio’s Chris Witherspoon, Campbell talked about season 2 of The Face, and also opened up about Oscar winner and rising fashion icon Lupita Nyong’o.
During her February 27th speech at the Essence Magazine Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon Nyong’o revealed that as a child she experienced “self-hate” because of her dark complexion and used to pray for lighter skin.
“I understand where she’s [Nyong’o] coming from, I’ve heard it many times,” Campbell said. “But I never felt that. I felt like ‘what if I was blonde and blue-eyed? Would I have better opportunity for getting this job?’ Those things went through my mind…absolutely. But look, she’s done it now and she didn’t have to do any of that to get to where she wanted to get to. She is an inspiration to all young women, especially African women.”
“The hope that she gives… I don’t think she knows how significant she is, and for what she’s done for so many young women all over the world.”
In September 2013, Campbell teamed up with fashion industry veterans Bethann Hardison and Iman to support a campaign for increased diversity on fashion runways across the world.
Paris fashion week came to an end last week and Campbell assessed diversity on the runways in 2014. “It’s a little better… yes there is an improvement, but it could be better,” Campbell said.
Lastly the 43-year-old model revealed that she “still feels nervous on the catwalk,” but has no plans to retire from modeling anytime soon.
For all new episodes of The Face tune into Oxygen every Wednesday at 9/8c.