Naomi Campbell lands Vogue cover, talks Black model mentorship

'I never used to say the word racism; I just used to say, it’s territorialism.'

Naomi Campbell stuns in a white dress by Dior Haute Couture for the cover of Vogue’s November 2020 issue.

The supermodel opens up to the publication about using her platform to tackle racial disparities in the fashion industry and advocating for Black models.

“I never used to say the word racism; I just used to say, it’s territorialism,” she tells Vouge. “I never wanted people to say that I used that as an excuse, that I was throwing that word out. Now I’m happy that everyone’s all on the same page, that everyone feels comfortable to come out about their experiences without feeling some stigma. But for me, nothing’s changed. I’m going to speak the same way.”

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As a fashion icon, Campbell is still dealing with the challenges of being misunderstood. When it comes to the “angry Black woman” label, Campbell says “I am quite over it.” Adding, “Is it now that we have permission to speak? Well, I have always spoken.”

Continuing, “There were a few things that I would do when I was younger that I was told were bad for my race… Now the things I do are not just for me anymore. I think more of my culture and my race, as opposed to thinking about just me.”

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For her Vogue feature, she also makes time to condemn the British media and calls out her country for not addressing its racism problem. 

“They haven’t learned how to be not-racist, period!” Campbell tells Vogue. “I’d rather have racism be right in front of my face and know what I’m dealing with, than to have it suppressed. No disrespect to the country I was born in, but we need to dig it up and bring it up and deal with it. No more chucking it down the sides.”

As for her hope for the future… “I think as a generation, as a whole, can we get reparations for our culture, for what we’ve been through? I absolutely believe we are going to get the positive outcome we deserve,” Campbell said. 

“But we have to do our work in making sure we get it. I think reparations are important for the people to really see that this is something that’s been taken seriously,” she added.

Vogue’s November issue is available on newsstands on Oct. 27.

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