Naomi Campbell works with ‘third photographer of color’ in ‘whole career’ for i-D cover

The supermodel was photographed at her home in Kenya by Luis Alberto Rodriguez for the topless cover shoot.

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Supermodel Naomi Campbell covered i-D’s Utopia in Dystopia Issue, no. 362, Spring 202 and revealed the shoot was only one of few where she worked with a non-white photographer.

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Campbell described the atmosphere of working with the creative team behind the shoot. Despite a professional career that spans multiple decades, she revealed the vibrant cover was only one of three where she worked with a photographer of color.

“I think that’s something you can see: in how at ease the I am; in the style of Luis[Alberto Rodriguez] photography,” she stated. “It was just very real, very organic. And I felt proud, humbled, and happy to be part of a shoot with young creatives that are all my skin colour, and that I’m getting to work with them after so many years of being in fashion industry. It’s very rare that this has happened to me. Luis is the third photographer of colour I’ve worked with in my whole career in fashion.”

American Icon Awards - Inside
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – MAY 19: Naomi Campbell speaks onstage at the American Icon Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on May 19, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

This cover story is not the first time she has recently opened up about the racial disparities in the fashion and editorial fields of work. theGrio reported as the cover star for Vogue‘s November 2020 issue, Campbell reflected on her years in the industry and her continued advocacy for Black models.

“I never used to say the word racism; I just used to say, it’s territorialism,”  she said according to the report.  “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.”

The i-D shoot occurred at the supermodel’s home in Kenya. She shared her hope to display the country and the continent in a positive manner.

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“When I’m in Kenya there are days that are less hectic than others, but I’m always busy. I’m being more careful at the moment because of the situation with COVID, but I still saw the kids in the orphanage that I support, I didn’t want to let them down. I want to reach as many people as I can. I want to spread awareness. There’s a part of me where, if I love something, I want the world to know about it.”

The supermodel continued, “When you see these images, I hope you see that Kenya is beautiful, that Africa is beautiful. I think people now are going to really open their minds and start to understand that real beauty is in Africa. There are so many gems, so many hidden secrets. I’ve been coming here since 1994 and I’m still discovering things.”

Kenneth Ize : Runway - Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2020/2021
British model Naomi Campbell walks the runway during the Kenneth Ize show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2020/2021 on February 24, 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)

She continued to share with i-D her hopes for the new year after an eventful 2020.

“At the end of 2020, my main reflections were on the need for us to move upward and forward. We have to rise to every challenge and walk through it. And we will get through it. 2021 is going to be a great year, we’ve just got a few more bumps to get through first. Nothing disappears overnight, but we just need to get through this first quarter. After that, I believe that this is going to be an amazing year.”

The creative team on Campbell’s photoshoot enlisted Carlos Nazario as fashion director, Hair Jawara at Art Partner using Dyson, make-up by Bimpe Onakoya, and the supermodel herself, styling assistance Raymond Gee, Christine Nicholson, Cari Pacheco, and Jennifer De La Cruz.

Houston rapper Travis Scott was the first cover revealed for i-D‘s Dystopian issue.

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