Naomi Campbell: "Black models are being sidelined"
Fed up with a lack of black models in the fashion industry, Naomi Campbell has spoken out about her frustration by criticising magazine editors. "Black models are being sidelined by the major modelling agencies,” she said at a press conference in Malindi, Kenya, where she is currently on holiday.
Five years after her last cover for British Vogue, Campbell highlighted the racial inequality amongst the fashion industry and the media. “I even get a raw deal from my own country. For example, I hardly come on the front pages of London’s Vogue magazine. Only white models, some of whom are not as prominent as I am, are put on the front pages," she said.
The 37-year-old is even contemplating setting up her own modelling agency in Kenya to redress the balance. She is expected to fly to Nairobi to scout for potential talent. "I don’t want to quit modelling until I find that black models get equal prominence and recognition by the world media and information instruments” she added.
The news comes shortly after Alex Wek reportedly claimed that a calendar she appeared in for a coffee company was racist. The calendar depicted the African model in a giant coffee cup.
"My skin was to be the expresso... I can't help but compare them to all the images of black people that have been used in marketing over the decades. There was the big-lipped jungle-dweller on the blackamoor ceramic mugs sold in the Forties; the golliwog badges given away with jam; Little Black Sambo, who decorated the walls of an American restaurant chain in the 1960s; and Uncle Ben, whose apparently benign image still sells rice," she said.
A spokesman for British Vogue said they had no comment in response to Campbell's accusations.