Few have left as great an impression on the world of fashion and modeling as Naomi Campbell. In our books, models truly do not get any more super than Ms. Campbell, which is why we just about went crazy with excitement this past weekend when we scored a little one-on-one time with the queen bee herself!
In one of the most epic afternoons known to mankind, Modelinia had the privilege to sit down with Naomi to talk all about her new role as a model mentor on Oxygen’s upcoming reality modeling competition series, The Face, touching upon everything from her best modeling advice to the most exciting moments of her career. Seriously does it really get any better than that?! Well actually it does. As this year’s winner of Modelinia’s Style Icon award, we couldn’t very well leave Naomi without getting a lesson in forever chic style from the always stunning super. So stop what you’re doing and prepare to freak, because below we’re sharing our full exclusive interview with the one and only Naomi Campbell and trust us when we say that this is a definite must-read! What’s more, all this week we’ll be bringing you our exclusive interviews with each of the stars of The Face including fellow model mentors Karolina Kurkova, Coco Rocha and host Nigel Barker, so stay tuned!
It’s a WHOLE different experience. It’s this whole other world, but I do love challenges so it’s been a great experience for me. It’s different because the hours are much longer and also, you really have to be there for your team and not just as a mentor, but in every sense of the word. You really have to be there for them—you’re their family.
What did you look for when you chose your team?
Versatility, that’s important. And being able to take direction.
For me, this really is a competition and we have a girl’s life in our hands who is going to win a big cosmetic contract, so this is serious. When I started modeling, to win a cosmetic contract was always the goal of your career. That meant you made it, your career was over, that is what you get, so to have that in the beginning of your career is huge! One of these girls is going to have that, so for me, this was definitely a competition. We’re here to win and learn and WIN!
I think I was just like a free spirit thinking, “I’m really enjoying this. This is so much fun, I don’t know where I’m going, where it’s taking me, but I’m enjoying it. I like what I’m doing and I’m learning from it all.” I was meeting really different people and having fun and I just thought lets see where this goes. That’s what my attitude was really like. We’d work till whatever time to just get the job done, but have fun!
The most important piece of advice that I ever got was that you can’t take it personally. It’s hard to step in front of casting directors when you don’t meet the criteria because they have something in their minds about what they’re looking for and you’re not “it” from the get go. It’s hard to explain that it’s not you personally. There’s a fine line, but I really tried to pass that along to my girls, because I didn’t want them to feel that rejection on top of being in a competition. I need their morale to be up and at the same time, I’m not the kind of coach that sugar coated things for them. I wanted them to get a sense of the real world and what it’s like, so I had to coach them with tough love, but I do love my girls.
I think you have to feel comfortable in what you wear. You don’t want to put the clothes on and look uncomfortable— you have to wear the clothes.
Well, I love fashion and I’ve been very lucky to know all of these amazing, heavenly designers who help me out.
These days, I’m not traveling without a hydrating masque because our skin is dehydrated really in every sense of the word hours of flying this season. Right now, I’m really hooked on this rose hydrating masque.
For Valentine’s Day, I’m really happy with flowers. I just love the romantic gesture of roses.
No. It’s company that is the most important.
I’m authentic. I tell my girls about the experiences I’ve been through when I need to identify with them. And when I think there’s something they can change I give them suggestions, but they don’t always have to do what I suggest. I take them out of their comfort zone, but they trust me and that’s what really touched me the most— that they trusted me and triumphed at all of the things they didn’t think they would triumph in. I do care about them and where their careers are going and what happens to them. There are a couple of stars in the show and I hope that they get all that they desire for their lives and their careers. For me, the most amazing, touching thing is when you receive letters and emails and they say thank you for helping me. Even if it’s 2% that you got through, them understanding and them being different from how they arrived, that’s what makes me happy and that’s what this show is about. It’s not only about modeling, it’s life lessons. I think many women out there will be inspired by many of the things we say and not just whether they want to be a model or not.