She is one of the most famous supermodels of our time and one of the world’s most beautiful women. She’s danced with Michael Jackson, befriended Nelson Mandela and done community service for fits of violence that have fueled the tabloids and the blogosphere alike. But after 23 years of modeling, the British bombshell endures. The Dow may fall, but Naomi Campbell rises.
Back in 2002, Naomi Campbell told an embarassingly smitten Larry King, “And so my life began in an unrealistic way.” But even today, it would be easy to underestimate the gravity of what one of the world’s most famous supermodels, if not the most famous, meant. Significantly, she equated the beginning of her life with the start of her modeling career, and when she said “unrealistic,” she called attention to her age, then just 16. Sixteen years old, flying on a Concorde from the United Kingdom to the United States, to be photographed by none other than Steven Meisel for none other than the American edition of Vogue. Such things are indeed unrealistic for the start of any modeling career. Still its not solely this unlikely fortune that makes the genesis of Naomi Cambell Supermodel unrealistic. Campbell, of course, is also black.
The Master of Cleanse
In New York, the super model shuffles around the plush, old English-style hotel suite. Finally sitting in a straight back chair and crossing her legs Indian style-bare feet tucked under her thighs. From seemingly out of nowhere come multiple cell phones. She places them on the coffee table. It’s almost like an inside joke.
But it isn’t. The woman once dubbed a “serial phone thrower” by the UK’s Daily Mail has three, each with a specific designation: UK-only, a Blackberry strictly for texting, and the last one for US calls. Besides, Campbell is not making herself the butt of anyone’s jokes these days. She is unattached to the mythical madwoman the rest of the world thinks it knows. “I don’t read the papers,” she says in her sexy British-cum-global accent. “Of course I hear things. I do know. But I don’t want to read it and add insult to injury.” – KIERNA MAYO