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Solid Gold Soul

August 31, 2009

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NAOMI CAMPBELL WEIGHS IN

Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell is accusing the advertising business of using the recession as an excuse to avoid using black models to sell their products.

“This year, we have gone back all the way that we had advanced,” she says, according to UK’s Telegraph newspaper. “I don’t see any black woman, or of any other race, in big advertising campaigns.”

Campbell, who was born in London to a mother of Caribbean descent, refers to the publication last year of a special edition of Italian Vogue dedicated to non-white models.

“That made some noise, but, unfortunately, we are the same as before,” she says. “People, in the panic of the recession, don’t dare to put a girl of color in their campaign, full stop. Nor of any other race. It’s a shame. It’s very sad.”

In 1988, Campbell appeared on the cover of French Vogue as its first black cover girl after Yves St Laurent, her late friend and mentor, threatened to withdraw all of his advertising from the magazine following its refusal to place Campbell, or any black model, on its front page. She also became the first black model to appear on the cover of British Vogue.

Earlier this year, she described the fashion industry as “racist.” In a magazine interview, she was quoted as saying “You know, the American president may be black, but, as a black woman, I am still an exception in this business. I always have to work harder to be treated equally.”


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