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Thursday, 9 December 2010

Fashion is still racist, says Naomi Campbell (UK)

 Supermodel Naomi Campbell accused the fashion industry of racism today as she urged designers to use more black models.

The 40-year-old from Streatham said the industry had taken a step backwards, as she collected a special honour at the British Fashion Awards.
She told the Evening Standard: “We're all aware that we need to introduce more women [of colour].

But what I've seen recently is that I've seen it go backwards slightly. We need to raise awareness again and need to start using women of colour more. When I look at the shows this season, there weren't as many as a year-and-a-half ago. We've got to keep speaking out, so as boring as it may be, if you hear me saying it over and over again I have to stand up for my fellow comrades.

“It's not for myself, but the younger girls who come up to me and say, We didn't get used this season, we didn't do this, someone used 81 models and didn't use one of us.' In that respect if they come up and talk to me, and I'm able to speak on their behalf, then I will.”

Alexandra Shulman, editor of British Vogue, admitted “classically pretty white girls” were favoured. She said: “I really admire Naomi for lobbying about the use of a models with a more varied ethnicity. The industry is changing and there are more top black and Asian models, and of course as the Far East becomes a huge economic factor, Asian models are getting large amounts of work in their home territories.

“It still remains that for most people in this country, classically pretty white girls are their beauty role models, like Kate Moss and Cheryl Cole.”

Campbell praised the British Fashion Council for helping ensure fairness in the industry. A spokesman for the organisation said: “London is one of the world's most multicultural cities and we encourage representation of that on the women's catwalk. Naomi is an incredible model who has had an amazing career, and we were thrilled to be able to honour that last night.”

At the ceremony at the Savoy, Campbell was moved to tears as she collected the Special Recognition Award in front of an audience including Samantha Cameron, Claudia Schiffer, Victoria Beckham and Yasmin Le Bon. The model thanked her mother, who was in the front row, and her partner Vladislav Doronin, who she said “puts up with a wild wild woman”.

Alexander McQueen received a posthumous award for outstanding achievement in fashion design. Lara Stone was named Model 2010 and Alexa Chung won the British Style Award.

This is London