Naomi Campbell Opens Up About Being The Only Black Model On Runways

And how far the fashion industry still has to go
Naomi Campbell

While she acknowledges that the modelling industry is far more diverse now than when she first started her career in the ’80s, Naomi Campbell just schooled us on how much more change is needed in the fashion industry as a whole.

Speaking at the WSJ Tech Live event on Thursday, the super said that while there is certainly more representation on the runway, the same thing needs to happen behind-the-scenes, too.

“You’ve seen all shapes, sizes, colours, different hair types on the runway — we’re still in that,” she said. “But now, it needs to go deeper than that. We need to see within the actual companies, in the offices, are you going to give the diverse staff a seat at the table to advise and be part of the projects that you do? Instead of when things arise — when there’s a hiccup, when there’s a mistake, when there’s an accident — having to then build these advisory boards.”

Naomi also opened up about being “the token” model during her career sometimes walking runway shows as the only black model out of 70 women, saying that while it was “uncomfortable,” she took the jobs because if she didn’t, there’d be none.

“It wasn’t a good feeling,” she said, adding about fashion houses specifically that “as we go along, we will know who is doing [diversity] for the token and who is doing it for real.”

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