The British supermodel made the comments in relation to discrimination in the fashion industry while on Alan Carr's 'Chatty Man' show.
Naomi Campbell has claimed that she doesn’t like the use of the word “racism” to describe discrimination she’s faced in the fashion industry from time to time, and objects to the way the term is often used.
The 45 year old British supermodel made the comments during an interview for Alan Carr’s ‘Chatty Man’ talk show on Channel 4, which was broadcast on Thursday night (April 21st). She was asked whether she faced racism at the start of her career in the ‘80s, and described it as “territorialism” from established figures in the industry.
“I never use that word ‘racism’,” she replied. “I find it a cliché word and I don’t want to use it as an excuse.”
Naomi Campbell was speaking about discrimination in the fashion industry
“For me it was... I call it territorialism, where there are people that have that certain territory and they stand their ground, and they are not going to change their mind and that is their opinion.”
Campbell did offer some specific examples of when she felt she was discriminated against, citing when she was turned down for the cover of the French version of Vogue magazine in the late ‘80s.
“At first they said no, because they had never had anyone on it. It was instantly ‘no’ without thinking. So I thought, ‘Let me go to my great friend Yves Saint Laurent and tell him’… I asked him to fix the situation and he did. That is how I got it.”
She had previously made comments to Teen Vogue magazine earlier this year saying that the same sorts of problems plagued the industry even in 2016, such as youngsters being told at fashion shows that there wouldn’t be enough hair-stylists or beauticians who had experience working with black models.
Speaking to Carr, she elaborated on the solutions to these issues. “There is always a way. I like to rise to all of these challenges. Right now, today, as I sit here, I fight for the younger models of colour, and when I say colour I mean of all colours - it’s all shades and origins that have a hard time. Again, it’s not saying, ‘You’re racist’. That isn’t what it is about. Maybe we should remind you when casting to use all colours and more models of colour.”