Naomi Campbell might be on the verge of retiring — and of her own accord, no less! The supermodel stole away from community service in the soup kitchen to chat with the London Times about her charity efforts and the lack of model diversity in the fashion industry. She said she’s stayed in the business so long because black girls were underrepresented. But now times are a-changin’:
[F]or 20 years Campbell felt that she couldn’t retire. But now she can, she says, after listing several black models, such as Jourdan Dunn and Tyra Banks, who have appeared on major magazine covers in recent months: “This time they [designers and editors] have stepped it up. I feel positive. That means that I can go soon.”
Hm. We’re not sure where she’s planning to go, but it seems like there’s a lot more work to be done on the diversity issue. Campbell says, “The black issue of Italian Vogue shouldn’t make it briefly fashionable to be black, then unfashionable again.” One should hope, but how many black girls have appeared in their subsequent issues? And though runways at New York’s recent Fashion Week were more diverse than at the last Fashion Week, they were still pretty damn white; the Shophound notes, for example, only 3.3 percent of models in Phi’s show were non-white and only 6.4 percent of models in Jill Stuart’s show were non-white. We’re glad Tyra landed the September Harper’s Bazaar cover, but that doesn’t mean the problem’s solved. So if Campbell really bows out, other important industry people will have to speak up, too.