Naomi Campbell: I don't think of myself as an icon

The catwalk superstar will be honoured by the British Fashion Council for her outstanding contribution to the industry.

Naomi Campbell has said she is honoured to be called an icon but does not feel like one, as she prepares to collect a top prize at the Fashion Awards next week.

The catwalk superstar, 49, will be honoured by the British Fashion Council for her outstanding contribution to the industry when she is given the Fashion Icon prize at the ceremony on Monday.

She told the PA news agency: “It’s an honour to be called it, it is.

Naomi Campbell
Naomi Campbell has said she is honoured to be called an icon but does not feel like one (Ian West/PA)

“I don’t think of myself as an icon but I respect and am very honoured to receive and blessed that they consider me to be one.

“Does it come with age and how many years? Possibly, right? So is the word icon associated with age? Is it? Is it for longevity?

“I’m not trying to compete with anybody, I just like what I do and I don’t do the same thing every day so it’s a bit of a mix-up and I like it that way.”

Campbell, who has opened a Fashion For Relief charity pop-up store in London’s Westfield shopping centre selling items donated by top brands, her famous friends and pieces from her own wardrobe to raise money for education and employability programmes for young people, also spoke of her delight at witnessing the increased diversity in the industry over her decades-long career.

She said: “The world has changed. LVMH having Virgil (Abloh, artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear), LVMH giving a fashion house to Rihanna (Fenty Maison), this is a big deal, having Adut Akech on six September Vogue issues, six at one time, is a big deal.

“I’m happy that I’m alive and I’m here and I’m able to witness this.”

Campbell said she is currently working on an update to her book Naomi, but has yet to write the definitive version of her life story.

She said: “I’ve written a book about my work life and anecdotes and pictures, a diary kind of thing of what happened on this job, but my life so far, I haven’t written.

“Everyone keeps asking me to, I don’t know is the answer.”

She said she has also been approached by production companies about making a documentary about her story, saying: “They think I’m an idiot. ‘We will pay you this much to have your documentary and you keep the f*** out of it?’

“Yeah right! Really? I don’t think so. I want to be hands-on because I’m a producer, I’ve produced things, I know how to produce. (I would do it) with other producers, people that I look up to, respect their advice.

“I pretty much know who. It will be told when it needs to be told.”

She added: “Honestly, I’m sitting here and I’m just like I’ve had a blessed life, a colourful life, so there is lots to write about, isn’t there?

“I was thinking today, I’m not ever going to be your typical housewife, I’m just not going to be.

“But at the end of the day, what is the definition of your typical housewife? What is that myth of growing up thinking, ‘Oh, I want to get married and be in the kitchen cooking for my man?’

“That was never going to be me and so I love that women have their own independent things that they do and that a man can support you.

“That for me is more of a happy union in the end because I know when you stop someone from doing what they want to do, it don’t work, disaster, and real resentment.”

Asked where she would like to be in 10 years, Campbell said she does not like to think too far ahead, but added: “I will tell you one thing, I’m going to be happy and I definitely know I will be living part time, or living half and half, in Africa.

“I don’t know yet, I’m not sure yet which country. I think West Africa for sure.”

The Fashion For Relief pop-up shop is open to the public until December 8.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access