Across the past two days, Vogue’s Forces of Fashion summit has included the industry’s boldest and most pioneering voices offering their unfiltered opinions on the future of fashion. Who better, then, to close this year’s proceedings earlier today than an undisputed fashion force of nature: the legendary supermodel Naomi Campbell, here in conversation with British-Ghanaian journalist and former international human rights barrister Afua Hirsch.
Following on from Hirsch’s cover interview with Campbell in Vogue’s November issue, the model opened up about her family life, her decades advocating for greater diversity within the fashion world, and her vision for the future of African fashion. “I’ve never done an interview like I did with you for Vogue, with my family,” Campbell told Hirsch. “I thought it would be nice for you to really see where I came from.” Hirsch remembers her surprise at the domesticity of Campbell’s daily life, recalling watching her preparing a chicken for cooking and clearing out her fridge. “It was a huge privilege, and I really felt immersed in the culture you grew up in,” Hirsch adds.
Given their familiarity, conversation quickly turned to the personal: Hirsch began by reminiscing on her years growing up in 1980s Britain, and how Campbell’s visibility offered a rare example of strength and glamour for Black British women at that time. “I felt alone too,” Campbell adds. “I wasn’t quite sure in London who I was supposed to look up to.” Both Campbell and Hirsch reflected on the differences between the social justice movements in Britain and the U.S., and why, despite still being fiercely proud of her British roots, Campbell today defines herself as a world citizen—in large part due to her increasing advocacy on behalf of African creatives and designers.
Also on today’s agenda? An exclusive insight into Apple’s upcoming documentary series The Supermodels, which will explore the careers of Campbell and her fellow “supers” with unprecedented access and insight. “There are so many people out there who wanted us to be part of their project, but what’s important about this one is that we are partners,” said Campbell of the series, which is produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. “So I feel that you’re really going to get 110% truth and honesty.” While Campbell offered a rare insight into her family life in south London with her Vogue cover story, she hopes the upcoming documentary will showcase her second, chosen family within the fashion world. “There really is a sense of family that has kept us together,” Campbell told Hirsch of her relationships with her fellow supermodels. “We’re there for each other when it matters the most, and those are very rare and important friendships to keep.”
To watch Naomi Campbell and Afua Hirsch’s conversation, visit Forces of Fashion here.