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Naomi Campbell


Naomi Campbell was born 22 May 1970 and is a British supermodel. She was scouted at the age of 15 and has established herself among the top three most recognisable models in the late 1980's and early 90's, alongside Christie Turlington and Linda Evangelista. She was one of six models of her generation declared supermodels by the fashion world. She became the most famous black model of her time and has been outspoken throughout her career against racial bias which still exists in fashion industry. She's had relationships with prominent men who hit the headlines, including boxer Mike Tyson and actor Robert De Niro and she's had several highly publicised assault convictions.

Model Naomi was born in a working class London suburb, the daughter of a Jamaican born dancer mum. She never met her father who abandoned her mother when she was four months pregnant and went unnamed on the birth certificate. She took her surname from her mother's second marriage and has a half brother called Pierre. She has Chinese Jamaican ancestry through her maternal grandmother who carried the name Ming. It was her grandmother who looked after her while her mother travelled across Europe to dance.

When she was five, Naomi enrolled at the Barbara Speake Stage School and at the age of ten, studied ballet at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts. Her first public appearance was at the age of seven.

Her first appearance came at the age of seven, in 1978 when she was featured in the music video for Bob Marley's 'Is this love.' That same year she played Snow White in two episodes of the children's film foundation TV series the Chiffy kids. She also tap danced in the music video for Culture Club's, 'I'll Tumble 4 Ya' at the age of 12.

In 1986, the supermodel was scouted by Beth Boldt, head of the Synchro model agency, while window shopping in Covent Garden. Her career quickly took off. Just before her 16th birthday, she appeared on the cover of British Elle. Over the next few years, her career grew steadily and she walked the runway for designers such as Gianni Versace , Azzedine Alaia and Isaac Mizrahi. By the late 1980's, Campbell was part of a trio of models, the others being Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista, known as the Trinity. They became the most recognisable and in demand models of their generation and were close allies when Campbell received discrimination, stating 'if you don't use Naomi, you don't get us.'

In January 1990, the model was declared the reigning 'mega model of them all' by Interview. She appeared in Michael Jackson's music video 'In the Closet' and appeared on Vogue many times after that. She branched out into other areas of the entertainment industry and wrote a book about a supermodel dealing with blackmail which was received poor reviews. In 1998, Time declared the end of the supermodel era and by then Naomi had almost retired from the runway. She continued with her print modelling.

After two decades as a model. She is still in demand, but to spite her status as the most famous black model of her time, she never earned the same volume of advertising assignments as her white colleagues.