She is a doyenne of the fashion industry, having nurtured and supported rising models such as Kaia Gerber over her distinguished, decades-long career – and Naomi Campbell’s motherly instincts don’t end there. The runway icon has revealed her dream of raising a family in an exclusive interview, as she makes her cover debut for the November issue of Vogue Arabia.
“I’d love to have kids,” the British supermodel divulged in a wide-reaching interview. “I don’t discount anything in life. I love kids and always will. When I’m around children, I become a child myself. That’s the little girl I don’t ever want to lose.” Alongside the insightful profile, 48-year-old Campbell, who boasts an inimitable three decades in the business, embodies the spirit of our Wild Issue in an uninhibited, breathtaking shoot, captured by photographer Chris Colls. The modeling superstar – the first-ever black model to grace the cover of Vogue Paris, for its August 1988 issue – also opened up about diversity in the industry.
“I’m never going to say I wasn’t picked because of the color of my skin and I’d never go down that route, even if it was the case,” she says. “It would just give me more strength and perseverance for me to go out there and get what I want.” The storied supermodel, who was first scouted age 15, also remarked on her longevity in a typically short-lived career path, revealing she is “always surprised when I’m asked to do a show at this point in my life.”
Touching on everything from her “papa,” Azzedine Alaïa, to her philanthropic endeavors in Africa, Campbell is refreshingly candid about her rollercoaster life, for which her time off the runway has made just as many headlines as her turns on it. “I’ve made my mistakes. I’ve owned them and I’ve learned from them, so I won’t be held hostage by them,” she says, unapologetically. “Being in denial is a very dangerous place to be and I’m not someone who’s ever been in that place. I don’t live in fear; I try to live in faith. I’m an optimistic person and I always want to see the best of a situation.”
Also contained in our striking November issue is a 16-page portfolio of the Arab world’s brightest film and TV stars, captured at Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival. Luminaries such as Yousra, Yasmin Raeis, and Sherif Mounir detail their illustrious careers alongside a retro-infused photoshoot, while boundary-breaking model Halima Aden poses amid an awe-inspiring sunset in a captivating beauty spread.
Features on how Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai copes with being separated from her family as she attends university, and the best tips and tricks from Saudi Arabia’s most prominent beauty bosses, including Reem Alswaidi, Abeer Sinder, and Yara Alnamlah, round out the issue. When it comes to fashion, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana showcase their latest Middle East-inspired collection; animal prints are put in the spotlight, and the fur debate continues – faux or real, which affects the environment more?
To celebrate her first cover for Vogue Arabia, Campbell is visiting Dubai to give a talk and sign copies of the issue at the Vogue Arabia Loves Fashion Avenue event at The Dubai Mall on November 15. The November issues comes with a special-edition supplement with all the details on The Dubai Mall’s 10th birthday and the extravagant 10-day celebration event, which runs from November 15 to 24.
Editor-in-chief: Manuel Arnaut
Photography: Chris Colls
Style: Jenke Ahmed Tailly
Makeup: Pat McGrath
Hair: Ro Morgan
Style assistants: Rudy S Betty, Leah Leona, Daisy Oldfield, Michelle Blary, Aziza Rozi
Photo assistants: James Hernandez, Tim Shin
Makeup assistant: Adam Master
Nails: Andy Seo
Digital tech: Jeanine Robinson
Producers: Phoebe Cole, Carly Louison at Serlin Associates
Interview: Selina Julien