Category Archives: Naomi Campbell

WANTED: Naomi Campbell

Hey Glamazons! Oops, she’s done it again!

Right now, supermodel Naomi Campbell is somewhere hiding in a back alley here in the streets of New York. Well, Coutura and I like to think that she is. She’s probably really in one of her many secret penthouse suites somewhere chilling. Or maybe she’s hanging out backstage in the super secret VIP area in Madison Square Garden watching Jay-Z perform.
Why is she on the run?
According to a recent article in the NY Times, Campbell hit her driver (we’re assuming while he was driving) and then ran off when he pulled over. And this isn’t the first time she’s been accused of beating her help (we remember too well the incident with the maid…sigh).
I recently interviewed Naomi backstage at her Fashion For Haiti show during NYFW (click here to view it) and I must say that I thought at one point I did kind of fear for my life once she learned how late it was and quickly demanded that I be the last interviewer. I mean, I respect her as a person (what other model do we know that can bring it like that on the catwalk?!) but it remains clear that she’s crazy.
I recently attended two beauty events tonight (Clarins and Sunsilk…more on that later) and one of my cab drivers joked that he would totally pick her up if he saw her out on the streets tonight.
Here’s hoping that she doesn’t hurt anyone else while out on the loose! Be safe out there, friends!
xo
Ferocia
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Michelle Obama Wears Alexander McQueen




Alexander McQueen’s brand will live on, according to Gucci Group, which has a 51% stake in the company via http://www.WWD.com. The celebrated designer, who committed suicide last week, decided that Alexander McQueen, the label, had transitioned from being the name of a designer to putting in place the building blocks of a brand” according to Gucci Group chief, Robert Polet. 


“That means that will be my legacy,” McQueen said, according to Polet. “That’s something I will always leave behind.”


With the Fall 2010 collection almost complete, the brand will present at Paris Fashion Week between March 3-11. Surely, the fashion industry will be awaiting the collection debut with baited breath.

In the meantime, fashion moguls like Betsey Johnson and Naomi Campbell have paid tribute to the fallen fashion icon in their New York Fashion Week shows and a tribute is planned to Alexander McQueen during London Fashion Week. 

Betsey Johnson tribute.

Tribute at Naomi’s Fashion Relief for Haiti Fund show.


First Lady Michelle Obama wore an Alexander McQueen printed blouse from the Spring 2009 collection to meet with ten students from London at the White House this morning. Mrs. Obama’s knowledge, thoughtfulness and sensitivity toward the Fashion World continue to amaze me. 

Check out a pic of the First Lady in Alexander McQueen below via http://www.Mrs-O.org. What a subtle and beautiful tribute to the late designer.


I am so sad about his passing, but grateful we have his “legacy,” of artful, inspired designs to look forward to. 

Wearing my beloved MCQ…for Target dress in solidarity.



Kisses,

Coutura



Fashion Relief For Haiti Fund Show

Hey Glamazons! As you know by now, I’ve been spreading all of my talents around this season covering Fashion Week. It’s loads of fun to have the freedom of writing not only for yourself (ie this amazing blog!), but also for other publications (ie check out a couple of my backstage beauty reports on honeymag.com here). However, the best experience so far has got to be interviewing supermodel Naomi Campbell. Yes, I, (ME!) talking with Naomi Campbell! If you’d told me 10 years ago while I lived in Texas that I’d one day interview her, I’d have laughed.
You’d never know it, but this lady is definitely all about giving back. (That doesn’t mean that she isn’t still crazy; but it seems like she has a little bit of heart somewhere in that sleek body of hers.) She’s a global ambassador for the White Ribbon Alliance, a global coalition for safe motherhood. In this role, she helps expectant mothers in various countries get the care needed to not only stay healthy but to also deliver a healthy baby. Naomi teamed up with several top designers to launch Fashion for Relief charity shows in New York and London to help the women of Haiti. And here I was, asked to interview her about all of this business. I literally had 3 minutes to do so, but I think I got some good stuff out of her! Check out the video on essence.com and let me know what you think! Also, check out some of my fave looks (and moments) from the show (because you know I was sitting second row..what, what?!). A model even fell while walking down the runway (check out the last pic). Clearly she needs to take some walking lessons from Naomi.
xo
Ferocia
*images courtesy of Getty
I know he’s made some seriously foolish mistakes in the past, but come on! Look how cute Chris Brown looks here! I met him backstage at the show and he was nice…not exactly the brightest crayon in the box, but a nice guy.
Selita Ebanks. ‘Nuff said.
Who knew that Kelly Osbourne could look so sweet and svelte?! Loved her look in the show!
Estelle rockin’ it on the runway!
Pat Cleveland rocked my world dancing on the runway. So much fun!
Tribute to the late Alexander McQueen.

Racism on the Runways: Bethann Hardison and Naomi Cambpell Demand Change


Hey Glamazons,

With New York Fashion Week days away, the discussion about African-American visibility in Fashion has resurfaced—thanks to Bethann Hardison. The former model and agent, who also happens to be my hero, hosted an informal meet-and-greet with models and casting directors last night called the Paradigm Shift. Held at the Deitch projects, the meeting is the latest effort in Hardison’s crusade to give models of colors a significant presence on the runway.

Designer Sophie Theallet famously used only black models in her Fall 2009 runway show.

The mother of actor, Kadeem Hardison, Bethann is responsible for initiating the discussion with industry heavyweights about diversity in Fashion, which indirectly led to the wildly-popular Vogue Italia issue and the i-D magazine September cover that features four rising supermodels, Chanel Iman, Jourdan Dunn, Sessilee Lopez and Arlenis Sosa. Hardison acknowledged how her efforts made the i-D magazine cover a possibility: “…the fact that they can find four girls is genius. That means something,” she told Modelinia.com. “It’s much improved from 2007. i-D’s always been cutting-edge. But the fact that you can find four girls? That’s a tribute to the work we do.”

Here are recent covers depicting black models from Trace’s Black Girls Rule! issue to the legendary Vogue Italia “All-Black” issue.



Bethann Hardison’s own career is just as groundbreaking: a successful model in her own right, she’s guided the careers of such prominent African-American faces as Tyson Beckford and Veronica Webb. Though her strides toward diversity in Fashion should be heralded, she acknowledges that racism on the runways persists. For example, Naomi Campbell made headlines recently by asserting that ad execs, in fear of losing consumers during a recession, refrain from using black models for their campaigns: “I don’t see any black woman, or of any other race, in big advertising campaigns,” said Naomi. People, in the panic of the recession, don’t dare to put a girl of colour in their campaign, full stop. Nor of any other race. It’s a shame. It’s very sad.”

When I interviewed Hardison last September, she explained that yet another impediment to creating diversity is that designers don’t see their aversion to use black models as racist. “Though their actions aren’t necessarily racially motivated, there are racially-conscious results,” she said. “Designers claim they want uniformity simply because it’s editorially appealing, but they have to modernize their thinking. Uniform-looking models don’t reflect the world.”


Why aren’t designers using black models for campaigns or runway shows? Do you think it’s a product of racism, because they want uniformity or because they fear that they’ll lose consumers?
Do you think diversity in Fashion increased after the Vogue Italia issue proved that black magazine covers sell? Do you anticipate that more designers will use black models this Fashion Week? Discuss.

Kisses,

Coutura


Magazine Glam: In Style and Harper’s Bazaar


Hey Glamazons!

September is my favorite time of year as a Fashion Assistant. Why? Besides my dying anticipation for Fashion Week (just started getting invites – so excited!), it’s the largest, most important issue for most Fashion books.

I got a sneak peek at a few of the September fashion spreads and (for the most part) love what I see. Some stories have caused quite a lot of controversy and heated debates in the office, but I’ll let you be the judge.

Harper’s Bazaar’s September issue. Agyness Deyn channels Micheal Jackson for a tribute to his legendary style on a cover for subscriber’s only photographed by Terry Richardson. In the corresponding spread, she recreates such iconic moments as Thriller and the Grammy’s wearing his glittery glove, the military jacket and of course, the loafers. Inside the issue, Jean-Paul Goude shoots Naomi Campbell on an African safari in jungle-inspired looks replete with elephants and monkeys.

I’m partial to the Safari shoot as Naomi is truly the most beautiful specimen in the human race. And while Tyra Banks is applauding Eva from ANTM for taking pictures with a spider, Naomi is riding an elephant and posing on top of an alligator. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a real model.

But, I do understand the criticism. Folks at the job are complaining that shooting an African-American woman in the jungle recalls dangerous stereotypes that liken black females to animals. I don’t agree that Bazaar is typecasting black models or insinuating that black women are animalistic. (I pray that we’ve evolved past that stage.)

However, I do recognize that perception is everything. A racist mind could interpret these images to mean black women are barbaric or less than human. Since fashion editorial spreads are a form of art and art is open to interpretation, do we criticize the spread itself or the racists that interpret the spread negatively? Just a thought.

Agyness Deyn as Michael Jackson has proven to be just as controversial. I don’t necessarily agree with my co-workers that a black model should have been cast as Michael (by the time he passed, Michael was as pale as they come…said respectfully, of course). I just don’t feel Agyness Deyn was the right model for the job. There’s no energy, movement or life to Agyness’ poses and that’s what we all loved about Michael. Do you agree?




Kisses,

Coutura