In praise of the supermodel

Naomi Campbell

“People think that modelling is a useless profession. It is so incredibly maligned. You know, the model has very little respect. I read it in the papers all the time; that models are dumb, you know, not smart. But in my experience the fashion industry was full of the most incredibly talented hard-working people, so many wonderfully unique characters, people who were serious visionaries that defined our lives, in a way – the amazing photographers, make-up artists, the stylists and hairdressers. They were artists, these people, true artists.

But, you know, my heart really belongs to the models of the nineties. They were tough and fearless and armour-plated. Naomi, Eva, Linda, Claudia, Christy, Yasmin; those proud, polished Goddesses, were extraordinary women. They were sorcerers and alchemists. They were mythical creatures. They took the glamour away from Hollywood when Hollywood decided to become serious. Of course, this has changed now and that world has gone. They were part of an era, like silent movies, but fashion and time never stand still. And of course, there was darling Kate, the waifish ingénue, who came along and changed history. But it is a testimony to their resilience, that those magisterial women are eternally with us, like the great sphinxes, but the empire, the empire has gone.”

Susie Cave