Thursday, February 21, 2013

NAOMI: Model, Maven, Mentor

The name Naomi Campbell is synonymous with beauty. She is known around the globe for her iconic modelling career, signature walk and strong personality. I have watched Naomi since I was a young girl,a time when I was still a dreamer falling in love with FASHION. 
If the catwalks of the early 90's were the set of my dream, she certainly played a leading role.  You can imagine my great joy at the opportunity to interview her about her new show THE FACE.

I participated recently in a conference call with Naomi (mentor and executive producer) and her co-executive producer Eden Gaha. They both talked a lot about the authenticity of the show. They discussed the fact that the challenges on the FACE are actual 'jobs' and at  the finale of the show there is an actual prize: Becoming 'The FACE' of ULTA Beauty. 
Naomi spoke about her mother being her greatest mentor in life and pointed out that she is not a judge on the show but a mentor to her team during the shows taping and beyond.

The conference call still left me with a few questions for Naomi which she was gracious enough to answer.

Lisa: You mentioned your mother being your greatest mentor in life and fashion designer Gianni Versace taking you "under his wing." How did Gianni's "lessons" or help impact you as a mentor?
Naomi: I’ve been blessed to work with some of the greatest designers in the world, including Gianni Versace.  Many of these designers took me under their wing and taught me about what it takes to become a successful model and about life in general.  In my role as a mentor on “The Face,” I’ve passed along many of these lessons, including the fact that modeling requires thick skin, perseverance, drive and charisma in order to be successful.
Lisa: What do you feel is the most important "lesson" about the fashion industry or modeling specifically that you were able to teach your girls?
Naomi: I tried to teach my girls as many lessons as possible in my role as a mentor on “The Face.”  One of the most important things I tried to teach them is that modeling requires thick skin because rejection is inevitable.  I explained to them that if they don’t get a certain job, that doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with them, they’re just not the perfect person for that particular shoot or booking.

Lisa: Personal style and styling is an important part of fashion and important to models as first impressions, on go-see's etc.  Did you give the contestants style advice or guidance?

Naomi: Yes, I helped my girls with style tips here are there.  I told them to keep their style simple so that it doesn’t distract from their face! 
Lisa: If you have one piece of style advice for women what would it be?

Naomi: I think great style comes from individuality, confidence and a strong personality that comes through in one’s personal style.  You wear the clothes, the clothes don’t wear you!
Lisa: Your OMI quotes on twitter are very inspirational (I follow and love reading) - Who inspires you? and did you share some of this OMI wisdom with your girls during the competition?

Naomi: I’m glad you like my OMI quotes!  I’m inspired all different things – friends, family, great artists, pieces of art and designers, writers and more.  I love sharing quotes that inspire me with my fans and followers.
 Lisa: What have you personally taken away from being a mentor on the FACE? How has it impacted you personally/professionally?

Naomi: I’ve learned that I really enjoy mentoring.  I loved spending time with the girls on my team as I helped them become stronger models.  The experience has been more fulfilling and beneficial than I could have ever expected.  I’ve really missed all of my girls since the end of the show, because the bond we share is quite strong as a result of this experience. 
Lisa: You and Eden both talked about authenticity of the FACE as an honest reflection of the industry.  What do you hope will be the "take away" message for viewers of the show?

Naomi: Being a model is about more than just having a pretty face – you need to have the right look, charisma, talent, personality and smarts to represent a brand.  I hope that “The Face” will show viewers all that it takes to become a successful model and spokesperson. 
Naomi has been at the top of her game in the fashion industry for over 2 decades and I'm thrilled to see her back on my TV in the capacity of a mentor. What a wonderful opportunity she is providing the contestants. 

I am looking forward to the next episode.

Host Nigel Barker, Naomi, Karoline Kurkova, CoCo Rocha

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