Naomi Campbell has confronted Elle Germany's editor-in-chief Sabine Nedelchev on Instagram over the feature titled "Black Is Back" and dedicated to star models of colour, saying this makes her "so sad to see this." She branded the article a mistake which is "highly insulting in every way" and sarcastically offered her Iman's help (another black supermodel) if "you are not clear on the guidelines of diversity."
"You go further to say that BACK TO BLACK, even if you meant the fashion, it's misleading on your headline and Type!! [sic]! I've said countless of times [sic] we are not a TREND. We are here to STAY. It's ok to celebrate models of colour but please do it in an ELEGANT and RESPECTFUL way," she wrote in the caption tagged #defendingmybabies.
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Dear sabine nedelchev @ellegermany This makes me so sad to see this, @bethannhardison @the_real_iman and I are here if you are not clear on the guide lines of diversity.. your mistake it is highly insulting in every way, .. you go further to say that BACK TO BLACK, even if you ment the fashion it’s is misleading on your headline and Type !! ! I’ve said countless of times we are not a TREND. We are here to STAY. It’s ok to celebrate models of color but please do it in an ELEGANT and RESPECTFUL way . I too in my career have seen pictures of others models called me just because of the color of our Skin, and recently seen many pictures of models of color being called being @adutakech .. do you know what it feels like to do the job ( @naomichinwing ) and not even be given the right name credit ? . Very disappointing to say the least . If you would like a conversation to know how to have A diverse mind we are here to sit and accommodate . It’s very important for a publication to be culturally sensitive and give credit where it’s due . We all need to unite on this matter NAOMI THANK YOU @diet_prada . #defendingmybabies ♥️
She also lambasted the magazine for mistaking one model, Naomi Chin Wing, for her colleague Janaye Furman, as a popular Instagram account dedicated to fashion, Diet Prada, earlier spotted. Campbell pointed out that she has had the painful experience of others receiving credit for her work.
"I, too, in my career, have seen pictures of others [sad] models called me just because of the colour of our skin… do you know what it feels like to do the job ( @naomichinwing ) and not even be given the right name credit? [sic] Very disappointing to say the least," she posted, also offering "a conversation to know how to have a diverse mind" and adding "It's very important for a publication to be culturally sensitive."
Prominent African-American model-turned activist, Bethann Hardison was quick to join Campbell lasing out at Nedelchev in comments with harsher words.
"Your staff should stay away from trying to be topical and speak of models of colour. You are limited in your scope. You are far away and not really aware of how to fit into the evolution of change and it [sic] ebb and flow of an industry," she posted, while another star model, Linda Evangelista reacted with several exclamation points.
Elle Germany reacted with a sorry statement, also sharing it on Instagram, and explaining that they approached "the colour black from different angles" and that one of their focuses was "to feature strong black women who work as fashion models."
"In doing so, we were guilty of several errors for which we sincerely apologise. It was wrong to use the cover line 'Back to Black' which could be misconstrued to mean that black individuals are some sort of fashion trend. This obviously was not our intention, and we regret not being more sensitive to the possible misinterpretations," the statement reads.
They also apologised for identifying the model Naomi Chin Wing as Janaye Furman, noting they know 'how problematic this is."