When it comes to fashion, there’s no denying that the 1970’s is considered a golden age.
From a range of high-fashion trends, from the bikini to the sexy cocktail dress, it was a decade that defined women’s attitudes toward beauty, power and style.
Naomi Campbell, however, believes that the period in the 1990s, particularly when it comes the era of Lolita, was a pivotal time in fashion.
The legendary fashion designer says: ‘I loved the glamour of the 1970-80s.
It was a time of high fashion and the glamor was so obvious, it really was, “You’re beautiful.”‘
I loved the 1970 (era) glamour.
I loved that it was the glam era.
It’s so flattering.
I don’t understand why it’s been called “the glamor era” and then “the 1980s.”
That was a fabulous period of time.
And then the 1980s really changed everything, so it’s such a difficult time for me.
It felt so disconnected from the rest of the world, and I’m sorry, but I loved it.’
Naomi Campbell was born in 1946, and in her youth she spent her time living with her mother in Paris.
Her parents divorced when she was young, and Naomi was raised by her grandmother in a small town in Belgium.
She began her career in 1950 at a young age, working as a model in her hometown.
‘I never thought I’d make it in the industry, but the only way I could imagine working in fashion was to go to a studio,’ she says.
Naomi was in Paris in 1957 when she first met a young Parisian, Yvonne Dufresne.
‘The next year she said, “Oh, I want to be in the film business.”‘
So she made the decision to go and work in a Paris fashion house.
‘She’s one of the most famous models in Paris at the time, and that was when Lolita was being filmed in her home.
‘So I went and saw her and I thought, “Wow, she’s so beautiful.”
I had no idea what she was doing.
She had just started her career and was doing her own thing.’
Dufresteene had a knack for finding models, and when she started working with Naomi, she was a young, blonde model, with a good body and a good figure.
Naomi, who was in her late twenties at the start of the period, was soon working alongside Dufredesne and the rest.
Naomi says she was captivated by the way the young women treated each other.
‘It was a new world for me and I was fascinated with the way that women treated one another,’ she recalls.
‘They were so caring.
‘And I loved how they were working together, because they were all in the same business, and they had this mutual respect for one another.
And they all had the same goals.’
Naomi is now considered one of fashion’s most iconic fashion designers.
She was the fashion editor for Vanity Fair in 1963, the creative director of the influential fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar in 1966 and the creative force behind the careers of her husband, Yves Saint Laurent, and fashion designer Gianni Versace.
‘As a young girl, I was really attracted to the glam.
I felt like I was in love with that,’ she tells me.
‘But I also felt like, well, it’s all about the money.
And I think there were lots of people who were working really well.
But I also knew that I was being watched, and the people I was working with, because I was a model, and you couldn’t just go to the office and be an editor.
‘If you were a model and you went to work and you weren’t working on fashion, you wouldn’t be a model.
You would be a prostitute.’
She describes how, in the mid-60s, she met her future husband at a party in New York City.
Naomi said: ‘My husband was there, and he was talking about how he wanted to do the runway in New Orleans, and we were like, “What’s the problem?”
He was like, I’m in New Jersey, and New York, and it’s called the Bayonne.
I said, okay, we’ll go, we’re going to New York and we’re not going to the Bayonet.
“‘He was like “No, I can’t.
You’ll never make it.
“He was very adamant.
He was the most serious guy I knew, and very proud of himself.
He never wavered from his opinion.’
Naomi worked at Vogue and then was offered a job as a senior editor in Paris’ prestigious fashion house, Lanvin, and she accepted.
‘He wasn’t the most talented person, but he was really dedicated, and there was something