She’s one of the best-known models in the world—and certainly the best-known black model. But 30 years after Naomi Campbell broke ground as the first black woman to grace the cover of French Vogue (and nearly 30 years after she became the first to cover American Vogue’s September issue in 1989) Naomi Campbell has just starred in her first beauty campaign.
That’s right, cult-favorite cosmetic company Nars, founded by makeup artist François Nars (who also photographed Campbell for the campaign), is the first beauty brand to enlist the supermodel, activist, author, actress, outright icon and expert in overall flawlessness to lend her beauty to their brand for their Spring 2019 campaign.
“Naomi is a living icon and brings such strong personality to the camera,” Nars, also a longtime friend of Campbell’s, noted in an Instagram post, stating the obvious. “She and I are like family. I have known her since the very beginning of her career. From the start, I have admired her, her beauty, and her style.”
But what the hell took so long, you ask? After all, Naomi is both a living legend and a longtime advocate for more diversity within the fashion industry, so it is ironic (to say the least) that it would take her decades to put this particular and long overdue accomplishment under her belt. But as Glamour pointed out, citing a 2017 interview Campbell gave to the Evening Standard, if the beauty industry opted to remain willfully ignorant, the supermodel certainly wasn’t.
“I’ve never done [a beauty campaign] for anyone,” Campbell told the Standard. “People say, ‘Oh you’ve got beautiful skin’ and yet I’ve never done one.”
Her interviewer made sure to note: “She gives me a look that says, ‘You know why.’”