Naomi Campbell Felt Like 'Token Black Model' During Her Heyday: It's Uncomfortable
WENN/Regina Wagner

The runway superstar remembers how uncomfortable it was to become the only black model walking on the catwalk during big fashion shows back in the 90s.

AceShowbiz - Naomi Campbell used to feel like the "token black model" when she walked the runway back in the '90s.

The 49-year-old discussed diversity in fashion during an interview at the Wall Street Journal's WSJ Tech Live event and opened up about feeling uncomfortable in the early days of her modelling career.

Sharing examples of tokenism that she experienced, Naomi insisted that the problem was far-reaching when she was walking the runways back in the 1990s alongside fellow models such as Cindy Crawford and Helena Christensen.

"I know what it's like to be the token and it wasn't a good feeling to have to always be the only black model in a show of 70 girls. It was uncomfortable. I didn't like it," she explained.

"I don't want to say names of brands because I'm not going to call people out... I have to believe that everybody is coming from a good place. We'll discover, as we go along - we will know who is doing it for the token and who is doing it for real."

She also denied that she didn't want any other black models walking the runways with her during her heyday, adding: "Well that's not true. I did."

Elsewhere in the interview, she called for more representation behind-the-scenes at fashion houses and is keen to see brands employ more people of colour.

"You've seen all shapes, sizes, colours, different hair types on the runway - we're still in that," Naomi said. "But now, it needs to go deeper than that. We need to see within the actual companies, in the offices, are you going to give the diverse staff a seat at the table to advise and be part of the projects that you do?"

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