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Some of us in the non-fashion world got our first glimpse of Naomi as a horizontal hussy in Madonna's Sex book in 1992. " Did Madonna talk you through the whole concept for the book? Just my part." Naomi was pictured having a simulated menage a trois with Madonna and the rapper Big Daddy Kane. It is about eating and food and what's good for what part of the body and the brain and stuff like that." I chance my arm with a question. Culture Club, Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran." What kind of music would you get up and dance to in a club? I like rhythm and bass." Didn't you do a song with Gavin Friday?
"I have great memories of doing the Madonna book," she recalls. "I posted a picture for her birthday from the book recently! To some, the images were akin to pornography; to others, they moved things on in terms of how sex and sexuality were viewed. If I am jet-lagged and I can't sleep, it's the worst." I have this perception of you that you live on planes. You talked on Oprah about having an abandonment issue (Naomi never knew her father)? "Gavin did my whole album," she corrects me, referring to Baby Woman, the 1995 album that Dublin-born arthouse singer Gav produced. We speak regularly." (There is a story - possibly apocryphal, but beautiful anyway, and worth retelling here - that Naomi, Bono and Gavin Friday sang We Are The Champions by Queen at Mr Friday's 1992 wedding in the Clarence Hotel.) Would you do more music? Just like a quick guest appearance, like on Quincy Jones's The Secret Garden. But I don't know if I have the time to do another album." What's your singing voice like? "I think everybody should try something; if it doesn't work, it doesn't work, but at least they can say they tried. "I like the element of surprise." There is nothing psychologically you would like to learn about yourself?
So you can open it up and find anything surprising in it - anything, in terms of a gift." Looking 20-feet tall, Ms Campbell stands up momentarily to take a gift of "one little square of chocolate" from her London PR. I can easily imagine her tumbling off them, onto the ground, as she infamously did in 1993, wearing those nine-inch Vivienne Westwood platforms at a fashion show.
And she is ahead of her time in a lot of the things that she does," says Naomi. Anna Wintour is really happy." You once said that with designers like Gianni Versace, Azzedine Alaia, Yves Saint Laurent, and Karl Lagerfeld, you were "part of the creativity". "Yves St Laurent and Alaia and Gianni and Karl and Marc Jacobs," Naomi answers."They would ask you certain things when you were doing your fitting. If I'm filming and I'm wrapping late, I go to bed late. Flustered, I ask her instead what the last movie she went to see was. He's so talented." I had read all the stories, good and bad (mobile phones thrown, etc), about Naomi Campbell before meeting her. I imagined her and her life as some sort of a cautionary tale along the lines of . " You are a great advertisement for a kebab, Naomi, I say to her. " she roars with laughter, adding that she also has certain memories of the nights out with Adam, U2 and Gavin Friday and the gang, in Mr Pussy's Cafe De Luxe in Dublin. The last is because, in September, Naomi was announced by Newbridge Silverware as the glorious new face of its brand for the next two years. The sort of lasting, exalted fame that Naomi enjoys is difficult to contextualise, other than to say that there are very few people in the world who wouldn't recognise Naomi Campbell. As Vanity Fair magazine put it, how well do you really know Naomi? I am very proud of Adam." She recently renewed her relationship with Ireland. I just love hot sauce." When was the last time you cried? When she closed Roberto Cavalli's show in 2012 - wearing a dress "slashed to her navel", as Elle magazine noted - Cavalli declared: "If there was an Oscar for 'world's greatest model', then I would give it to Naomi Campbell, no question." If you come to fame not understanding who you are, they say it will define who you are. It made my family proud.") I ask her what she was like when she started modelling - did she have an attitude? According to the endless testimonials in fashion magazines to the wonder of Naomi, it could be argued that Naomi Campbell is ahead of her time, too. So you felt part of the collaboration of what was being styled, and what you were going to wear on the runway; as opposed to now - I don't think some of the girls get to know the designers like we used to before." "He was an amazing man," she says. It says something about the current zen state of grace Naomi is in that she says she doesn't read any of the acres of glossy print about her. (At the time of his death, Naomi described Gianni's murder outside his mansion in Miami Beach in 1997 as "disgusting and uncalled for".) "He went to bed at 10 every night. I understand that they also have a tradition of all these people, and the things they've collected over the years - Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson. I think it's their craftsmanship that tells us why they are still here today, because they obviously do it in the best possible way. "I think everyone has to accept their flaws," she says. "I am here to talk about Newbridge Silverware," she answers. and any number of other famous boyfriends she's had. "My particular concept that I'm working with them on," she continues, "is this surprise delight and the Blue Box. "I'm not here to do an interview about myself." You are great at dancing around the questions. But I protect those that are in my life, that were in my life," she says referring to - possibly - everyone from Robert De Niro to Eric Clapton to Flavio Briatore to Sean Diddy Combs . "And I don't think it is fair to speak about them and involve them in a question, if asked, when I don't think they should be involved. "I cry at movies." I say to Naomi that when I interviewed Diana Ross 20 years ago, she said: "Black don't crack". You wonder is Naomi OK that everyone seems to have an opinion of her - informed, mostly, by people who have never actually met her. Did you learn subconsciously how to walk on the catwalk from watching your mother dance? "Yeah," she answers, "but dancing at that time was very competitive. I think it is part of growing." What have you learned from mistakes? Well, if Diana said that, then I'm OK with what the boss says," Naomi says with a laugh. "Just in terms of when you commit to something, you do it 110pc. She would only tell me advice if I asked her for advice, at this stage of my life." Her mother was a trained ballet dancer, and, as a child, Naomi saw her mother perform around the world. I think I kind of applied that." Did you ever think of following her into ballet? It's very tough, very competitive." So is modelling, isn't it? "You can't blame anyone," Naomi says in reply, "because that's part of growing. So like you, like everybody else [I make mistakes]." But the difference is: if I make a mistake or have an issue or a problem, I can go privately and get it resolved. My left one more than my right." Is that your way of disguising that you're actually crying? Nelson Mandela dubbed her his "honorary granddaughter". "It showed my family that being a model was a good choice. "There is some part of me that's shy." Is that difficult when you realise that all of your being is known to possibly every person on the planet? And when a lot of the media profiles are based on second-hand bullshit, it is more difficult? ' I say, teasing the world's most famous model e-vah, dahlings. Naomi, who is arguably the world's most famous, most photographed model, is an incredibly divisive figure. When, in 2004, in Britain's High Court, Naomi won her breach of confidentiality claim against the Daily Mirror - for publishing a report about her drug addiction, including a photograph of her leaving a Narcotics Anonymous meeting in Chelsea in February, 2001 - its then-editor Piers Morgan said: "This is a very good day for lying, drug-abusing prima donnas who want to have their cake with the media, and the right to then shamelessly guzzle it with their Cristal champagne." Others have been more complimentary. The people around me have been around me for many, many years; my school friends, my girlfriends from school - they are still around me. It is important for me to keep solid relationships." Naomi Elaine Campbell was born in London in 1970. When she was a baby, Naomi and her mother Valerie moved to Rome until Naomi was four, when they returned to London. I think modelling has become more competitive now than it ever was before, but there were so many dancers then, trying to get their Equity Cards and stuff." In 1987, Naomi appeared on the front of British Vogue. ("I can't even begin to explain what this cover meant to me," she has said. I just did my work." Are you still, underneath it all, quite a shy person?