Naomi Campbell: The Face is the best show

SEE PHOTOS: Supermodel Naomi Campbell is in Singapore to make her Southeast Asian runway debut at Digital Fashion Week and shared her thoughts about fashion and modelling at the press conference

It was a very British affair indeed. The Digital Fashion Week Singapore 2013 has been themed “British Exchange” - not only was the press conference on October 31, 2013 held at the home of the British High Commissioner, fashion heavyweights flew into Singapore to lend their support for the fashion event.
A name off the masthead of British Vogue – creative director Jaime Perlman – was in attendance. British (by way of Scotland) designer Holly Fulton had also been invited to show her Spring Summer 2014 collection at Digital Fashion Week.

From left: Holly Fulton, designer; Jessica Amornkuldilok, the winner of Asia’s Next Top Model and Devyn Abdullah, the winner of The Face. Image credit: Sara Jane Ong

This wouldn’t be a fashion event without models and Jessica Amornkuldilok, the winner of Asia’s Next Top Model and Devyn Abdullah, the winner of The Face, were also present at the press conference and would be strutting their stuff on the Digital Fashion Week runway.

But even when the four were seated before the media and after a round of questions, the press conference took a long break before the next section. Despite this much star power, everyone was waiting for the true star of the Digital Fashion Week, supermodel Naomi Campbell, who in true diva style, kept us waiting for more than two hours.

The diva arrives

Naomi Campbell arrives after more than two hours. Image credit: Sara Jane Ong

When Campbell arrived finally, accompanied by the British High Commissioner, she appeared relaxed and unhurried, resplendent in a little black dress with embellished details. The supermodel however didn’t display any of the bad behaviour she was known for, apologising for her tardiness the minute her long limbs got comfortable on the sofa.
“I love doing fashion shows and I’m very happy to be here. The amazing aspect of digital is that it’s live and anyone can go on Youtube to see what’s happening is what attracted me to want to do Digital Fashion Week,” explained Campbell about being part of the event. She also divulged that Singapore is close to having a version of The Face – the modelling reality show that she is both executive producer and mentor.
When asked about her thoughts on Asian fashion and style, the supermodel acknowledged the industry’s fast growth and how impressed she is with the workmanship and quality of the region’s fashion.

“I want to see something different, something spunky. I’m from London so I’m always looking for the edge that makes you stand out, different and catches the eye,” stated Campbell of her expectations of the Singaporean designers showing at Digital Fashion Week.

 A stellar career

Host Yvette King asks Naomi Campbell about The Face. Image credit: Sara Jane Ong

The spotlight shifted from the event to Campbell’s illustrious career. “I’ve been blessed with so many wonderful moments in my life and career, in fashion and outside fashion. Meeting Nelson Mandela is one moment I will hold dear to my heart forever,” said the leggy beauty about her achievements. Maintaining close friendships with great designers even after 27 years in the industry was another blessing she counted.
Campbell’s pride of The Face was evident when she spoke more about the reality TV show. While she admitted that leading aspiring models was the premise of the show, she gathered from letters and feedback received that young women in general enjoyed the show because they were able to get an insight in the modelling industry. “What we are sharing with the girls will give them a leg up as opposed to those girls who don’t have a chance. I’ve been asked to do TV for years but what enticed me to The Face was that I could share what I learnt over the years,” affirmed the model.
Maintaining that she had not watched any other shows about modelling, Campbell said, “I heard many times that the girl was never seen after she’s won. It was very important to us that the girl who becomes The Face will work for an amazing brand, for example Max Factor and Frederic Fekkai. She starts work immediately – this is very important to be recognisable and seen. This is why I feel that our show is the best show,” smiled Campbell widely.

The unexpected reunion
At this point, the hosts pointed out that Abdullah was sitting in the audience and The Face mentor excitably squealed and greeted the show’s first winner - losing her cool poise for a minute. She later lamented how she only focuses straight ahead and had actually not noticed Abdullah. We wondered whether this inclination was the result of years of looking forward on the runway?

Devyn Abdullah (left), the winner of The Face with Naomi Campbell. Image credit: Sara Jane Ong

Abdullah mentioned earlier that Campbell was like a mother bear to her – fierce and protective – and when the latter spoke about her mentor role on the show, this side was reviewed. Campbell said, “I’m very much the mentor who is honest to a 100 percent. I don’t want any of my girls to say why didn’t you tell me this. I want them to be prepared for the toughest.”
The supermodel may have appeared very much at home in front of the crowd and so many cameras. There has got to be a secret behind the longevity of Campbell’s career. “You have to like what you so obviously. I’m blessed to be able to do what I like and I give a 110 percent – that’s who I am,” revealed Campbell that the secret is – hard work itself.

Digital Fashion Week 2013 will be held from November 1 to 4, 2013 at the Singapore Design Centre, 111 Middle Road, Singapore 188969.

All Digital Fashion Week shows will be televised live online at,,, and Follow Digital Fashion Week on Twitter at @DigitalFashWeek and Instagram at @DigitalFashionWeek for more updates.