Supermodel Naomi Campbell has been unveiled as the new face of French fashion house Yves Saint Laurent – just days after being charged with six offences. The Mail exclusively revealed she will replace her close friend Kate Moss after signing a contract rumoured to be worth £200,000. Miss Campbell, 38, could face six months in jail or a £21,000 fine if found guilty of assaulting a police officer during an incident at Heathrow Airport. She will appear in court next month. But the French design house said it would be standing by her. She has just shot their forthcoming autumn/winter 2008 campaign.
She told The Mail: ‘I’m blessed and grateful to be working with YSL again – a house that gave me a start in my career.’ She did her first campaign for YSL in the Nineties and her last show in 2002 when the 71-year-old designer retired to allow others to carry on the brand.
Campbell paid a tearful tribute to French fashion legend Yves Saint Laurent yesterday for his role in promoting black models. She told Britain’s Channel 4 News that Saint Laurent, who died on Sunday of a brain tumour at his Paris home, had “done so much for people of colour.”
“My first Vogue cover ever was because of this man,” she told the broadcaster, “Because when I said to him ‘Yves, they won’t give me a French Vogue cover, they won’t put a black girl on the cover’ and he was like ‘I’ll take care of that,’ and he did.”
Known as the “prince of fashion” in the world’s designer capital, Saint Laurent dominated the international couture scene from the swinging 1960s until his retirement in 2002, revolutionising women’s wardrobes with a new androgynous style that mirrored women’s push for a stronger social role.
“He was the king of fashion,” Campbell said. “He created pret-a-porter, he was the first designer to put women of colour on the runway, he was extremely important in my career, giving me one of my first jobs.”
She continued: “He has done everything, he’s done it, if you go to the museum you will see he has done it all. He has done so much for people of colour.”