Naomi Campbell opened Paris Couture Week with a video calling for “equality and diversity”.
The 50-year-old supermodel quoted Nelson Mandela and the Black Lives Matter movement as she called for the “inclusion of the multitude of identities that compose our countries” ahead of the event, which has moved to digital due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said: “This is a call for action we are making. It is up to us, it is up to you to start enforcing the inclusion of the multitude of identities that compose our countries. The time has come to build a more equitable industry with a good form of checks and balances.
“It is now more than ever compulsory to include them in a permanent way, and not a transient one.”
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Naomi called for “regular and sustainable conversations with minorities from each country and cultures, who are already invisible actors of this mega industry” and added: “It starts now, in France. I am Naomi Campbell and I declare Paris couture fashion week ouvert. Merci.”
During the event, Schiaparelli presented a short film showing creative director Daniel Roseberry sketching an “Imaginary Collection” as it has no new collection this season, due to the Covid-19 crisis.
He said: “Life today is lived according to opposites; the pandemic has inverted everything we knew. Now, instead of a team to execute this collection, I just have my own imagination. Instead of the Place Vendôme in Paris, it’s been designed and sketched on a park bench.
“Everything has changed, but imagination, and the drive to create, has never been more relevant, or more profound. This collection is a tribute to that impulse to create. Someday very soon, I will venture back to Paris and hand these styles off to the atelier. We will make a portion of these and take them around the world to share with our valued clients and stylists.”