Naomi Campbell has said she believes she is receiving criticism over her recent partnership with fast fashion brand PrettyLittleThing (PLT) because she is black.
The supermodel recently unveiled her first collection with the brand, which pays tribute to her fashion legacy.
However, her decision to collaborate has sparked criticism due to PLT’s low sustainability rating, as assessed by Good On You – a platform that evaluates fashion companies’ environmental practices.
In a new interview with W magazine, the 53-year-old responded to the criticism, initially stating that she hadn’t been fully aware of the backlash because of her busy schedule caring for her two children.
When the interviewer probed further, given the fashion industry’s current emphasis on sustainability, Campbell understood the concerns.
However, she also questioned whether double standards were at play, pointing out that other models, particularly white models, have collaborated with fast fashion brands without facing similar scrutiny or criticism.
“I understand people’s criticism,” she said. “I understand what people are going to say, but I took it from a standpoint of getting to know the audience of the younger generation and being able to share my platform.
“There are so many other fast fashion brands out there – do people say anything about other models when they work with them?" she continued.
“Do they say anything when other caucasian models have worked with fast-fashion brands and done collaborations? They’ve said not a word. They’ve praised them. So why are they coming for me?”
For her PLT collaboration, the star teamed up with up-and-coming fashion designers Victor Anate from Nigeria and Edvin Thompson from Jamaica, now based in New York City.
The collection will offer a range of sizes from 4 to 30, with prices spanning from £10 to £120.
While Campbell, who has become a mother for the second time, welcoming a baby boy in June, may be the first big-name model to face backlash for aligning with a fast fashion brand, she’s not the first celebrity.
Kourtney Kardashian previously had to defend her role as a Boohoo ambassador with a focus on sustainability.
Reality star Molly-Mae Hague also encountered criticism during her tenure as PLT’s creative director in 2021 and eventually stepped down.
Additionally, Laura Whitmore’s decision to become Primark’s “I Care” ambassador was met with scepticism regarding the brand’s sustainability efforts, prompting accusations of “green-washing”.