Naomi Campbell Has Been Self-Quarantining in Elizabeth Taylor's Clothes

Samantha Sutton

Naomi Campbell seems to be on a mission to make staying home slightly better for everyone. On Instagram, she's been offering words of wisdom and reminders to remain positive, along with live-streaming her workouts and inviting others to join. On Amazon Prime, however, it's the supermodel's reality show, Making the Cut, that's providing a welcome distraction. Each Friday after a new episode is released, viewers can momentarily put their worries aside, spending an hour or so invested in the design competition, imagining what it would be like to compete in weekly fashion challenges.

"It's giving hope and opportunities to many," Campbell tells InStyle over the phone, weighing in on the value the series provides during the pandemic. "There are many people out there who are probably going to look at it and say, 'I could be on the next one,' and that's what it's about. We want those people, worldwide. There are some amazing young, gifted designers out there who just don't have the platform, or are able to get the connections that they need to get out there. This show gives that opportunity."

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Campbell says that promoting these up-and-coming designers was the reason she wanted to join the cast, which also includes hosts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, as well as fellow judges Nicole Richie, Joseph Altuzarra, and Carine Roitfeld. Typically, Campbell says she's "never sure" when it comes to participating reality shows, as she isn't someone who is able to fake something for the camera. "For me, it's not reality," she says. So she's sure to keep it real now that she has hit the streaming airwaves. "What you see is who I am. It's not a poker face [when I'm looking at the designs], it's just the way I'm looking and observing. I want to see as much as I can, to know if they are living up to the criteria of what they've been asked to do."

Ahead, Campbell tells us a little more about what it will take to win Making the Cut, as well as what she's been wearing while in quarantine.

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What are you looking for when it comes to finding the next big designer?

I'm not looking for perfection, because they’re there to learn. I'm just looking for whether they're trying to improve themselves. I want to make sure they're incorporating what we've asked of them with each challenge, and to be mindful that they've got a great platform, Amazon, to be able to take advantage of. A lot of designers I work with, if they had that platform from the outset of their career— oh my God. It's a big reach. So, you want to know that they have the potential and understanding to think globally and fulfill that reach. Is it going to be understood on every continent? Is everybody going to understand this designer language or interpretation? Those are the things I'm thinking about.

It was kind of shocking when one of the contestants, Sander Bos, who is 25, said 30 was ‘dusty and crusty.’ What did you think of that?

He’s a baby. He’ll say that now. But Sander, I think, is going to be a very well known designer. I think there's something in the water in Belgium [where he's from]. They just produce really good designers. Very creative. Raf Simons, Dries van Noten. I mean there are just so many great designers that come from Belgium.

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What sort of clothes are making the cut for you while you're at home?

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You seem to have kept such a positive mindset on social media.

“We have to stay in the light. We have to. To keep each other up every day. I cried today. I cried when I saw the ship, [USNS Comfort]. I went up to the roof and filmed it. Just the way it was entering, it was very emotional. It's sober but emotional at the same time. I just found myself crying.”