Friday, August 31, 2007

Supermodels aren't super anymore!

Munich: A radiant smile, a seductive glance, it takes supermodel Naomi Campbell only three seconds on the red carpet to win over the crowds. Admiring photographers call out to her, while teenagers behind the barriers are so nervous they can't say a word.

Naomi is considered one of the remaining few major star models, who fascinate the next generation, as seen by her recent appearance at the GQ Style Night during the Munich sports fair.

"She's an icon," Hana Nitsche, who won third place on Heidi Klum's television programme Germany's Next Top Model, says about the British supermodel. "She has her very own walking style and fantastic charisma," she adds.

Naomi masters glamorous appearances like this one with perfection. She is often considered one of the few remaining big stars of the fashion industry.

In the 1990s, women like Cindy Crawford or Claudia Schiffer gained world fame through their looks, banking breathtaking sums for their appearances.

However, the star cult has been waning since the beginning of the new millennium. Younger and particularly cheaper models have been replacing the big stars on catwalks and at photo shoots. It's getting harder to become a top model.

"I think you can learn an awful lot from her, she has so much experience," says Barbara Meier, who since Klum's television vote is now the reigning Next Top Model in Germany. "However, I have my difficulties with the word 'role model'," Barbara adds. "It's not that I say: I want to be exactly like her. I do want to try to be successful in my own way."

Some colleagues consider Naomi as someone with unnerving airs and graces. The young models don't want to be like that at all.

"Everybody always says she's a b***h. I'd really like to know whether that's true," Hana says. But she would rather not emulate the attitude of the experienced colleague. "Each model should be an individual," Hana says.

Naomi was groomed for the catwalk at a young age. Her mother did everything she could to make her daughter a celebrity. Naomi left school at 14, and since then her model career has been rocketing. However, Naomi soon acquired a reputation as an eccentric superstar, who sometimes trashes hotel rooms in a rage or throws mobile phones at domestic staff.

For her physical attack on a maid, a court ordered the star model to do a week's community service with the New York City sanitation department, where Naomi appeared for her shift in black stiletto boots and a knee-long black coat.

Barbara doesn't want to go down that road. "I think a lot would have to happen for me to flip out," she says. However, the job can sometimes be nerve-wracking, she admits.

"There will always be envy between models. That's part of the job. If you work in this area this shouldn't bother you," Barbara adds.

But Barbara isn't quite sure whether she really wants to be a world star - even though the next few weeks are already booked up with fashion shows and photo shootings.

"Of course I want to try and be successful, and I will work hard for it. But I believe I can't even judge what it's like to be a star. I do wonder whether you really want it if that means you will no longer have a private sphere at all."


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