Naomi Campbell exclusive interview to Lee Jasper


After the massively successful second year of the Legacy Gala held at the Chelsea Harbour in 2017, former Legacy Gala coordinator, Viv Ahmun produced a detailed review report with a number of important recommendations focused on improving the Gala, the majority of which were adopted. The primary one was a decision to establish the event as an entity in its own right, and continue to tighten and consolidate the purpose and values of the Legacy Gala. As a consequence The Legacy Gala Ltd was formed and the baton of responsibility for delivering this event was passed on to a new team, including myself.

The new company is determined to try and raise the bar both in the quality of service offered and the scope of awareness regarding this now prominent event in the black social calendar. So you can imagine my excitement and surprise when I received a call from Simon Woolley, the Director of Operation Black Vote, who said that Naomi Campbell is interested in the Legacy Gala. Simon is a long time personal friend of Naomi - she once publicly said, 'Here in the UK, Simon is the one person I personally trust when I get involved in community activism and politics.'

We had previously reached out to Naomi, because we wanted to honour her with a Legacy Lifetime Award for her pioneering work in advancing the cause of dark skinned and other women of colour, within the fashion and media industries.

To be frank, I hadn't expected a positive response or any response at all, not because of the unflattering press stories about her, -it's difficult to believe much from our tabloids these days much less when they are attacking a successful black woman.

Many high profile celebrities express interest in the Legacy Gala but are often put off by our un-apologetic focus on African and African Caribbean communities.

So it was a great surprise to me, when Simon rang back a few weeks later, saying that Naomi had agreed to an interview and that a date would be arranged.

Then on a crisp morning in late October, we got the call that the interview was on that day and I needed to make my way to the Dorchester Park Lane - (Well you didn't expect the Premier Inn) and bring a photographer.

I have to admit I panicked, I was unprepared and did not have a photographer sitting in my kitchen in the middle of a Thursday morning, just waiting to do my bidding, but one of the great benefits of being around a long time, is the black book of connections that one acquires. So instantly, I called my dear friend Tony Attille of Black Ink Photography. He was on a high profile shoot at the time, but thankfully agreed to help me out and told me "Lee, give me an hour I'll be there".

As I headed to the Dorchester, I decided that I was going to ask Naomi the questions I'd always wanted to know, what drove her and how she achieved superstardom? I wanted to hear her views and experiences as a dark skinned, high profile black woman, her perspective on black excellence and how, she achieved and maintains the standards that elevated her to the status of one of the most recognisable black woman on the planet. Lastly, of course me being me, I intended to ask her pointedly about her own 20 year fight to challenge racism, in the global fashion industry.

As we were ushered in to meet her, the first thing that struck me was how petite she is, I could see the exquisite nature of her features, she is simply stunning and I can't lie, I was slightly intimidated and not a little overawed.

I found Naomi charming, funny, open and engaged. We discussed all the issues I had thought about as if we were old friends.

Naomi Campbell is totally down to earth and I soon realised that here was a black woman, who was passionate about her profession yes, but also cared deeply about her community alongside a broad range of global humanitarian concerns.

Meeting her was a breath of fresh air and in stark contrast to some of the frankly deeply racist press commentary I'd read about her. The woman they, the hostile media often described wasn't the woman who was sitting round the table with me. She was beautiful… yes, she was, but more than that, what shone for me was her honesty and integrity. She cares, and she cares deeply.

No sooner had we began than the 40 minutes were up, we took our pictures and saying our goodbyes and thanks we left. Lucky me !

The interview got beneath the media hype and reveals a black woman of depth and substance. What she had to say, will no doubt shock and surprise many, however what I found was a soul sister, passionate about her community and determined to make a difference.

This exclusive interview for the 2018 Legacy Magazine was a real pleasure and an honour for me, Naomi Campbell is a superstar in every sense of the word.

You can read this exclusive Legacy Gala, Lee Jasper and Naomi Campbell interview only in the Legacy Gala magazine - to be published later.

The Legacy Gala takes place on Saturday the 15th December at Sheraton Grand Park Hotel, Park Lane, W1J 7BX

Tickets available from £99 purchase yours now at email us at

Lee Jasper