Naomi Campbell

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 October, 2007, 12:00am

'My life is pretty simple. I wake up - I'm not easy to wake up - and I like to eat breakfast. I love to eat. I like to do my own grocery shopping, pick my own fruit. These are things that ground me. If I'm not working I go to the gym. I go to recovery meetings. I do errands, regular things.

Today, for instance, I went to the market in Shanghai then went to the airport [to fly to Hong Kong]. I sleep on planes, thank God. I got off the plane and went shopping right away [laughs]. Usually in modelling your day is not going to be 9 to 5. I finish when the photographer or the outfits are finished.

Nowadays I need my sleep. There used to be a time when I could get away with little sleep but not any more. On a standard day, I go to bed around 1am. During the planning of my Fashion For Relief show [on September 20] in London, I think I slept only two or three hours a night because I was so nervous.

This year's Fashion For Relief was to help the flood victims in England. There was GBP3 billion (HK$47.4 billion) worth of damage and it's going to take at least 18 months for these people to get back to their normal lives. I've been in the fashion world for 21 years and I thought, 'What can I do?' I did an event in New York for Hurricane Katrina, so I thought we could do one in London. It was amazing. We had footballers, actresses, aristocrats and people from all walks of life. Sting came as a surprise.

The atmosphere was not like a regular show, because the public can buy tickets to Fashion For Relief. Normally, it's only VIPs and fashion editors who go to shows, but the public, they clap like it's a concert, the way shows used to be when Gianni Versace was alive. Then we auction all the clothes on eBay.

Fashion For Relief can be anywhere in the world.

I've just been asked to do one for the Middle East, for children in Lebanon and Palestine. I would love to do one here in Hong Kong. I don't take no for an answer when I'm doing charity.

A lot of people say, 'Oh, you're doing charities now', but I've been active [in that field] since 1994, in South Africa. I would go to hospitals, see the children, but I just didn't want to be photographed because I didn't want to appear to be using the children. We were there to bring awareness for the kids but not to use them. I've always felt strongly about that.

People say models don't do anything and we're just living these glamorous lives, but that's not the case. We work hard. There's also a lot of travelling. This week I have been in Italy, China, London and France. I've been travelling for 21 years but I actually like it. Sometimes I just wish I could stay - like here in Hong Kong - for a few more days.

I was with Nelson Mandela at the beginning of Septem- ber. We were in Monaco. First we were in London for the unveiling of his statue then we went to Monaco for a fundraiser. I'm blessed to be around him. My appreciation of things in life has changed a lot. I really do realise I am blessed.

You need honest people around you. I feel sad for Britney [Spears] and Lindsay [Lohan]. I am in recovery myself. The people around them, they need to say, 'You have a problem, you need help', instead of waiting for them to crash a car. My dad said about me, 'Too much, too soon.' In some ways, I think he's right. But I feel very bad, especially for Britney. I'm not a mother yet but I think having my kids taken away would devastate me. Poor girl.

So this is where I am in my life. I'm still doing my perfume. I don't drink alcohol [because] I'm allergic to it.

I guess I'm growing up now and finding things I like to do that make me feel good. It's not for public adulation. It's not for the press. I always said I didn't want to grow up but I guess I have.

I still love modelling. I wasn't going to do the shows in Paris fashion week this year. I was going to stay here [in Asia] the whole time. The only reason I'm going is my friend [designer] Marc Jacobs asked me to do Louis Vuitton. He's been a really good friend since I was 16. It's nice to have these people as friends, whether I'm a model for them or not. Someday I won't be able to work for them at all but I know they'll still be in my life.

You know, I'm not someone who is worried about age. My mother is still very good looking and a strong lady. I love her very much. Mandela says you are as young as you want to be. I'm 37.

Nobody really knows me until they meet me. Then, it's like, 'Oh, I didn't think you'd be like that.' The press said I had a diamond BlackBerry but I've never had one in my life. I would never have something so ostentatious. It's not me. I'm honest with myself. I do believe very much in God. I pray every morning and night. Basically I'm not running the show any more. I surrender to a power higher than myself. Now, everyday is like: 'Wow, what a great day!'

I was at the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics in Shanghai, which was a wonderful ceremony. I just opened a hotel in Kenya with [Benetton boss] Flavio Briatore. I'm editing an issue of GQ. I'll be going to Brazil to shoot a cover with [British Forumula 1 driver] Lewis Hamilton and interview him. I've been asked a lot recently to write a book but I'm not ready yet. When I do it will be very honest because it will be a healing process for me.

At night I like to unwind and watch television. I love [TV show] 24. If I'm staying home, I'll watch a DVD and just bring a plate of food to my room. Or I go to dinner with friends. I love having dinner with friends. I eat light but I've got to eat before I go to bed.

I try not to think too much about the future. I try to live one day at a time but I cannot help think - or dream, I should say - of becoming a mother. I waited this long because I wanted to be at peace with myself before I brought another life into this world. I feel now, yeah, I'd be a good mother. I wasn't ready before.'