Edie Campbell sits down with Tim Blanks at London's Dover Street Market, for a frank conversation on enabling behavior in the fashion industry. The convo is a follow-up to her open letter published on WWD in November 2017.
The Love Magazine 19 cover star is one of a model triad cited by Blanks -- Edie Campbell, Cameron Russell and Abdoah Aboah -- who are leaders of the current conversation around model rights and appropriate industry conduct.
In this rich, thought-provoking dialogue with Blanks -- a candid interviewer on this topic -- Edie cites numerous key themes surging in the wake of the #metoo movement. One is the insertion of the photographer into the project as the 'creative genius'. Campbell speaks comfortably and directly about her obligations as a model to create a fashion fantasy in a brand campaign or fashion editorial. She challenges the assumption that she has artistic obligations to the photographer to rely on sensual/sexual chemistry to achieve the best image, or to inspire the photographer excel in the execution of the image.
Edie considers both the model and the photographer as key players in the shot. What she challenges is the idea that the photographer towers above her, while admitting that she does give up a piece of her identity in that moment, because she is morphing into a fantasy in that moment. Campbell categorically rejects the notion that a 17-year-old model can 'walk away' from a photographer's advances and retain her fledgling career. She can reject because of her status as a credentialed, empowered model, and this is why her conscience demands that she stand for all models on this topic.
In a closing statement that is music to my ears, Edie Campbell is asked by Tim Blanks if we are entering a golden age for female photographers in the fashion industry. Edie is very comfortable agreeing that this is a likely possibility and a clear way of ending the abuse, especially with so many talented women available without the sexual expectations and demands of male photographers.
First and foremost, Edie challenges the entire industry -- agents, publishers, designers -- about their protection of the 'creative geniuses' at the expense of young models. Campbell is so articulate in her observations and critical thinking that this interview is well worth the listen.