Apparently she was found unconscious on the floor of her ex-boyfriend’s apartment just outside Paris.
Not only is Noémie an absolutely gorgeous model who has scored editorials and covers of Paris Vogue, she is also an active voice in Europe against the exclusion of black models in the industry.
Let’s hope for her quick recovery.
*See Noémie spar with Karl Lagerfeld over racism in fashion in the video below (it’s in French, I provided my own transcript):
The Fashion Bomb (Unofficial) Transcript:
Host: Is there racism in fashion?
Karl: The advantage of fashion, is that there’s no racism. It’s doesn’t exist anymore.
Noémie: Oh, Karl…
Karl: The more different you are the better.
Noémie: I’m sorry, but I think that in fashion…
Karl: The problem doesn’t exist.
Noémie: Because I’m in between white and black. So…
Karl: You have a pretty color..
Noémie: Exactly, we can say my fashion is to be mixed. We’ll say that.
Host: Do you want to say that you work less than others? Do you want to say that at some times it’s difficult, have people told you outright they they don’t want to work with you?
Noémie: Not at all, Karl started to use black models and Yves Saint Laurent used black models
Karl: Black is a horrible word.
Noémie: It’s not a horrible word, I am black. It’s funny if you like…
Karl: There’s white and there’s brown, the differences end there.
Host: Has anyone ever told you they don’t want to work with you because you are black?
Noémie: They didn’t tell me that, but they made it understood. I think Claudia is a beautiful woman, she came out in the 80 and 90′s, and she was blond and in fashion. Blacks have never been in fashion. Sorry, the word black isn’t pejorative, there’s white and black. Today, there’s white and black.
Karl: It’s a system of stars. In a flash, you have a star. We had Iman who was sublime, we had Naomi…
Noémie: We haven’t had very many…there have only been two up to this point.
Karl: They were already considered as less than because they were black, they didn’t have the same status as similar models today. It also can’t work because you’re not Iman or Naomi, there aren’t any black supermodels.
Noémie: No, that’s not true. Today we have a lot of rappers who put Chanel, Louis Vuitton, all the big brands, and a lot of rappers who send a lot of money their way. There are a lot of black women, like mixed women, like white women, who are starting to buy, and who have, for many years, bought items made by big brands. And we don’t see it. There was recently an advertisement on TV with a black woman, I won’t say the name of the brand on TV, but she was in it.
Host: So the movement is beginning to flourish, something is happening.
Noémie: No, the movement is stagnant. The problem is always there, there’s still a problem with black and mixed women in fashion.
Karl : (whispers) No
Noémie: I hope one day it changes, I hope that one day the big designers and the people who will buy these items will accept this difference.
Karl: There are no Japanese or Chinese supermodels either. There aren’t any. There were a few in the past, and we must note there are millions of them. There are no Indian supermodels either. It’s like in film. All at once, you have a new star who is doing something different. It’s based on a total injustice. No logic and no analysis can explain this phenomenon. It’s a phenomenon in fashion, of society…
Noémie: We can’t name any big Japanese or Chinese designers…
Karl: There are some but they are ok. They don’t have any star-stars. Like a Kate Moss, there aren’t any.
Noémie: Why don’t we use black or mixed models…
Karl: We at Chanel, we use stars. We use the models who are the most well known… For advertisements. It’s something that we can’t really analyze….it’s a job, there’s an injustice. One day the door is open, the next day it’s closed.
Noémie: When will we start to use black models…?
Karl: If we see a new Iman or a new Naomi, that works.
Noémie: So we have to wait for the new Iman and the new Naomi?
Karl: No, we don’t have to wait. When we can start…
Host: Thank you for coming.