What is there to say about Naomi Campbell that hasn’t already been said? The ultra-supermodel has moved from strength to strength over the last four decades of her illustrious career, defining and redefining beauty with each new milestone. The most recent, and probably her proudest moment, is the birth of her first daughter, who she says is now her biggest inspiration and “new boss.” Campbell is many things: fierce with a capital F, fashion chameleon, mother, friend, activist, lover of life, and perhaps above all, an absolute boss, making her newest campaign with Boss a no-brainer.
Boss’ latest campaign comes fresh off the heels of its rebrand earlier this year, inviting the label’s devoted fanbase to get in its iconic outerwear, neutral color palette, and now, a refreshing take on sportswear. Alongside a cohort of names like Kendall Jenner, TikTok megastar Khaby Lame, and Italian tennis player Matteo Berrettini, Campbell shines like the boss she is in a series of photos that suggest a woman in motion, reflecting on her past yet not being defined by it, always onto the next thing. Or, as she succinctly put it via text to ELLE: “I’m not a woman trying to impress. I’m a woman trying to progress. The focus is different.” Speaking from an undisclosed chic vacation destination (naturally), Campbell was reflective and open about what it takes to be a boss, what a boss listens to, and what a boss does (and definitely doesn’t) do, below.
When do you feel most like a boss?
In the kitchen, when I’m bossing people around. [Laughs.]
What does a boss binge-watch?
Korean TV shows!
Like Squid Game?
I’ve seen Squid Game, I’ve seen The Penthouse, I’ve seen My Name. Oh my God, Squid Game was so good! The writing is just so…and the angles. I watch all the Housewives, too. I’m into Dubai right now.
Housewives is very bingeable. Which boss of yours, either past or present, has inspired you the most?
My daughter inspires me [laughs]. She’s my boss now!
The best boss you’ll ever have. What’s your best boss piece of advice?
Listen carefully, and watch. Listen, concentrate, and remember the task at hand.
What does a boss listen to?
It’s such a wide range. I love music! From afrobeats to reggae, rock, classical, and piano. It goes right across the top. I like to DJ for myself.
Have you listened to the new Beyoncé album?
I certainly have. I’m constantly listening to music. I’m really in love with piano, the sounds of South Africa…it really depends on my mood.
How about books? What are you reading right now?
The Blooming Bare by Morgan Richard Olivier.
What does a boss never do, no matter what?
Never take off your shoes in public! [Laughs.]
That’s a good one! How do you make yourself feel like a boss when you’re feeling down?
There’s no time for feeling down. You’re responsible and you’re leading others, so think of your blessings.
Amen. What role does a boss play in fostering community?
Bringing people together is an important action, without any ego. Look at the big picture when bringing people together, and make sure that you’re getting the message out in the right way, or whatever it is you’re bringing the people together for.
How does a boss start and end her day?
With a smile! How do I start my day? With a prayer of gratitude and handing it over and letting things go, not trying to control the outcome.
Letting go and letting God.
Definitely. It’s easier said than done. Let go, let God.
What would you say to someone to help them unleash their inner boss?
Don’t ever let someone change the way you feel, and when your gut speaks to you, do what your gut feels. Go with your instinct. Don’t second-guess yourself.
Love that. I always say, “Put your blinders on,” like you’re a racehorse going forward.
Yeah, make and create a good and happy environment for yourself and your loved ones where you’re supposed to be. When I hear people say FOMO, I’m like, “FOMO?” No, I’m where I’m supposed to be. I’m good here. I’m content here.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Kevin LeBlanc is the Fashion Associate at ELLE Magazine. He covers fashion news, trends, and anything to do with Robyn Rihanna Fenty.