naomi campbell interview magazine cover october 2010 black bustier blue tiles

Bold and the beautiful: Naomi Campbell looks flawless on Interview's October cover. Photo courtesy of Interview magazine

She may be a top model, but a role model? Not so much. So admits Naomi Campbell in the October issue of Interview magazine.

Wearing her hair pulled back, smoky eyes, and a barely there black leather bustier that shows plenty of skin, Campbell is as revealing on the cover as she is inside the cutting-edge tome.

"Listen, I make many mistakes. Many mistakes. I'm not a perfect human being," says the troubled beauty, who has battled drug addiction, dealt with anger management issues, and become a key player in the blood diamond trial of Liberian president Charles Taylor.

"I have to learn from my mistakes. And a lot of the ones I've made have been public. So I always get nervous when people speak about something that sounds like a role model, because I don't know if I've been a great role model myself."

Campbell plays up her bad-girl persona in the provocative portfolio shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. For one photo, she wears a black leather form-fitting dress, a gold dog-collar-style choker, and cuff-like, thumb only black leather gloves -- revealing bright red nails -- that frame the face of a nude male model whose mug is bloodied and body is wounded.

In the second shot, Campbell is clad in a black body-conscious dress with gold hardware details and leans toward the model as if whispering something conspiratorial while stealing a sideways glance and exhaling a cloud of cigarette smoke.

The images may not exactly help change people's perceptions of Campbell, but she could care less.

"I mean, look, I'm controversial," she says matter-of-factly. "If people want to work with me, then they want to work with me. If they don't, they don't."

And believe it or not, in the early days of her career, they didn't. But Campbell credits her fellow '90s supermodels Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista with opening doors for her in the fashion world.

"Honestly, for me it was a blessing to have a friend like Christy. I was so indebted to her for so many things," she says.

"You know, when I was younger there were certain designers who hadn't used models of color in their shows, and Christy and Linda said to them, 'If you don't take Naomi, then you don't get us.' My friends and comrades stuck up for me -- and that doesn't happen in fashion. I will never forget that.

"I don't forget what people do. No matter how many years go by, I always remember."

In related supermodel news, read about Christy Turlington at the Women: Inspiration & Enterprise Symposium.