Naomi Campbell serves as 'surrogate mother' to Adut Akech

Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell is happy to act as "surrogate mother" for young models such as Adut Akech.

The British supermodel has been in the fashion industry for more than three decades and serves as a mentor to young women who have just begun their careers.

And in a new interview for i-D magazine, Campbell tenderly revealed that she looks after the new generation of stars, specifically South Sudan-born Akech, whose family now resides in Australia.

"Well, Adut Akech calls me mama. I'm very happy to be her surrogate mother - I know she has a beautiful mother of her own," she told the publication. "I'm a mama to all the girls that need me. I always want to be approachable. I feel like I have to speak up for them because sometimes they're nervous to speak up for themselves."

In addition, the fashion icon ensures that her slender model "daughters" are taking care of themselves.

"Our business is fast. When they come over to my house, I make sure they're eating dinner. I want to make sure they're eating and that they're not too tired. I care," the 49-year-old shared.

Campbell was taken under the wing of designers including Azzedine Alaia when she first started out, and still calls model and activist Bethann Hardison her "ma".

"I was very blessed. It was a different time. It was more intimate then. There was no one between us," she explained.

Elsewhere in the interview, Campbell confessed that the fashion industry is now much more brutal then it was in her heyday.

"It's more of a business now, but I guess everything has to evolve - I always say that. I've managed to keep my fashion family and I love them dearly, more than anything. They've been there for me and it's been very special," she added.

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