Nigel Barker is no stranger to reality television, having worked with Tyra Banks on America’s Next Top Model for 18 seasons. He’s the new host of Naomi Campbell‘s The Face, and was surprisingly not jaded about the whole idea of a modeling reality series when we caught up with
the noted fashion photographer him before Mara Hoffman‘s gypsy-inspired show.
“[It’s] very inspirational,” he said of hosting the show, “and it’s amazing to see how these women function, how they work, how they get on with one another, how professional they are, yet how passionate they are.”
Of course, we expected a canned response considering he’s been on big press tour with Campbell, Coco Rocha, and Karolina Kurkova, but then he went on a bit of a rant when we asked him about the difference between Banks and Campbell, and their respective shows:
“There are obviously similarities, but they’re very different. Different people, and everyone has their own [teaching] technique. I think just on The Face alone, regardless of whether you compare Tyra to Naomi, the whole point of The Face is really to compare Naomi to Karolina and Coco, because all three have such different styles. And I think that’s one of the reasons why The Face is so inspirational; it shows that there are so many ways to get to the top. There isn’t just this one direction, this one style. You can be a lingerie model or absolutely not do lingerie like Coco, and still be a top model. You can be white, you can be black, and still be a top model. You can be English, you can be Canadian, and still be a top model. You can be 43, you can be 23, and you can still be a top model. I think that’s really interesting and a great take on the business and shows that the business has changed a lot in the past 20 years. It used to be that it was only for young girls who are, like, 23-years-old. Well, you’ve got Naomi, Christy, Linda, Cindy — they’re all still doing magazine covers, they’re all still doing campaigns, and that’s very inspirational.”
Whew! You guys read all that, right? Good.
The show premieres this Tuesday on Oxygen at 9 PM EST, and thinking he could fool us a bit, Barker joked, “No tense moments, it’s a very boring and dull show!” Pft, okay, we’ve all seen the trailers and teasers for the show, so we know what we’re all in for.
“No, of course — are you kidding me?? It’s craaazy, we’ve got a lot of passion, a lot of extraordinary moments when everything comes together. Only one can win, and they realize that it may not be them and they have to fight for it. And I’m not just talking about our contestants, but our supermodels. They’re all in it together. The supermodels don’t go in and out, they’re on 24 hours every day. [The] cameras don’t stop rolling — literally.”
Check out out favorite hottie photographer, the rest of the front row, and Hoffman’s collection in the gallery below:
this is some kind of spaceship or something.