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Naomi Campbell Pays Tribute to Yves Saint Laurent

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Jun 03, 2008 | 4:43am EDT

British supermodel Naomi Campbell has paid tribute to late designer Yves Saint Laurent, praising his role in promoting black models in the fashion world.

Saint Laurent died from a brain tumor at his home in Paris on Sunday.

The fashion legend was the first designer to use black models the catwalk--and launched Campbell's career in the 1990s.

In a tearful tribute, Campbell said Saint Laurent had "done so much for people of color."

She says, "My first Vogue cover ever was because of this man. Because when I said to him, 'Yves, they won't give me a French Vogue cover, they won't put a black girl on the cover,' and he was like, 'I'll take care of that.' And he did.

"He was the king of fashion. He created prêt-a-porter. He was the first designer to put women of color on the runway. He was extremely important in my career, giving me one of my first jobs."

Last week, Campbell signed a comeback deal to front the company's fall/winter 2008 campaign.

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