Few in the fashion world can boast of such a long and distinguished career that Naomi Campbell has – over three and a half decades, the supermodel’s incessant succession of achievements has made her an industry legend.
In 1988, Naomi became the first black model to grace the cover of Vogue Paris and has since appeared on more than 60 Vogue covers around the world. In 1990, she starred in the cult video for George Michael’s song Freedom! ’90, and in 2019 was awarded the prestigious British Fashion Awards in the Fashion Icon nomination. Of course, one cannot fail to mention her legendary walk, which has blessed the shows of every major global brand – even Beyoncé paid tribute to her with her 2006 hit Get Me Bodied: Do the Naomi Campbell walk, Naomi Campbell walk. Walk across the room like Naomi Campbell (“Walk like Naomi Campbell, like Naomi Campbell. Walk across the hall with the gait of Naomi Campbell”).
The supermodel’s 50th birthday is approaching, and she will spend it in quarantine at her home in New York. Campbell’s new YouTube program is aptly named No Filter. In each episode, someone of her famous friends appears. The guest of the first issue is a supermodel of the 1990s and her close friend Cindy Crawford, in other episodes Naomi talks with Anna Wintour, Christy Turlington, Sean Combs, Mark Jacobs, Pierpaolo Piccioli, Adut Akech, Ashley Graham and Nicole Richie.
The Vogue editors share Campbell’s everyday wisdom, drawn from the already published No Filter series.
The family is chosen
Campbell has built deep relationships with many people, both in the industry and beyond. The model calls them “the family she chose.” Azzedine fashion designer Alaya Naomi calls her “daddy”, and the President of South Africa, elected in the country’s first democratic elections, Nelson Mandela, was her “grandfather”. Now Campbell herself acts as a “parent”: she carefully calls the model Adut Akech her “daughter” and admits that she “was looking for her all over the world.”
As Marc Jacobs said in his interview with No Filter: “I am so impressed by the idea of a family that you choose yourself, because I did not have such close relations with my own family as I did with you and our mutual friends. We, of course, do not see each other every day, but we all feel when it is imperative to be around. And you really are always there when needed. “
Demand what you deserve – perhaps this is how you are destined to make history
In 2016, Ashley Graham became the first plus-size model to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine. Discussing this sensational event with Graham, Campbell recalled a similar story from her career – in 1988, she became the first black model on the cover of Vogue Paris.
A year later, in 1989, Campbell appeared on the cover of the most important September issue of American Vogue, becoming the first black model in the history of this magazine. In addition, it was the first September issue of Anna Wintour as editor-in-chief. Wintour remembered how she had to stand her ground and prove to the management that the choice of model was the right one: “I thought:“ This is an incredible girl. She’s the best model right now. This photo is just beautiful. ” And together we made history, so thank you. “
Supermodels train like professional athletes
Many people think that the job of a model is simple, but according to Campbell, “after shooting for some photographers, massage is a must.” She recalls several situations in which she had to freeze for a long time in very uncomfortable positions. Her friend, supermodel Cindy Crawford, agrees: “A physical therapist I contacted in the 1990s once told me,” I never thought modeling was so similar to professional athletes. ” Not alike, of course, but what we have to do with the body – how to move and what postures to take – is sometimes very difficult! I learned the art of posing through working with photographers Irwin Penn and Richard Avedon … It was like the old school, where the main idea was that you need to show clothes, not yourself. ”
Maintaining real talent is important
Campbell not only shares the different stories that happened to her on set with legendary photographers Penn, Avedon, Lindbergh and Ritz, but also uses his influence to support talented newcomers: photographers Campbell Addy and Tyler Mitchell, Nigerian fashion designer Kenneth Ise.
Campbell discusses with Wintour the splendor of Ise’s handicrafts and the spirit of the creative community. “The only Parisian show I did was Kenneth. The next day I left, ”says the model. Pierpaolo Piccioli from Valentino also earned her respect – not only for his work as a designer, but also for his approach to casting, selection of diverse models. “I cried on the runway twice in my life, and this was the second time,” Campbell recalls the Valentino Couture Spring / Summer 2019 show.
Party is not a party without Naomi Campbell
It’s no secret that supermodels are automatically included in the guest list of the world’s most luxurious parties. Campbell, as a rule, does not miss important events. She recalls the 2019 Met Gala she attended with Piccioli and Diddy’s 33rd birthday celebration in Morocco in 2002. “It was a legendary party. Imagine a Boeing 767 – no rules. People were having fun in the air, and they are all my closest friends, ”says Sean Combs about the flight to Marrakech.
Campbell is adept at organizing such events herself. Marc Jacobs recalls her 40th birthday in Saint-Tropez: “We were all on stage, and I danced so that when the sun rose and it was time to return home, I literally could not take a step. I danced so much that after that I just couldn’t walk anymore. “
Self-care is the key to mental well-being
If you are one of Campbell’s nine million Instagram followers, you know that she does sports live every day. In conversation with legendary tennis sisters Venus and Serena Williams, they discuss joint plans for the week. “So, on Thursday we have a workout, and on Friday I’ll drop by for a non-alcoholic cocktail, definitely smart,” says Campbell.
As an alternative to going to massage therapists and chiropractors, Campbell takes an evening bath with healthy ingredients. Want a recipe? “I add lavender Epsom salts, coarse table salt and a glass of apple cider vinegar to the water,” the model says. This approach to self-care is close to Nicole Richie, who has an alter ego – Nikki Fre $ h. “I can’t say I bathe often, but when I’m in the shower I use exfoliating gloves and soap, and then I apply grapeseed oil to my skin, also with gloves,” she says.
Take your own path and work for the greater good
Both Campbell and her guests are trying to use airtime to change the world for the better. Some important topics they touched on include: Wintour’s announced CFDA / Vogue Fashion Fund A Common Thread in March, Diddy’s $ 1 million donation to open a new school in the Bronx, Christy Turlington Every Mother Counts, a maternal health nonprofit , and Adut Akech’s story about her work at the UN Refugee Agency. Campbell is also the Public Affairs Officer for Fashion for Relief, a charity fundraiser for environmental and humanitarian issues.
It’s important to be a loyal friend
Remembering the days when her modeling career was just beginning, Campbell expressed endless gratitude to Christy Turlington: “You told Steven Meisel about me, you introduced me to Gianni Versace … You were not afraid to tell designers:“ If you don’t take her because she is black, you just don’t understand us. ”
Marc Jacobs, like filmmaker Lee Daniels, has always been open about his addiction. They said that Campbell played a huge role in overcoming this problem. “I’m sober thanks to you,” Jacobs says. – You did it. It’s fine”.