Hazine

09.12.2015 - Anna von Stackelberg

Model

NAOMI CAMPBELL

WITH HER STUNNING LOOKS, FIERY PERSONALITY AND DEDICATION TO HER CHARITABLE CAUSES, NAOMI CAMPBELL STANDS OUT NOT ONLY AS ONE OF THE ORIGINAL SUPERMODELS BUT ALSO AS AN OUTSPOKEN ACTIVIST AND CAMPAIGNER.

As the founder of her charity ‘Fashion for Relief’, as well as through her life-long quest to promote diversity in fashion, Naomi has proved to be a force to be reckoned with both on and off camera.

A WORLD OF DANCE

Born on May 22nd 1970 in Streatham, East London, Naomi spent her early childhood on tour with her Jamaican-born ballet dancer mother, submerged in the world of dance. Educated and trained as a performer and dancer from the age of three, Naomi’s path into adulthood seemed set-up to follow her mother’s footsteps. Early success saw her appear in Bob Marley’s music video for ‘Is This Love’ at the age of seven, followed by a tap-dancing part in Culture Club’s video ‘I’ll Tumble 4 Ya’ at the age of twelve. Yet as it is often the case, life had other plans for her that took shape when spotted by a modelling scout whilst window-shopping in Covent Garden in 1986.

THE TRINITY

Naomi took modelling like a fish in water – her Chinese Jamaican ancestry, her stunning height of 5’10’’ and her unique beauty made her an instant fashion sensation, with her first ever photo-shoot making the cover of British ELLE. Over the next few years Naomi enjoyed tremendous success, quickly becoming one of the world’s first true supermodels. Together with Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell became part of what was known as ‘the Trinity’, the decade’s most in-demand and recognisable models, defining an era in fashion. The glamour and financial reward of her fame were astounding. None-the-less Naomi has frequently recounted how she faced numerous additional challenges due to her ethnicity.

FIGHT FOR DIVERSITY

Two years after her fashion debut, Yves Saint Laurent famously threatened French Vogue to withdraw his entire advertisement, if they would not put Naomi on the cover, subsequently making Naomi the first black model to grace the cover of Vogue in 1988. The fight for acceptance and equality in fashion is a theme that runs through Naomi’s career, making her an early advocate and activist for diversity. She recounts of the crucial mentorship she received from the former models Iman and Bethann Hardison, who gave her protection and guidance as a young black model fighting to make a path for herself in an industry that is to this day dominated by a white European aesthetic. As recently as 2014 Naomi highlights that the Paris shows were made up of 6.8% black models and 7.9% Asian models, proving that the industry still has a very long way to go.

ACTIVIST AND CAMPAIGNER

While Naomi built one of the most successful modelling careers of all time, which is still going strong at the age of 44, she also quietly turned her attention to helping others less fortunate than her. Years before the founding of her Charity ‘Fashion for Relief’ started grabbing the headlines for its support of the Victims of Hurricane Katrina or most recently the Ebola outbreak, Naomi was deeply involved with helping others without putting herself in the spotlight. She is often quoted as saying “One of the many things my career has enabled me to do is travel the world and see what’s really going on out there in people’s lives. It’s made me determined to help in anyway I can… I don’t do charity work for public adulation, I do it because I want to and if there is something I feel particularly drawn to I want to help in the best way I can.”

MULTIFACETED BEAUTY

Always ready to explore other ventures, be the creative of commercial, Naomi has proven time and again that she is not only a pretty face, but also a keen pursuer of her professional visions, channeling her interests and talents into a wide range of other areas. After launching her first branded Perfume 15 years ago and dabbling in music with the release of an R&B album, Naomi has most recently delved into the world of television, co-producing the American reality series ‘The Face’, in which she is also one of the judges. It seems, that her life is proof that the potent combination of God-given-gifts with determination and hard work can lead to greatness, give or take a few divaesque interludes.

La Perla FW15 Campaign

Short Facts

Trademark

Naomi is the first black model to have graced the covers of numerous important magazines including: TIME magazine, French Vogue, and American Vogue. 

Distinctiveness

Naomi is one if the original supermodels, defining the world of fashion in the 1980’s and 90’s. 

Anecdote

In supporting Naomi’s cause to gain full equality in an industry that continues to marginalize models from different ethnic backgrounds, in the 1990’s Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington have refused more than once to accept jobs unless Naomi was also booked. 

Supermodel Era

TIMELINE

1970 – Birth

Naomi Elaine Campbell is born on May 22 1970 in Streatham, London.

1986 – Scouted

Naomi is scouted as a 15 year old, whilst window-shopping in Covent Garden. She is subsequently signed to Synchro Model Agency, and her first shoot makes the cover of British ELLE.

1987 – British Vogue

Naomi appears on the cover of British Vogue, being the publication’s first cover girl since 1966.

1988 – Trinity

By the late 1980’s Naomi, Linda and Christy become known as the ‘Trinity”, the worlds first supermodels.

1988 – French Vogue

After the intervention of Yves Saint Laurent, Naomi becomes the first black model to appear on the cover of French Vogue, following suit on the cover of the September issue of American Vogue the year after.

1994 – Album

Naomi releases an R&B album entitled Baby Swan.

2005 – Charities

Naomi founds two charities in 2005, the first, ‘We Love Brazil’ to the plight of favelas and the second, ‘Fashion for Relief’ to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

2013 – The Face

Naomi appears as one of the judges on the US TV series ‘The Face’, of which she is also a co-producer.

Photo:

© La Perla, Agent provocateur

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