If you can believe it, the fiercest of the fierce, supermodel Naomi Campbell turns 45 today. We know. It defies all time and logic.
This Streatham-born beauty has been cruising at the top of the fashion food chain for what seems like forever, decades in fact, and of course, you can’t remain queen of the catwalk unless you are seriously good at what you do. And Naomi would probably be the first to tell you that she is the best. And we would have to agree (hide your phone…only kidding Nomes’ xx).
Discovered by Elite’s Beth Boldt at the Italia Conti stage school in London, 15-year-old Naomi’s Caribbean and Chinese heritage gave her a stunningly exotic edge, so much so that she became the first ever black model to grace the cover of British Vogue in 1987. Since then she has walked (and owned *snap*) catwalks for Armani and Westwood, and became part of that untouchable group of ‘90s models that truly earned their ‘super’ prefix.
With a career spanning over twenty years, Naomi has become bona fide fashion royalty and a veritable force to be reckoned with. From tantrums to tumbles, high profile court cases to hanging with Versace, Naomi is one sartorial powerhouse and we wish her the happiest of birthdays.
Here are some of her best bits:
It will go down in fashion history as the greatest tumble of all times. Before Madonna’s Brit moment there was Naomi Campbell in Vivienne Westwood. It was dramatic, it drew a collective *gasp*, but what did NC do? Handled it like an absolute pro.
Naomi has always associated herself with charitable causes, but one of her most prolific moments was the much publicized embrace with South African president and civil rights leader Nelson Mandela in Cape Town back in 1998. He will forever be a man she holds in the very highest regard, and in Ms Campbell’s world, that’s pretty huge.
‘Mandela always said to me: “Use yourself to help other people.”’
When Naomi was still a newbie, the revered model Christy Turlington took the fledgling Ms Campbell under her wing. Once teamed with Canadian beauty Linda Evangelista, the three became the most revered BFF trinity in history, striding down runways and not getting out of bed for less than ten grand…allegedly.
Naomi’s closest working relationship with a designer was with Gianni Versace, whom she counted as a mentor and friend. After being introduced by Christy Turlington when only 16, Naomi would later go on walk in multiple Versace shows and became both confidante and muse to this proflic and unforgettable talent.
George Michael’s iconic track Freedom!’90 gave rise to the music video that defined an era. Starring Naomi, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, and Christy Turlington, the vid saw the models lip-syncing along to the now all we have to doooo now anthemic lyrics. Then, Gianni Versace took it a step further by sending all four girls down his 1991 runway with the song accompanying those signature strides. History. Made.
Naomi has one enviable rolodex of mates on speed-dial, none more so than the equally stunning Miss Kate Moss. The London girls found solace in each other working hectic schedules during the whirlwind ‘90s, so much so that Naomi often refers to Mossy as being like her ‘little sister’. Too cute.