Naomi Campbell has brushed off her share of name calling over the years, but on Sept. 19 she will be honored with the first Fashion 4 Development Angel Award at the group’s annual First Ladies luncheon.
Recognizable as she is as a supermodel, Campbell has been more low-key about being a philanthropist. Campbell will be saluted at The Pierre for her charitable efforts for Fashion for Relief, an initiative she started in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina, which decimated New Orleans. With a few days notice, she orchestrated a benefit fashion show, corralling models and runway looks from designer friends to help hurricane victims. In the years since, Fashion for Relief has held shows in New York, London, Cannes, Moscow, Mumbai and Dar es Salaam to raise millions of dollars for various environmental and humanitarian causes worldwide. Campbell stepped into charity work with Nelson Mandela in 1993. Via Instagram, she is making an appeal for Save the Children’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.
F4D founder Evie Evangelou said, “Naomi is a force of nature and a truly remarkable woman who has turned her authority in the fashion industry into a powerful tool to drive positive social change. Her mission is to make the world a better place and act as a messenger of peace has inspired this award.”
Campbell was the first black model to appear on the covers of Time, French Vogue and Russian Vogue, and she was also the first British black model to appear on the cover of British Vogue. Her friend Edward Enninful, the newly installed editor in chief at British Vogue, has enlisted her help as a contributing editor. She maintains a recurring role on Fox’s drama “Empire” and FX’s “American Horror Story: Hotel.” Campbell headlines H&M’s new fall video, lip-synching to “Wham Rap!” a tune by her friend George Michael. Walking confidently down a Tokyo street wearing a tailored H&M black jacket and pants, the model sings such lines as, “I don’t need you. If you don’t approve, who asked you to?”
Campbell won’t be the only model among the honorees, since Iman will be celebrated, as will Sybil Yurman, Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe and Simone Cipriani as well as newly appointed F4D’s Goodwill Ambassador Afef Jnifen, F4D’s Paris Goodwill Ambassador Farida Khelfa and F4D’s Special Envoy Beatrice Borromeo Casiraghi. Guests will also be paying tribute to Vogue Italia’s Franca Sozzani, a former F4D Goodwill Ambassador, who died in late December.