LONDON — The second half of 2019 belongs to Naomi Campbell, who will receive the Fashion Icon Award from the British Fashion Council in December and who plans to bring her Fashion for Relief charity runway show back to London in September.
Campbell will scoop the honor at the Fashion Awards 2019 on Dec. 2 at Royal Albert Hall. The BFC said she will be recognized for her contribution to the fashion industry, her career as a supermodel, her philanthropic work “and efforts for a more diverse and equal future, especially in Africa.”
The Fashion Icon Award celebrates outstanding contributions to the fashion industry. Last year, Campbell accepted the Fashion Icon award at the CFDA Fashion Awards.
“Naomi represents female empowerment, activism and glamour and her voice is used for great impact,” Caroline Rush, chief executive officer of the BFC, told a gathering at The Ritz in Piccadilly. “We look forward to celebrating with her in London in December.”
The Fashion Awards is the main fund-raiser for the BFC’s charitable and talent support network.
The award is as much for Campbell’s career as one of the first black models to achieve success on international runways and magazine covers, as it is for her charity work.
“This is a very emotional award for me to receive,” Campbell said Monday. “Although I spend so much of my life in different parts of the world, I think people sometimes forget that I’m from Brixton. I’m a South London girl! Seems so long ago when I was asked if I wanted to be a model, in fact it was within walking distance of where we stand now.
“I was lucky with the opportunities I got, especially as the first black model to appear on the cover of French Vogue in 1988, which was a very special privilege. But after that, it was quite a long gap, so I never forget how much work there is to do still in respect of diversity and equal opportunities.”
The model said she was also happy to be back in London with Fashion for Relief. “We’re also looking to inspire across the world. Hopefully, we can be the leading lights and a source of positivity for so many young people in the world today,” she told WWD.
Campbell began working with Nelson Mandela in 1993, and in 1997 he named her Honorary Granddaughter for her activism. In 2013, she launched a campaign called Diversity Coalition to address racism in the fashion industry, and in 2018 she presented a tribute to Mandela at the Global Citizen Festival in New York City.
She has worked to promote African designers in the global fashion community and coproduced this year’s Arise Fashion Week in Lagos, Nigeria.
Campbell founded Fashion for Relief in 2005, and has raised millions of dollars for disaster relief in countries such as Japan, Haiti and the U.S.
Fashion for Relief has been staged all around the world, including New York, Dar es Salaam and the South of France. This year, Fashion for Relief will return to its roots, with a catwalk show during London Fashion Week in September.