Model and philanthropist Naomi Campbell is joining Women Management, an agency within the Elite World Group network, WWD has learned exclusively.
The move marks a new chapter for Campbell as she evolves into a businesswoman and industry activist supporting emerging creative talent.
“I am absolutely thrilled to join Women Management. Together, in partnership with Elite World Group, we will change the game for fashion as we know it. For years, it’s been my personal mission to support creative talent in emerging markets. From Africa to India, to the Middle East and Europe, there are so many voices that deserve to be heard. It’s so important that the fashion industry looks beyond its core capitals to invest in this extraordinary talent. Working in true partnership with Women Management and Elite World Group, we will be able to leverage a powerful global network to help more people share their genius with the world. Anything is possible in this next chapter, and I can’t wait to get to work!”
“Naomi is an icon. A supermodel. An elemental force. She has shaped and redefined fashion and culture many times over. We’re honored that she’s returned to her roots at Women New York to continue her unrivaled career, and we are proud to work together to elevate talent from emerging markets around the globe,” said Akeem Rasool, image director, Women Management.
Founded in New York in 1988, Women Management is part of Elite World Group, which has garnered buzz over the last two years under chief executive officer Julia Haart, whose vision is for a talent media company that creates content and merchandise opportunities for its clients.
She launched in-house divisions to produce campaigns for brand clients including Bulgari, Calvin Klein and Prada, and create product lines across categories from food to fashion. The company’s first is streetwear brand inspired by the off-duty model look called E.1972 and designed by Haart.
Haart has driven awareness for the company through her Netflix show, “My Unorthodox Life,” and there has been speculation she is looking to take Elite World Group public.
Elite World Group’s 48 agencies include Women Management, Elite Model Management, The Society and Supreme Management, representing more than 5,400 models, actors, singers and artists in 52 countries, including Kendall Jenner and Irina Shayk.
EWG has offices in New York, L.A., Paris and Milan, and growing partnerships in other markets. In East and West Africa, it hosts the “Elite Model Look” competition.
EWG recently launched a virtual division to create virtual reality and augmented reality experiences using avatars of its models. In September, Haart teamed with Tommy Hilfiger’s private investment vehicle, HV Advisors, LLC, a subsidiary of Hilfiger Ventures, LLC, to grow the virtual division.
So far, avatars have been made of models Jasmine Sanders, Kelsey Merritt, Josephine Le Tutour and Coco Rocha.
Campbell could be next.
Women Management represents Mariacarla Boscono, Isabeli Fontana, Carmen Cass, Hanne Gaby and Coco Rocha, as well as next-gen models Sacha Quenby, Majesty Amare, Maryel Uchida and more. Campbell was briefly represented by the agency in the late 1990s.
The London-born supermodel has been working for more than three decades, walking runways for Chanel, Azzedine Alaïa, Christian Dior, and Versace, as well as appearing in thousands of magazines and advertising campaigns.
She was the first Black model to appear on the cover of Time magazine, French and Russian Vogue, as well as the first British Black model to appear on the cover of British Vogue. In 2013, Campbell started the Diversity Coalition with Bethann Hardison and Iman to tackle racial diversity in the fashion industry.
She has won numerous accolades and awards, most recently being named the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust “Platinum Jubilee Global Ambassador.”
Campbell has been an activist since the 1990s, when she met South African President Nelson Mandela, who called her his “honorary granddaughter.” In addition to working with the United Nations on behalf of human rights and global health, she’s focused on empowering young people and women by promoting industries such as fashion, tech, business, entertainment and arts in Africa. In 2018, Campbell became executive producer of Arise Fashion Week, which presents top fashion talents from the continent’s 54 countries.