As modeling legends go, Naomi Campbell has secured a special place at the very top of fashion history. The Streatham, London native’s stratospheric rise began when she was 15 and shopping in London’s Covent Garden, where she was approached by an agent. It didn’t take long before the South London native landed on magazine covers, became the muse to Gianni Versace and Azzedine Alaïa, and showed off her signature walk— considered the best in fashion – in Milan, Paris, and New York. Who can forget her strutting down Isaac Mizrahi’s runway in Unzipped, cloaked in a full-length fur that she elegantly drops to reveal a sexy sequined mini-dress?
Campbell was the first black model to appear on the covers of Time magazine and French and Russian Vogues, and the first British black model to star on the cover of British Vogue. She created memorable fashion images with the world’s best photographers from Steven Meisel to Herb Ritts and Peter Lindbergh.
She also starred in George Michael’s iconic Freedom! ’90 video alongside four other supermodels and recently reprised the moment at Marc Jacobs’s birthday bash. Campbell describes her personal style as “influenced by both the dynamic, ever-changing nature of street culture and the music scene.” That said, being a fashion icon today goes beyond sartorial choices. She has successfully extended her repertoire with roles in Lee Daniels’s hit shows Empire and Star,to critical acclaim. She also recently joined British Vogue as a contributing editor, a role that has allowed her to interview the likes of Apple’s Jony Ive and London mayor Sadiq Khan. Her charity and activism speak for themselves, from spearheading Fashion for Relief since 2005 to becoming a pioneer in the right for diversity and equality in fashion.
All this, and so much more, make Naomi Campbell the perfect Fashion Icon of 2018.