Naomi Elaine Campbell is a model, singer, actress, and campaigner from the United Kingdom. She began her modeling career at the age of 15 after being discovered by a talent agency, and went on to become one of the most recognizable and sought-after models of the 1990s. She was one of only six models to be named a ‘Supermodel’ by the fashion industry at the time. Campbell, who is known for her exotic beauty and sharp features, has graced the pages of prominent American and European fashion magazines. She has modeled for ‘Cosmopolitan,’ ‘Elle,’ and ‘Vogue,’ and was the first black woman to appear on the covers of ‘Vogue’ and ‘Time Magazine,’ in both French and British editions.’ Campbell is a multi-faceted personality who has expanded her career to encompass acting, music, and a range of business enterprises in addition to modeling. She also participates in a lot of charity work and regularly donates to numerous causes and events. She’s been involved in a number of controversies over her illustrious career. She went to treatment in 1999 after being addicted to drugs and alcohol. She’s also been linked to a slew of sexual assault lawsuits and scandals.
Childhood and Adolescence
Naomi Elaine Campbell was born on May 22, 1970, in Streatham, London, England, to Valerie Morris, a Jamaican dancer. When her mother was pregnant, her father abandoned her. Naomi eventually assumed her stepfather’s surname, Campbell, after her mother married another man. Pierre, her half-brother, was born in 1985.
Naomi Campbell spent her early years in Rome, where her mother worked as a dancer. Following their return to London, Campbell was left with her family while her mother toured across Europe with her dance ensemble called Fantastica.
She attended the Barbara Speake Stage School since she was three years old. Campbell enrolled in the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts when she was ten years old.
Career of Naomi Campbell
Naomi Campbell made her first public appearance in a music video for Bob Marley’s song “Is This Love” in 1978, when she was seven years old. She appeared in Culture Club’s music video for “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya” when she was 12 years old.
While window-shopping in a local mall in 1986, while still a student at Italia Conti Academy, she grabbed the notice of Beth Boldt, the head of the Synchro Model Agency. She was offered a job, and her career took off quickly. Campbell was featured on the cover of ‘British Elle’ just before her 16th birthday.
Her career evolved gradually over the next few years, as she walked the runway for designers such as Azzedine Alaa, Isaac Mizrahi, and Gianni Versace, and posed for photographers such as Peter Lindbergh and Bruce Weber.
Campbell, Linda Evangelista, and Christy Turlington established the trio “Trinity” in the late 1980s. The girls went on to become the most sought-after and well-known models of their day.
Campbell graced the cover of ‘British Vogue’ in December 1987, becoming the magazine’s first black cover model since 1966. She was the first black cover girl of ‘French Vogue’ in August 1988. She was on the cover of ‘American Vogue’ the following year.
In 1990, she starred in George Michael’s music video for “Freedom! ’90.” By that time, she and her fellow models Turlington, Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, and Evangelista had formed an elite group of models that the fashion industry dubbed “supermodels.”
In 1992, she starred in a music video for Michael Jackson’s song “In the Closet” as his love interest. In the same year, she appeared on the 100th anniversary cover of American Vogue alongside other famous models. She also appeared in Madonna’s book ‘Sex’ that year, which was a contentious move.
Naomi Campbell dabbled in a variety of disciplines in the mid-1990s. ‘Swan,’ an English novel, was published by the English beauty. Caroline Upche ghost-wrote the novel, which garnered dismal reviews. During this time, she released her album ‘Baby Woman’ and appeared in the films ‘Girl 6’ and ‘Miami Rhapsody’ in minor roles.
She secured a partnership with Wella’s Cosmopolitan Cosmetics in 1999 and released a line of her signature fragrances. Around this time, Campbell also posed for ‘Playboy’ and ‘British Vogue.’
In 2007, she walked the runway at Versailles for Dior’s 60th anniversary fashion show. The next year, she appeared with a few fellow black models on the cover of an all-black issue of the Italian Vogue. The classic shot was clicked by Steven Meisel.
She appeared with Iman and Liya Kebede on the cover of ‘Essence’ for its 40th-anniversary issue in 2011. In March 2013, the English model graced the cover of ‘Numéro Russia.’ Soon after, she appeared on ‘The Face,’ a reality television modeling competition show.
In 2014, she starred as a supermodel coach on Fox8’s ‘The Face Australia.’ She was the show-stopper at Zac Posen’s Fall/Winter 2015 show during New York Fashion Week. Campbell also joined the cast of Fox’s ‘Empire’ as Camilla Marks that year. In the same year, she also appeared in two episodes of ‘American Horror Story: Hotel.’
She walked in Versace’s Spring/Summer 2018 fashion show in September 2017 and was also included in the collection’s advertising.
She walked the runway during Kim Jones’ final male fashion event for Louis Vuitton in February 2018. Campbell featured on the cover of ‘British GQ’ in April of the same year, alongside rapper Skepta.
Major Projects of Naomi Campbell
Naomi Campbell was featured in the May issue of ‘Vogue’ Australia in 2014. She also appeared in special issues of ‘Vogue’ Japan in September and ‘Vogue’ Turkey in November of that year, both of which honored Campbell and other supermodels.
Philanthropic Contributions of Naomi Campbell
Naomi Campbell is a supporter of a variety of philanthropic organizations. She has long been a supporter of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.
She established the nonprofit We Love Brazil in 2005 to generate cash for the battle against poverty in Brazil. In the same year, she established Fashion for Relief to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina and other natural and man-made calamities.
The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood named the English model as its goodwill ambassador in 2009.
Scandal Over Blood Diamonds
Naomi Campbell testified in a war crimes trial against ex-Liberian president Charles Taylor at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in August 2010. Taylor allegedly gave her a “blood diamond” in 1997 during a Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund event, and she was asked to authenticate the facts.
Campbell was initially adamant about not testifying. Later, she said that two nameless guys gave her some “dirty-looking” stones late at night. She went on to say that she had no idea the gems came from Taylor.
Carole White, the model’s former agent, and Jeremy Ratcliffe, the former director of Children’s Fund, both testified against the model.
Cases of Assault
Naomi Campbell pled guilty in January 2007 to abusing her former housekeeper, who said the model had thrown a personal organizer at her throughout the previous year.
She was charged with attacking two police officers at Heathrow Airport in London in 2008. Campbell was sentenced to 200 hours of community service after pleading guilty. The model was also fined £2,300 and barred from flying with British Airways for the rest of her life.
After pleading guilty to assaulting a paparazzo photographer in 2009, Campbell was sentenced to six months probation in July 2015.
Personal Experiences of Naomi Campbell
Naomi Campbell has never met her real father and considers record producers Quincy Jones and Chris Blackwell to be father figures. Campbell was once referred to as Nelson Mandela’s “honorary granddaughter” by the former South African president.
In terms of her personal life, the model was engaged to U2 bassist Adam Clayton in 1993. She became engaged to racing driver Flavio Briatore after her divorce from Clayton. Until their eventual separation in 2003, the pair enjoyed an on-again, off-again relationship.
Campbell was rumored to be dating multimillionaire Louis C. Camilleri in July 2017.
Estimated Net Worth
Naomi Campbell has a net worth of $80 million.