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Campbell Calling: Inside the Upcoming Exhibition That Covers Naomi Campbell’s Extraordinary Career Across Four Decades

A forthcoming exhibition in London covers supermodel Naomi Campbell’s extraordinary career across four decades.

Photo: Steven Meisel

Running from June 22 until April 6, 2025 at the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington, Naomi: In Fashion will be the first exhibition of its kind. Produced in collaboration with the supermodel herself, it centers her perspective through garments, photography, and more. With around 100 looks and accessories from Campbell’s own closet, visitors can expect to be dazzled by the display.

Naomi Campbell Exhibit

Photo: Dave Benett

“I’m honored to be asked by the V&A to share my life in clothes with the world,” Campbell said in a statement. From haute couture looks to ready-to-wear ensembles, an exciting range of pieces will serve as a visual narrative chronicling her unparalleled 40 years in the industry. Museum-goers will see designs by Azzedine Alaïa, Burberry, Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano, Karl Lagerfeld, and Virgil Abloh, to name a few. Highlights include a 1989 Thierry Mugler corset inspired by a car and the pink Valentino ensemble Campbell wore at the 2019 Met Gala. Even the Vivienne Westwood platform shoes she was wearing during her epic 1993 runway tumble will be in the spotlight.

Courtesy: Mugler Archives. Photo: Victoria and Albert Museum, London

“She is recognized worldwide as a supermodel, activist, philanthropist and creative collaborator. With such an active and expansive career there is so much to unpack, and one of the exciting challenges curating the exhibition is refining this down to decide what to display,” Elisabeth Murray, project curator at the V&A, tells Vogue Arabia. The exhibition opens with clips of Campbell’s legendary runway walks, establishing an energy fit for the subsequent depiction of what can only be described as a high-octane career. Visitors will then be invited to travel back in time, following Campbell through her childhood in 1970s South London, her ascent to supermodel stardom in the 90s, and her use of this public platform to advocate for social change.

Courtesy: Vivienne Westwood. Photo: Victoria and Albert Museum, London

In addition to the garments and accessories on view, photographs shot by Nick Knight, Steven Meisel, and Peter Lindbergh will be shown as part of a selection curated by former British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful. There will also be a section recognizing Campbell’s mentors, such as Nelson Mandela, who inspired her to champion the causes about which she remains passionate.

Naomi Campbell Exhibit

Courtesy: Versace. Photo: Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Years prior to famously fronting the 2007 “black issue” of Vogue Italia, the model was involved with the Black Girls Coalition alongside Bethann Hardison and Iman to support non-white talent in fashion. As viewers trace the evolution of Campbell’s activism, they arrive at coverage of her ongoing efforts to uplift diverse talent through initiatives like Arise Fashion Week, which celebrates African design, and Emerge, a platform to empower new creatives.

Naomi Campbell Exhibit

Photo: Orleans_Brading

Undoubtedly, Campbell’s personal involvement is what has so many people talking about this project months ahead of the opening. “We’re working closely with Naomi Campbell on the exhibition and she’s generously sharing her time and stories,” Murray says. “Woven throughout the exhibition in the labels, and in the exhibition book, will be anecdotes from Naomi Campbell, adding fresh insight into the much-loved garments on display.”
Originally published in the April 2024 issue of Vogue Arabia

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