Naomi Campbell - Vanguard Award

International supermodel, activist and philanthropist Naomi Campbell is one of the most prolific and influential profiles of contemporary culture today.

Born in London, England, Naomi was discovered at age 15, and made an immediate impact in the modeling world, which she has sustained for over three decades. Throughout her illustrious career, she has fronted the covers of more than a thousand magazines and has been featured in advertising campaigns for celebrated luxury houses including Burberry, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent and Valentino. Her instantly iconic runway walk showcasing the collections of Chanel, Azzedine Alaia, Christian Dior and Versace has made her a global sensation.

Naomi has championed the industry receiving numerous accolades. 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. Naomi is a passionate advocate for diversity, starting the Diversity Coalition with Bethann Hardison and Iman in 2013 to tackle racial diversity in the fashion industry. In 2018, Naomi received the honor of two Fashion Icon Awards–one presented by GQ and the other by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). In 2019, Naomi was honored by the British Fashion Council with a Fashion Icon Award in celebration of her outstanding contribution to the industry.

Today, Naomi is undoubtedly solidifying her place as a cultural innovator–using her incredible platform and success for positive change across industries around the world. Naomi’s first steps in philanthropy began with her friendship with the late President Nelson Mandela in 1993. In 1997, President Mandela named Naomi an “Honorary Granddaughter” for her endless activism. 2018 saw the continuation of her work in South Africa as she co-hosted Global Citizen’s New York Festival and co-produced the organization’s benchmark event, Mandela 100.

Naomi’s charity work has a strong focus on education and the empowerment of youths and women–her campaigns consists of helping develop alternative industries such as fashion, tech, business, entertainment and arts in Africa. In 2018, Naomi became executive producer of Arise Fashion Week, one of Africa’s most respected fashion showcases, which brings together, nurtures and presents the top fashion talents from the continent’s 54 countries. Naomi is passionate about developing the African fashion industry, particularly in fostering international business partnerships that grow the market. In 2019, Naomi was the headline speaker at Forbes Woman Africa’s Leading Women Summit, and she spearheaded the Gucci Changemakers program in Africa, launching the educational program in four countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. In the same year, Naomi gave a keynote speech at the Africa Netpreneur Prize in Ghana – an entrepreneur program in Africa led by the Jack Ma Foundation, with Ban Ki-moon, Graca Machel and Jack Ma on the advisory board.

Human rights and global health–specifically for women and children–have been critical sectors of Naomi’s charity work. In partnership with the United Nations, she has supported the International Women’s Day’s Peace March which aims to end violence against women. In 2018, Naomi launched The Lesotho HIV and Health ‘Situation Room’ campaign, alongside the Deputy Prime Minister–an initiative to offer sexual health service and education for the youths of Lesotho.

Naomi launched her charity Fashion For Relief in 2005, which has raised millions for disaster relief and humanitarian causes around the globe, including child refugee crises, maternal health, Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake, the Japan earthquake and tsunami, Mayors Fund for London and more. The organization has presented fashion shows, charity galas and pop-up stores in New York, London, Cannes, Moscow, Mumbai and Dar es Salaam. For more information, visit target="_blank".