NAOMI: A Fashion Icon’s Legacy Unveiled at V&A Museum Exhibition

The latest fashion exhibition at the V&A museum in South Kensington is not just a tribute to a spectacular fashion career but a celebration of an iconic figure in the industry. Naomi Campbell, known by many simply as Naomi, is the subject of this blockbuster retrospective that showcases her influence and impact on the world of fashion.


NAOMI: A Fashion Icon's Legacy Unveiled at V&A Museum Exhibition

The exhibition is a comprehensive look at Campbell’s remarkable journey from a teenage sensation to a global supermodel. It explores her groundbreaking work on the runway, her iconic campaigns for top fashion houses, and her role in redefining beauty standards in the industry.


Campbell herself has stated that the exhibition is not about her, but about the clothes. However, it is impossible to separate the two, as her presence and influence are deeply intertwined with the fashion world. Her image-making has shaped the way we view beauty, diversity, and representation in the industry.


Visitors to the exhibit can expect to see a stunning display of Campbell’s most memorable looks, from her early days as a fresh-faced model to her current status as a fashion icon. The exhibition also delves into her philanthropic work and advocacy for diversity and inclusion in the industry.


With record-breaking success in previous retrospectives dedicated to designers, the V&A has once again hit the mark by honoring a singular model whose impact transcends the runway. Campbell’s legacy is not just about the clothes she wears, but the statement she makes with each strut down the catwalk.


In a world where fashion is constantly evolving, Naomi Campbell remains a timeless figure whose influence will continue to shape the industry for years to come. The V&A exhibit is a testament to her enduring legacy and a must-see for anyone with a passion for fashion.


The highly anticipated retrospective exhibition of Naomi Campbell at the V&A Museum in London drew in a star-studded crowd, with Kate Moss leading the charge. The iconic supermodels first crossed paths in 1992 during a photoshoot in Los Angeles, where Campbell was struck by Moss’s quiet demeanor and stunning beauty. Since then, their careers have flourished in parallel, with both becoming legends in the fashion industry.


Naomi Campbell's community service garment is shown in her V&A exhibition

Moss, known for her timeless style and effortless grace, was one of the first to explore the exhibition, taking in the array of iconic pieces on display. From slashed knit Alaïa dresses to Marc Jacobs’s designs for Perry Ellis, the retrospective showcased the highlights of Campbell’s illustrious career. Dressed in a sleek ensemble, Campbell exuded elegance with Bulgari haute joaillerie Serpenti necklaces and a tailored Boss dress, while Moss opted for a fluid slip dress paired with a cropped tuxedo jacket.


Joined by a host of fashion luminaries including Daphne Guinness, Sarah Burton, and Grace Jones, the duo reminisced about their past adventures as “wagons” in the ’90s and ’00s. Campbell, reflecting on the exhibition, expressed gratitude for the memories shared with legendary designers and the love stories behind each garment. Among these stories, the enduring bond between Campbell and Moss shines as one of the greatest romances in fashion history.


Upon entering the exhibition, guests are greeted with a montage of clips showcasing a young and fresh-faced Naomi Campbell strutting down various catwalks. From her playful and bouncy walk at an Alaïa show to her smooth and serious stride at a Versace show, these clips highlight Campbell’s early experimentation with her walk to fit the vision of different designers. As visitors progress through the exhibition, they witness Campbell’s walk evolve into her unmistakable signature style, solidifying her seismic influence in the fashion world.

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Moss, known for her timeless style and effortless grace, was one of the first to explore the exhibition

What sets this exhibition apart is its focus on a living fashion model, a first for the V&A museum. Through objects and garments from Campbell’s personal archive, the exhibition delves into key moments in her career and personal life. From her first headshots to her iconic haute couture ensembles and even her 2020 Covid-19 hazmat suit look, each piece tells a unique story of Campbell’s journey.


Among the standout pieces are the blue Vivienne Westwood platform shoes worn during Campbell’s famous catwalk tumble in 1993, the lavender tunic and jacket from Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel collection, and the dress she wore as the first Black woman on the cover of Vogue Paris in 1988. Not shying away from controversy, the exhibition also features the grey bedazzled Dolce and Gabbana dress worn by Campbell on her final day of community service, a moment documented in her feature for W Magazine titled “The Naomi Diaries.”


The exhibition pays homage to the late Azzedine Alaïa, a designer who shared a close bond with Campbell and played a significant role in her career. From the leopard-print knitwear bodysuit to video clips of Campbell’s energetic catwalk appearances for Alaïa, the display showcases their unique connection. Additionally, the exhibition highlights Campbell’s activism work, including her advocacy for race equality and her relationship with Nelson Mandela, who affectionately referred to her as his “honorary granddaughter.”


In the upstairs room, visitors are treated to a 360 projection of Campbell’s most iconic fashion photography moments curated by Edward Enninful. From her groundbreaking Vogue covers to her intimate moments captured on camera, this segment offers a glimpse into Campbell’s multifaceted career and influence in the fashion industry.


Overall, “NAOMI: In Fashion” at the V&A museum is a must-see for fashion enthusiasts and admirers of Naomi Campbell alike. With its comprehensive exploration of Campbell’s career, personal life, and lasting impact, this exhibition is a celebration of one of the industry’s most legendary figures.