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V&A unveils further details for upcoming Naomi Campbell exhibition

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Naomi Campbell press launch for 'Naomi. In Fashion' exhibition Credits: Dave Benett / Getty Images for the Victoria & Albert Museum

British supermodel Naomi Campbell 40-year career in the fashion industry will be the focus of an upcoming exhibition at the V&A Museum in London.

Opening in June, ‘Naomi: In Fashion’ will mark the first exhibition charting the model’s career and will draw inspiration from Campbell’s own extensive wardrobe of haute couture and ready-to-wear ensembles from key moments in her career along with loans from designer archives and objects from the V&A’s collections.

The exhibition will include around 100 looks and accessories, featuring designs by Alexander McQueen, Azzedine Alaïa, Burberry, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Gianni and Donatella Versace, Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano, Karl Lagerfeld, Kenneth Ize, Torishéju Dumi, Valentino, Virgil Abloh, Vivienne Westwood, and Yves Saint Laurent.

In addition to the garments and fashion accessories, fashion photography will feature prominently in the exhibition, including imagery from photographers such as Campbell Addy, Nick Knight, Peter Lindbergh and Steven Meisel, as well as a selection of photography curated by Edward Enninful, former editor-in-chief of British Vogue.

Naomi Campbell Credits: Steven Meisel

Naomi Campbell exhibition to open in London in June

Highlights will include a dramatic 1989 Thierry Mugler car-inspired corset, Campbell’s look from Sarah Burton’s last Alexander McQueen show, a pink Valentino ensemble worn at the 2019 Met Gala and a pair of staggeringly high Vivienne Westwood platform shoes worn by Campbell during her famous 1993 catwalk fall.

There will also be an ensemble from Virgil Abloh’s final collection during the Off-White show held shortly after his untimely death, a hand-embroidered dress and cape from Rizman Ruzaini embellished with over 35,000 crystals and a custom pink ensemble by Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino worn by Campbell at the Met Gala.

The exhibition will also recognise Campbell’s mentors, including prominent public figures such as Nelson Mandela, “who inspired her to use her platform for social change,” along with Bethann Hardison and Iman. There will also be a spotlight on her on-going active support of emerging creatives, through events such as Arise Fashion Week and her global initiative Emerge, founded in 2022.

Sonnet Stanfill, senior curator of fashion at the V&A, said in a statement: “Naomi Campbell’s extraordinary career intersects with the best of high fashion. She is recognised worldwide as a supermodel, activist, philanthropist, and creative collaborator, making her one of the most prolific and influential figures in contemporary culture.

“We’re delighted to be working with Naomi Campbell on this project and to celebrate her career with our audiences.”

‘Naomi: In Fashion’ exhibition at the V&A - June 22 to April 6

The ‘Naomi: In Fashion’ exhibition will open with high-impact clips of Campbell on the catwalk, illustrating her legendary ‘walk’, while setting the scene for the supermodel’s 40-year career. This will lead into ‘Becoming Naomi’ stepping back in time to her childhood growing up in south London and performing in music videos for artists including Bob Marley and Culture Club. It will also highlight how she was discovered at the age of 15 by model agent Beth Boldt while out shopping with schoolfriends and her early years in the industry fronting Vogue cover and walking in London, Paris, Milan and New York. A highlight from this section will be a feathered cocktail dress by Yves Saint Laurent from his autumn/winter 1987 collection.

Next up is the ‘Supermodel’ section, a term coined in the early 1990s, which will feature an Andy Warhol-print dress from Gianni Versace’s spring/summer 1991 show and a 1989 Thierry Mugler car-inspired corset made from plastic, metal and acrylic.

Mugler Archives Credits: Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The next section focuses on Campbell’s personal and professional relationship with the late Tunis-born, Paris-based designer Azzedine Alaïa, who the supermodel called ‘Papa’. Alaïa opened up his residence and studio to the young model, who, with her mother's permission, lived for a time with the designer, his partner and their dogs. Visitors can expect to see a leopard-print knitwear bodysuit from Alaïa’s autumn/winter 1991 ready-to-wear collection, famously captured in a photograph by Herb Ritts in 1991 for Interview magazine.

The exhibition also highlights Campbell’s time in New York, with looks from Marc Jacobs and Anna Sui, as well as her early collaborations with fashion houses, including Dolce & Gabbana, Vivienne Westwood and Jean Paul Gautier, and some of the iconic images she has starred in.

The V&A also added that they will spotlight highly publicised biographical moments, such as when Campbell served a period of court ordered community service. This will be highlighted with the Dolce & Gabbana gown that Campbell wore on her final day of community service in response to the paparazzi capturing her arrival and departure every day throughout.

‘Naomi: In Fashion’ exhibition at V&A South Kensington will run from June 22, 2024 to April 6, 2025.

Vivienne Westwood shoes Credits: Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Naomi Campbell