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Nearly 40 years into her storied career, Naomi Campbell is still a runway staple at the most prominent brands around the world: Versace, Schiaparelli, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen. But this year, one fashion show was different. She wasn't just walking the runway; the marquee bore her name. On Tuesday, 5 Sept., at New York City's famed Cipriani 25 Broadway, the legendary supermodel debuted a 70-piece collection for PrettyLittleThing, designed in collaboration with Edvin Thompson of Theophilio and Victor Anate of Vicnate. The choice to work with two Black artists was intentional. "For me, it's where I'm at in my life, sharing my platform with those who are so talented who don't get the chance in getting the opportunities and having the light shine on them," Campbell told POPSUGAR backstage.
"The world has taken from our culture long enough. We need now to own all these things that have been taken from us."
Models walked around a mirrored runway in chainmail minidresses, structured suiting layered under faux-fur coats, and intricate crystal-beaded skirts. Styled with strappy sandals and black cat-eye sunglasses, the collection felt confident, glamorous, and timeless, much like Campbell's own wardrobe. "I love the white dress," she said, referring to a cowl neck tiered-skirt design that looks like something she would've worn to party with Kate Moss in the late '90s. "For me, it was just so easy and comfortable and sexy and chic." Her style repertoire includes plenty of similar dresses, all of which she's excited to pass down to her daughter one day. "She'll have a lot," the mother-of-two quips, adding coyly, "you'll understand more come mid-October."
Dressed in a floor-length, embellished, backless gown, Campbell delivered her signature walk to thunderous applause from the crowd, which included Julia Fox, Lori Harvey, Emily Ratajkowski, and Teyana Taylor. Afrobeats artist Davido closed the show performing his worldwide hit "If" as Campbell danced joyfully in her seat. She was thrilled to feature the Nigerian-born musical genre at an event on the NYFW calendar — in one of many displays of diasporic unity.
Black cultural ownership was top of mind for "The Super Models" star. "The world is looking at our culture," she said. "The world has taken from our culture long enough. We need now to own all these things that have been taken from us."