She’s one of the biggest supermodels of the last century — having helmed campaigns for every major fashion house and been the first Black woman to appear on the covers of Time, Vogue France and British Vogue — so when Naomi Campbell announced her first clothing collaboration, many were shocked at her choice of brand.
Ever since Pretty Little Thing announced the partnership back in July, onlookers have been watching with equal horror and intrigue at whether this fever dream would actually come to fruition — which it finally did last night.
Taking place at Cipriani 25 Broadway, the show welcomed Julia Fox, Alton Mason, Emily Ratajkowski, Lori Harvey, Cindy Kimberly, and Leni Klum, where they watched models strutting down the runway in plenty of slinky, floor-length cut-out gowns and sparkly party dresses. They also watched Campbell close the show in a striking halterneck mesh gown that was adorned with diamantes.
“I’m always nervous when I walk,” Campbell told an interviewer later at the event. “But I was extra, extra, extra nervous today,” she added, nodding to her star-studded FROW. The legendary model also deflected questions on fast fashion’s deeply unsustainable practices, before interjecting: “It’s a journey of change. Sustainability will come. It will have to.”
In a recent interview with WWD, the 53-year-old explained how the controversial collaboration came about. “Alex Avant, the son of late Clarence Avant — or Beloved Uncle Clarence — reached out to me. Before, I felt that it wasn’t the right timing for me. Now, I hope that this is something Pretty Little Thing will continue to do. And that’s something I would like to help them with.” As long-time friends with PLT founder Umar Kamani, it’s likely the business titan also helped engineer the unusual link-up.
Campbell also addressed criticism that she is using her platform to promote such a problematic company.
“I understand people’s criticism,” she said. “I understand what people are going to say, but I took it from a standpoint of getting to know the audience of the younger generation and being able to share my platform.
“There are so many other fast-fashion brands out there — do people say anything about other models when they work with them?” she continued. “Do they say anything when other Caucasian models have worked with fast-fashion brands and done collaborations? They’ve said not a word. They’ve praised them. So why are they coming for me?”
In fact, Campbell went as far as to call herself a “changemaker”, adding that it was “a great way to effect change in the industry in getting my emerging designers recognised and seeing them on a global platform”.
Regardless of the outcry, the collaboration is now available to buy at prettylittlething.com. Prices range from £10 to £120, with the clothing ranging from sizes 4 to 30.