Naomi Campbell will be the sole focus of an upcoming exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, titled Naomi, which will explore the life and decades long career of the supermodel through fashion, photography, and storytelling.
This will be the first time the V&A has organized an exhibition around a model, and Campbell has been working with the show’s curator, Sonnet Stanfill, to bring it to life. Naomi will feature over 100 pieces of clothing, including some from the model’s own wardrobe. In addition, designers have loaned the museum looks from throughout her career, and designs from Chanel, Virgil Abloh, Alexander McQueen and more will be on display. “We’re telling the story of a career through clothes—clothes that are extraordinary,” Stanfill told Vogue, confirming only that Campbell’s 2019 Met Gala ensemble, designed by Pierpaolo Picciolu for Valentino has made the cut.
The show, which will be a “broad survey of past and present,” will also feature an instillation of fashion photographer, curated by Edward Enninful. Stanfill called Naomi, a “layered story about a career and life that started in London,” that will cover both the model’s life and career. Designers, like Azzedine Alaïa, with whom Campbell had a more personal relationship, will be featured as well. Campbell lived with Alaïa in Paris during the beginning of her career and affectionally referred to him as “Papa.” In addition, Campbell’s work as a philanthropist will be highlighted, including her relationship with Nelson Mandela, and her work with bringing more diversity to the fashion industry.
Stanfill was adamant not to call Naomi a retrospective, as Campbell is still extremely active as a model. In fact, he hinted that more recent pieces from Campbell’s career may also make it into the show. Stanfill and his team could be adding to the exhibition “up until the day before” it opens on June 22, 2024, since the model will likely walk during the fall 2024 and couture seasons as she continues to add to her legacy.