To commemorate ESSENCE Magazine’s golden anniversary, iconic supermodel Naomi Campbell, who turns 50 years in the month of May, graces the May/June Issue of ESSENCE in her first-ever self-shot and styled pictures.
In this special Issue, the supermodel shares her story and much-loved portrait of herself taken in social isolation recently during the COVID-19 pandemic. Report has it that with the aid of her iPhone, Ms. Campbell for the very first time ever, shot and styled all of her pictures used for a cover.
Excerpts from ESSENCE Magazine:
On getting featured on the anniversary issue, Naomi Campbell says:
“It was a very special honour and unusual experience for me to be able to shoot and style my own cover for ESSENCE’s 50th anniversary issue”… “While it was a sad reminder for me of all the people in media and production who are not able to work due to the coronavirus, it also brought me hope and encouragement to know that our people and our infrastructures are resilient.”
On the creative process, ESSENCE Chief Content & Creative Officer, MoAna Luu says:
“Bringing this issue to life in the midst of a global pandemic represents everything that Black women are and illustrates how we will continue to show up for them in the best and worst of times, as we have done for the past five decades,” Luu said.
“We are resilient and we wanted to show that resilience. The same resilience that motivated our team to make this cover happen. The same resilience that resulted in Naomi and I relying on Face Time to talk through how this shoot would be brought to life because I couldn’t be there with her in person. The same resilience that allowed us to close this issue while working entirely remote for the first time in our brand’s history.”
“Naomi shot herself with an iPhone,” Luu added. “We couldn’t send a team so, she had to do her hair, her makeup and her styling herself. We were on late night calls trying to figure out how she was going to do the shoot with her phone in her hand. Then, we had to do a re-shoot because the photos didn’t come out how we imagined. So, there were technical challenges, there were human challenges; but Naomi did it all without asking any questions, she never quit. What’s amazed me the most about working with Naomi to do this cover shoot during the pandemic is the way that she embraces the fact that she truly controls her own narrative. She’s never waited for people to do for her; she’s created her own opportunities. She’s been a pioneer in so many ways and now she’s a pioneer in ESSENCE history because she’s completely and literally controlling her own narrative in this issue from the cover to the in-book story. “
Full cover story on May/June 2020 Issue ESSENCE.
Photo Credit: Naomi | Essence