Naomi Campbell appears on the front of this month’s issue of Essence Magazine, but the photo is hardly just another cover for the supermodel. Not only does the May/June issue of Essence represent milestones for both Campbell and the magazine, it was also styled and shot by Campbell on her iPhone. Titled Self Portrait In Isolation, the stunning cover proves that great fashion and photos can still take place even in the middle of a global pandemic. It also helps to have her cheekbones.
Both Campbell and the women’s magazine are turning 50 this month and frankly, neither look their age. Campbell will ring in her birthday on May 22 and enter another decade as one of the most in-demand models in the world. As for Essence, after five decades in business it remains a leading women’s magazine and continues to offer a voice and representation for women of colour.
Campbell shared the beautiful and intimate cover on her Instagram, which features the supermodel in vintage Chloe by the late Karl Lagerfeld. Writing about her experience of honouring Essence during a time of great fear and uncertainty, Campbell noted that her historic photo shoot was bittersweet.
“It was a very special honor and unusual experience for me to be able to shoot and style my own cover for Essence’ 50th Anniversary Issue on my iPhone,” wrote Campbell. “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. We are rooted in knowledge and creativity and continue to take back full control of our narratives. We will come out of this stronger than ever.”
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It was a very special honor and unusual experience for me to be able to shoot and style my own cover for Essence' 50th Anniversary Issue.on my I phone . 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. We are rooted in knowledge and creativity and continue to take back full control of our narratives. We will come out of this stronger than ever. Happy Anniversary @Essence magazine . As we both turn the century together ♥️🎂♥️🎂🎉🎉🎉🙏🏾 wearing : vintage @Chloe by Karl Lagerfeld
Marking her seventh time on the front of Essence, Campbell made history as the first cover star to photograph their own front-page image. The supermodel and philanthropist did her own hair, makeup and styling for the shoot, which she photographed around her home. Campbell FaceTimed with Essence’s chief content and creative officer MoAna Luu throughout the shoot to ensure she was getting the right look and feel for the important anniversary cover.
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#Repost @essence ・・・ On the eve of her 50th birthday, @Naomi covers our 50th Anniversary issue, shot by the icon herself with an iPhone while in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. “For fifty years, ESSENCE has showcased the brilliance, beauty, power and resilience of Black women. Now more than ever, we’re leaning into that very resilience during one of our nation’s darkest hours. In chaos, we still find peace. In uncertainty, we still find faith. In solitude, we still find each other. 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.” – MoAna Luu, ESSENCE Chief Content & Creative Officer For more from our May/June 2020 50th Anniversary issue, tap the 🔗 in our bio. #ESSENCE50 Chief Content & Creative Officer: @Moanaluu Cover Star & Photographer: @naomi Cover Story by: @lolaogunnaike Creative Director: @nialawrence_nyc Entertainment Director: @corimurray wearing here young designer from Ghana @stevefrenchofficial_ @steviefrenchie one of my babies that will go to @gucci for 1 year for the Gucci design fellowship program ♥️🙏🏾 #naomiafrica🇷🇼
In addition to her work with Essence, Campbell has been releasing new content weekly for her fans. She debuted her YouTube series No Filter With Naomi in March and invited fellow supermodel Cindy Crawford onto the show as her first guest. Speaking to each other via webcam, the women discussed their incredible careers and the ongoing global pandemic.
“I don’t think it’s ever gonna go back the same, in terms of the hygiene. For me, never. But when we get this, I will call it a new reset because I really felt like the planet, Mother Nature, needed a break,” said Campbell, who surprised followers when she shared a picture of herself in early March wearing a mask and a protective gear in an airport. In retrospect, good call. “I felt like a lot of gluttony and excess that this truly was just like, It’s too much. This being still, I’m loving it. I don’t love the circumstances that people are going through. The deaths, the friends that I’ve lost or friends or family that I know that have lost loved ones. This is horrible.”
Campbell’s impressive guest roster has included Serena and Venus Williams, Diddy, Anna Wintour, Ashley Graham, Sharon Stone, Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton and Christy Turlington.