Naomi Campbell is set to be honoured with the Fashion Icon accolade at the 2019 British Fashion Awards.
Naomi Campbell will be honoured with the Fashion Icon accolade at the 2019 British Fashion Awards.
The 49-year-old supermodel recently celebrated 30 years of working in the industry and she has now been unveiled as the recipient of the British Fashion Council's (BFC) 2019 honour in recognition of her contribution to the industry, her impressive career and philanthropic work.
And Naomi - who became the first black British model to appear on the cover of British Vogue in 1987 and the first black model to appear on the cover of French Vogue a year later - feels ''blessed'' to be awarded the prestigious accolade, which was previously awarded to Donatella Versace in 2017, because an icon is someone she believes has a ''special aura''.
She told British Vogue: ''This is a very emotional award to me, I feel blessed and humble.
''I would say an icon is someone who has a special aura, but also a presence and wisdom.
''I have always strived to give people from all backgrounds, all colour and cultures, courage through my words and my actions.''
The British Fashion Council's chief executive, Caroline Rush, explained Naomi was chosen to receive the award later this year because she has always ''contributed through her career to change for the better''.
Caroline told British Vogue: ''Naomi has made an incredible contribution to the fashion industry throughout her career as a supermodel, as well as through her global philanthropist work with charities and incredible fundraising efforts for a more diverse and equal future, especially in Africa.
''Naomi is an incredible ambassador for Africa, building bridges between nations and putting African designers at the forefront of the global fashion community through events such as ARISE Fashion Week in Lagos. She is an inspiration to many of us and has contributed through her career to change for the better.''
Following the announcement, Naomi appeared on BBC's 'Newsnight' and while she thinks there is increasingly more diversity in areas of the fashion industry, it is still a ''big deal'' to see a woman of colour on a magazine cover when it ''shouldn't be'' that way.
She told the programme: ''It's amazing to see this diversity that's happening on the runways and in magazine covers.
''To see more than one woman of colour on magazine cover is a big deal but it really shouldn't be. It's not a trend and people shouldn't feel if they don't use diversity, they're not doing what's right.''
The annual British Fashion Awards will take place on 2 December at London's Royal Albert Hall.
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