Westfield shopping centre in November 2014
Supermodel Naomi Campbell has long been committed to using her privileged position to help others and now she is using her influence to aid in the ongoing battle against Ebola in West Africa.
Last week Naomi took over New York Fashion Week (NYFW) with her Fashion for Relief show, where her celebrity friends walked the catwalk to help raise much-needed funds the Ebola Survival Fund and the charities fighting the deadly disease.
Singer Mary J Blige was one of many stars who attended
this year's NYFW Fashion for Relief show
Ms Campbell, 44, set up Fashion for Relief back in 2005 in order to raise funds to help those whose lives were devastated by highly destructive Hurricane Katrina. Since then, the campaign has grown and has helped a range of causes worldwide over the past decade, with over £1.4 million being raised for victims of the Haitian earthquake at the last show.
Tonight Campbell is bringing Fashion for Relief to her hometown London, kicking off this year’s London Fashion Week. The show, which will take place at Somerset House, will feature clothes from the biggest fashion labels in the world including Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Givenchy, Alexander McQueen, Balmain, Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney.
Speaking about the event, Ms Campbell said: “I'm thrilled to return to London to open London Fashion Week for this very special cause close to my heart.” She continued, “The Fashion For Relief Show is an incredible event and this year we hope to raise more money than ever before. Raising awareness for Ebola and educating about its prevention is crucial to help prevent the spread of this deadly disease.”
Explaining her motivation to help those less fortunate than herself, Ms Campbell cited the influence that the late Nelson Mandela had on her. “Mandela always said to me: "Use yourself to help other people." I feel that now more strongly than ever before and I try to do that in the best way I can,” said the model.
A Fashion For Relief Auction will also be taking place tonight, where clothes donated by celebrities will be auctioned off to raise further funds.
Back in November, Campbell opened a Fashion for Relief pop-up shop in central London’s Westfields selling clothes donated by the likes of Kate Moss, Stella McCartney and others to raise money for the fight against Ebola.
Actor Idris Elba was among those who visited Campbell's
pop-up shop at Westfield to support the campaign
In recent weeks the Ebola crisis has somewhat faded into the background of news headlines so Naomi Campbell’s show is key to reinstating it at the forefront of the public’s mind.
An estimated 9,100 people have died from Ebola since its outbreak in West Africa in March last year, and over 22,000 people have been infected by the disease.
"Charity work is everything to me. Helping those in desperate need is something I feel I simply have to do," says the south London-born model. "Raising awareness of Ebola and educating about it is crucial to help prevent its spread. We have to do all we can to support those who need our help."
The show begins at 8pm tonight at Somerset House. Tickets (£50) can be purchased at ticketmaster.co.uk.