Naomi Campbell broke down in tears as she became the first person of colour to receive the Fashion Icon prize at The Fashion Awards 2019 on Monday.
The British supermodel was honoured with the coveted Fashion Icon prize by architectural designer Sir Jony Ive during the star-studded ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
As Naomi took to the stage in an Alexander McQueen gown adorned with an intricate pattern of sparkling gems, she fought to hold back her emotions as she thanked her mother Valerie for “raising me single-handedly”, gushing: “You were my mother and my father.”
Calling the moment “an out-of-body experience,” Naomi wiped away tears as she described how she “learned today that I’m the first woman of colour to receive this award” and then took the opportunity to name her own style icons from over the decades.
“That leaves me to say who I consider my style icons,” she said. “Grace Jones, Josephine Baker, Eartha Kitt, Donyale Luna, Bethann Hardison, Naomi Sims, Dorothy Dandridge, Diana Ross, Diahann Carroll, Janet Jackson, and Tina Turner… I could go on and on, but I want to thank you for paving the way for me and inspiring a generation.”
The 49-year-old, who was given the award in recognition of her career and contribution to the fashion industry, also took to the stage to present Alexander McQueen’s creative director Sarah Burton with the Trailblazer Award.
The other big winners on the night were Bottega Veneta’s Daniel Lee, who was named Designer of the Year, British Designer of the Year for Womenswear, and Accessories Designer of the Year, while the Italian label was also feted Brand of the Year. Rihanna’s label Fenty won the Urban Luxe category, Adut Akech was selected as Model of the Year, and Dior Men’s Kim Jones won British Designer of the Year for Menswear.
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