Naomi Campbell graced the cover of Essence magazine for the publication’s 50th anniversary issue. Instead of participating in a typical photo shoot, the iconic supermodel photographed herself from home for the special issue due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It was a very special honor and unusual experience for me to be able to shoot and style my own cover for [Essence’s] 50th Anniversary Issue on my iPhone,” Campbell wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “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.”
Campbell, who turns 50 later this month, later added, “Happy Anniversary @Essence magazine. As we both turn the century together.”
The magazine noted that Campbell did her own hair, makeup and styling in preparation for the cover ― the “first-ever ESSENCE magazine cover shot entirely on an iPhone,” the publication added.
Essence’s chief content and creative officer, MoAna Luu, who was diagnosed with the coronavirus in March, said that Campbell’s photo shoot from home, and the behind-the-scenes preparation from the Essence team, represented the resilience of Black women.
“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,” she said.
Last month, Luu talked about her battle with the COVID-19 virus, saying, “I would never have imagined in my life that I would be one of the sick.”
“What’s hard about this disease is that you never know when it’s ending,” she continued, adding that she was ill for three weeks.
On Wednesday, Luu commended Campbell for the way she stepped up to make the shoot happen.
“There were technical challenges, there were human challenges; but Naomi did it all without asking any questions, she never quit,” she said. “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.”
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