During her remarkable 35-year career, supermodel Naomi Campbell crossed the tracks, stormed the catwalks and graced countless magazine covers.
While most of her legendary partners have long since retired, at the age of 50 Campbell is wanted as always. She recently closed the Fendi fashion show from the spring of 2021 at the Palais Brongniart in Paris, the first created by Kim Jones for the famous Roman fashion house. Images of Campbell slowly captivating the runway in a sublime silver cloak and matching imperial dress ignited the internet and left little doubt that she is still one of the most significant models of all time.
In recent years, she has become the face of Nars and has appeared in Burberry and Saint-Laurent commercials, Beyoncé's favorite video "Brown Skin Girl" and Amazon's Making the Cut fashion series. To the delight of millennials and Generation Z, she is also constantly present on social networks, regularly updating her more than 10 million Instagram followers about everyday events from her private life.
Yes, her schedule is relentless, but the work heats her up and continues to bring her joy. "First and foremost, never rely on your previous successes, and I still like what I do," says Naomi Campbell when asked about refusing to slow down. "I use myself as a passage, a connector to lift and guide my culture on the right path and the direction in which they should move."
However, even icons need rest. Moreover, when it is time to completely disconnect from the real world, Campbell goes to her villa in the peaceful coastal town of Malindi in Kenya. Overlooking the Indian Ocean, her idyllic hideout is the epitome of indoor and outdoor life. For more than 20 years, it served as a chosen refuge from the breakneck rhythm of her native London and adopted New York. Bathed in natural light and illuminated by warm earth tones, it is an ode to leisure luxury.
Campbell first visited Malindi in the mid-1990s, and returned a few years later with a longtime friend, the owner of this Kenyan luxury resort, which houses a handful of private residences. Just over an hour's flight from Kenya's capital, Nairobi, Malindi has long been a favorite spot of the Italian jet set.
The saltwater pool that extends outdoors from the center of her living room is ideal for a quick morning swim. When the model is in the mood for fun, double pergolas with a curtain serve as the perfect space for family-style dinners. The vaulted cathedral ceilings and thatched roof of makuti, made of dried coconut palm leaves, stun her favorite space.
The oversized Latika lanterns hang from rafters originating from Morocco and Egypt and are as bright as they are large. Campbell enjoys buying furniture all over Africa, but she has achieved great success in Marrakech and Cairo. Senegal, she adds, is another location to visit when looking for a unique treasure. "Senegal has amazing furniture," she explains. "Every time I go, I buy furniture and just pick it up and put it away."
For extraordinary wooden works, Naomi Campbell does not have to travel far. "A lot of the wooden furniture we have in the house is made of malindia," she says. “We used to have a workshop in the back of the house.” Armando Tanzini, an award-winning artist, designed a hand-carved wooden door depicting two men dancing in traditional formal dresses. More of Tanzini's works are placed around the house, including several large table maps of Africa.
Some of the most beautiful memories of the famous model are related to Kenya: lunches on the sandy shores in the middle of the Indian Ocean, camping with the nomadic tribe Samburu, summer safari trips… "It is wonderful to come in July", she advises. "All the animals cross from Kenya to Tanzania and you see everything. That's incredible. It's like seeing a National Geographic channel or magazine come to life in front of your face. "