Supermodel Naomi Campbell may also be an actress, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to fake another runway fall! In a special video interview published by British Vogue, Campbell sat down with 78-year-old fashion designer Vivienne Westwood to talk about activism, philanthropy — and that buzzed-about fall on the catwalk that happened during her show in 1993.
To backtrack, the fashion icon stumbled while wearing super high, purple lace-up platforms that sent her falling on her backside. “I was embarrassed,” she admitted to the designer. “I was embarrassed because it was not the right time of the month for a woman to fall and I felt like I should have practiced more.”
Westwood reacted to Campbell’s self-criticism, saying, “Stop! The reason you fell is because you had these rubber tights and your thighs caught together!” Apparently, the model had to walk a very, very specific way to avoid tumbling in the unique ensemble.
After the fall, Campbell stood up and kept going. She reflected on that specific moment, “The most important thing is that I said to myself, ‘Get up and keep going, that’s all you have to do.’” She even walked again during the show — in the same heels! That time, she was given a stick to help walk in those dangerous shoes. But instead of using it for assistance, she held it horizontally at her waist as an accessory and confidently walked down that catwalk successfully.
After she fell, the supermodel admitted that designers asked her fall on their runways to stir up attention from the press — just like Campbell’s trip unintentionally did for Westwood. The model didn’t reveal the specific designers who asked her to fake it, but she stood her ground and told them, “’Absolutely not, it goes against everything that I stand for. I’m not falling purposefully.’”
“I don’t understand why they would do that because that would make them feel like a second-class designer that has to take an idea from somebody else,” said Westwood. “I was quite poor —even in those days —and I didn’t pay any of you very much. […] I didn’t pay you to fall down because I didn’t wouldn’t have had the money,” she laughed.
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