Fashion For Relief

In 2005, Naomi Campbell established Fashion For Relief and hosted its first charity fashion show to raise funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Since its conception in 2005, Fashion For Relief has presented shows in New York, London, Cannes, Moscow, and Mumbai. It has raised millions  for various causes.

Campbell has hosted Fashion For Relief shows , convincing friends and fellow supermodels including Kate Moss, Eva Herzigova, Karolina Kurkova, and Beyonce to do the catwalk for worthy causes. She hosted a similar show in 2010 because of the earthquake in Haiti.
Naomi is one of the most powerful people in the fashion industry. She has put her influence towards a good cause by opening a Fashion For Relief Pop-Up Shop at The Westfield shopping centre in London. Naomi has called the world’s influential designers, brands and celebrities to join her and to donate items for purchase.
She has revealed that she is planning a Fashion For Relief show to raise awareness about the spread of Ebola. The supermodel is concerned that people don't have a clear idea about what Ebola is and hopes that her events could raise funds to help stop the spread of the deadly disease. The shows will take place during fashion weeks in February in London and NYC. The celebrity-filled catwalk will showcase pieces donated from fashion houses including Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Balmain, Alexander McQueen, Versace and more.

Naomi likes to organize many fashion shows each year. Not just big ones.  Recently one fashion show took place in Treffen, Austria. The venue was in the areal of Glock Horse Performance Center. I had the honor to participate in this fashion show as a model. I would like to tell you about my experience and unexpected surprises. One day my booker from the modeling agency called me. She was really excited and she explained to me what her reason for calling was. I was chosen to go to Austria as a model for Naomi Campbell´s fashion show. She told me that it was really important to go there.

My journey took me from Bratislava to Vienna and from Vienna to Klagenfurt by train. The view from the window of the train was nice, with a beautiful snowy landscape through the mountains! We passed many stations and after a few hours I arrived. There was a tall guy with a card that read, “Fashion For Relief,“ waiting for me in the station . His task was to drive me to the hotel. We arrived to the hotel and I went to the reception and  they told me everything I needed to know. I also met the casting director and his assistant. I noticed that people in Austria are more smiley and helpful than here in Slovakia. Perhaps the biggest shock was the room. My room was beautifully furnished.  I've never been in the hotel like this. After unpacking I went down for dinner. A waitress greeted me at the table and I chose what to eat- pasta with pesto and shrimp. Yummy! The waiters were doing a great job. They cared about their guests.

The next morning I got up and I it was snowing so much. I went to get breakfast. I chose muesli, fruit, nuts, a croissant and I was pleased that they offered soy milk.  My friend Tereza arrived around noon . She is from my agency too. We bought something to eat in a little town nearby. In the evening every model came to the lobby and we headed to the venue for fitting. There were models from Austria, Italy, France, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Our fitting was in a big white tent. We had some free time so we went to the concert hall next door. There we saw Robbie Williams, Gérard Depardieu, and Hugh Grant. I was charmed. Then assistants called us to do our fitting. Maybe some of you do not know what the word fitting means. Basically you try on clothes and shoes that you will be wearing during the show. When the piece does not fit you, you keep trying. Fitting  is usually the same. We lined up  from the  tallest. As always I was the tallest. The main stylist gave me  a short vintage dress. It fitted me like a glove. Gradually, all models were dressed up and we stood in a line. Challenge completed ! It was around 2 am and we went back to the hotel.

The next day I enjoyed breakfast with Tereza. Then the staff took us to the venue. I thought that I would have enough time to study something. Eventually, I just ended up reading literature for school. One male model, Timo, was trying to read in Slovak language. It was so funny. There were many choreography practices during the afternoon. The first practice was crucial. I found out that I was the one who would open the show. The theme was Alice in Wonderland and I was Alice. I had to act like a puppet or robotic doll. I was an actress for the first twenty seconds. Then I had to be serious. I was rehearsing for one hour. They had to explain every step of Alice. I was a little bit confused. Thankfully, everybody was nice and showed understanding. I was so tired, so the most important thing was food. I had to increase my energy. I was talking to Tereza and Timo all day.  Hair stylists and make-up artists started to do their work 3 hours before the beginning. Make-up was minimal but beautiful. Of course the show started 30 minutes later than it was planned. I was so nervous and was breathing really fast. Just before the start I saw Naomi Campbell smiling. She was stunning. I told myself that I had a huge opportunity and there was no way to mess it up. I enjoyed my catwalk so much. Afterwards I had to change into a different dress. The finale was unforgettable. We looked like a huge model army. I wanted to take photo with Naomi but it did not work out. She was thankful for everything. I was honoured to be part of this fashion show. The best modeling experience ever. Living my dream.

by Linda Poláková

Year 1, Issue 2