Last week, Naomi Campbell visited Lagos in honour of Arise Fashion Week and BBK Africa’s Homecoming – the music festival that played host to the African diaspora including Skepta, Wiz Kid and J Hus. “The energy was amazing,” she recounted emotionally on her return home. “From the moment I landed, I had the most incredible time: the people were wonderful, gracious, kind, accommodating… I received so much love that it felt almost overwhelming.”
The first Arise Fashion Week in six years saw some of the continent’s most esteemed fashion designers – like Tiffany Amber and Ozwald Boateng – present on the catwalk, alongside newer names like Laurence Airline and I Am Isigo. “I went to an amazing shop, Alara, which is like Colette – and I was so excited by all of the fashion, the music, the culture,” she continued. “I’m gonna wear [all those designers] now that I’m home; I felt so comfortable, so easy, so relaxed. I feel like Africa, as a continent, is on the tip of explosion. It’s the next destination, and it needs a broader platform. I am going to help them get it. It’s more than overdue. There needs to be an African Vogue. It’s time.”
Besides walking the runways, Campbell opened the BBK event with Dream Catchers, a dance collective of underprivileged children from Ikorodu, who recently broke the internet with viral videos of their performances and who she had travelled to meet. “I left with my heart full of so much happiness; I didn’t want to leave. I haven’t felt that love in a long time, and it made me realise that, all the 32 years I’ve been in this business, they’ve been worth it.”
Here, we present a visual diary of some of her time in the country.