A mother, a model and a mentor. A few words we can use to describe the notorious Naomi Cambell, and a few words that still don’t fully do the fashion mogul justice. Campbell has proven time and time again that she has and still can defy all barriers within and out of the fashion industry, and if there’s one thing we know about the 51-year-old golden-hearted personality, it’s not only her ability to strike a pose on the runway but the immense amount of power she emulates within every room she walks in. Naomi needs no introduction, yet can’t help but make us wonder about the mystery behind her effortlessly sexy disposition. Whether it’s her power to transcend a four-foot-wide runway or her fortifying anti-aging ability to age backward, here’s how she has proven time and time again that she is that girl.

1. She displayed effortless grace during her iconic fall at the 1993 Vivienne Westwood show.

Much like losing the winning title in a sports game or failing a test, falling on the runway is a proven fear most models have. And whether it was a slippery runway or an extremely high stiletto heel, one of Naomi Campbell’s fiercest walks down the runway included her taking a plunge to the floor.

The year is 1993 and Vivienne Westwood just premiered her ready-to-wear collection to a crowd of critics, mystics and prominent A-list celebrities. Kate Moss has just graced the runway minutes before Campbell plummets to the floor wearing a pleated skirt, a hot pink feathered shawl and a pair of nine-inch sky-high pumps. As Campbell sat on the runway with an aloof state of joy, the crowd cheered her on reveling in her embarrassment. Naomi’s iconic fall is still well known and discussed, and rather than adding the fall to a potential list of most embarrassing moments, it actually served her and her career in an engaging way by showing the rawness of human imperfection.

2. She was one of the first Black female models to open doors for other Black models.

From Adut Akech to Duckie Thot, Campbell has served as a primal force of inspiration for Black models worldwide. In a recent interview with Grazia, Akech describes her relationship with Naomi and how the fashion mogul has served as a pivotal mentor for her.

“Who better to look after you than Naomi Campbell, right? When I moved to New York, I’d go to her apartment and we’d have lunch or dinner. She would give me so much advice. Since then, our relationship has just grown and grown. She was the first family I had in New York. She’s like a second mother.”

In addition to Naomi serving as a mentor for Adut, Ugbad Abidi, a Somalian model raised in a Kenyan refugee camp, recalls to Vogue how Campbell championed her under her wing and claims she wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for her influence.

“Modeling can be a scary world, and getting support from anyone, let alone the trailblazers, means everything,” says Ugbad Abdi. “Ms. Naomi has taken so many models under her wing. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her being who she is unapologetically. She is the blueprint.”

3. She became a mother at 51, which proves she’s running on her own time.

​​​​​​​​”She wasn’t adopted — she’s my child,” the model told British Vogue, disclosing that not many people knew she was going to become a mom at the time.

Despite how the 51-year-old mother conceived her newborn child, the arbiter of all things fashion chose her own timeline for her motherhood journey, which in turn,  proves that she is ignoring societal barriers and constraints that often depict motherhood in a black and white fashion. Campbell’s whirlwind pregnancy announcement was made public first on Instagram in May with the caption, “A  beautiful little blessing has chosen me to be her mother.”

The UK native also graced the cover of British Vogue’s March 2022 issue, where she posed clutching onto her infant daughter with a distinct look of pride. Campbell’s interview with Vogue highlighted her transition into motherhood as well as how she’s creating her own rules and defying the odds as a new mother at 51.

4. She’s a contributing editor for British Vogue.

If she’s not serving looks on the front pages of Burberry, Versace and Lanvin campaigns, she’s most certainly contributing her style expertise as a contributing editor of British Vogue. Naomi’s 2017 appointment goes further than her being one of the world’s most sought-after models, but the fact that she seamlessly has a way of influencing others as a leader and as a trailblazer.

5. She has her own Barbie Doll.

Naomi is almost certainly a life-sized Barbie in her own right, and during a time when the fascination with supermodels was a prominent one, she had a Barbie doll created in her name. The notable toy company Hasbro, released a series of dolls in 1996 that featured Naomi alongside models Claudia Schiffer and Karen Mulder. Sporting a pink and black sleeveless dress, the Naomi Barbie pays tribute to her inspiring career within and out of the world of fashion.

6. She underwent tokenism within the industry and still managed to come out on top.

The fashion industry is quite known to be a place of flashing lights, opulence and glamour, as well as an industry that’s known to harbor racism, bias and tokenism. In 2019, Campbell recalled her journey of being one of the only Black models in a runway show of 70 girls, though she did not name the brands or the companies she disclosed.

“I know what it’s like to be the token and it wasn’t a good feeling to have to always be the only black model in a show of 70 girls,” she told E! News. “It was uncomfortable. I didn’t like it.”

Naomi has displayed effortless grace on and off the runway and has proven time and time again why she’s just that girl. The mother, mentor and mogul needs no introduction, and as she continues to swiftly pave her way for almost 44 years within a domineering fashion world, her career trajectory has proven an elegant ferocity to not let anyone or anything stop her from moving forward.