In honor of ESSENCE’s milestone year, iconic supermodel Naomi Campbell is gracing the magazine’s first-ever self-shot and styled cover.
In Campbell’s cover story, At Home With: Naomi Campbell, the supermodel prepares to celebrate her own milestone 50th birthday later this month and takes readers inside her life with an intimate self-portrait during COVID-19 social isolation. Using an iPhone to create a virtual photoshoot concept via FaceTime with ESSENCE Chief Content & Creative Officer MoAna Luu, Campbell shot and styled all the photos herself — marking the first time she has ever photographed herself for a cover.
“It was a very special honor and unusual experience for me to be able to shoot and style my own cover for Essence’ 50th Anniversary Issue,” Campbell said. “While it was a sad reminder for me of all the people in media and production who are not able to work due to the coronavirus, it also brought me hope and encouragement to know that our people and our infrastructures are resilient. We are rooted in knowledge and creativity and continue to take back full control of our narratives. We will come out of this stronger than ever. Happy Anniversary Essence Magazine. As we both turn the century together.”
Our Golden Anniversary issue also takes a look at some of the joys, pains, laughter, triumphs and stories that have impacted the Black community over the past half-century—including the novel coronavirus and its effects on the lives of Black women and the community at-large today.
“For fifty years, ESSENCE has showcased the brilliance, beauty, power and resilience of Black women,” says ESSENCE Chief Content & Creative Officer MoAna Luu. “Now more than ever, we’re leaning into that very resilience during one of our nation’s darkest hours. In chaos, we still find peace. In uncertainty, we still find faith. In solitude, we still find each other. Bringing this issue to life in the midst of a global pandemic represents everything that Black women are and illustrates how we will continue to show up for them in the best and worst of times, as we have done for the past five decades.”
To hear the full story behind how Campbell and the ESSENCE team brought the cover and the issue to life during the global pandemic, click here.