Model scout Beth Boldt spots a 15-year-old Campbell window-shopping in London's Covent Garden. Campbell, a British dance student at the Italia Conti stage school, has already appeared in Pink Floyd's film The Wall. She is immediately sent to Alabama for a shoot for British Elle.
Campbell becomes the first black model to appear on the cover of British Vogue in 1987 and French Vogue in 1988. She struggles with discrimination but fellow models Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista (right) stand up for her. According to Campbell, Turlington told Dolce & Gabbana, "If you don't use Naomi, you don't get us."
Campbell, 22, bumps into U2's Adam Clayton (left) on a flight to the Grammy Awards. This comes after reading an article where Clayton, asked if there was anything in the world he desired but didn't have, responded: a date with Naomi Campbell. In April, the Irish rocker proposes to the British supermodel over the phone, but they call off their engagement in August.
A giggling Campbell falls off 10-inch platform boots at Vivienne Westwood's runway show in Paris. The lace-up boots go on display in London's Victoria & Albert Museum, and Campbell uses another pair as a doorstopper in her London flat.
Elite fires Campbell on the grounds that "no money or prestige could further justify the abuse" to staff and clients. Describing her as "manipulative, scheming, rude and impossible," the agency says they would not employ her again if she were "the last model on earth." Despite its claim, Elite eventually rehires her.
Campbell (pictured partying with fellow supermodel Kate Moss) tries cocaine for the first time. She explains to ABC's Diane Sawyer in 2005 of her choice: "I was having fun. I was living this life of traveling the world and having people just give you anything. The little glow in your face goes. You know? And I – you do lose weight. That's not why I did it, though, 'cause I do love to eat, but – it's a very nasty drug."
Campbell – singing in a smoky alto – releases an album titled Babywoman. On the back of the album is a picture of a pair of Vivienne Westwood platform shoes with a mobile phone sticking out of them, a joking reference to Campbell's famous phone-throwing habit.
Campbell and fellow supermodels Elle Macpherson and Claudia Schiffer don hard hats and pose at the groundbreaking for their new business venture, Fashion Café. Yes, the restaurant serves actual (non-diet) food – a burger is on the menu. Within five years the six-location chain – opened to capitalize on the popularity of both theme restaurants and supermodels – is closed.
Nelson Mandela (right) designates Campbell an "honorary granddaughter." The model – who's met with South Africa's president five times – announces plans to help him raise a fund for poor and sick kids. "He is the only person I have ever wanted to meet, and I can't believe that I will get to work with him," Campbell tells reporters.
Campbell allegedly hits her assistant Georgina Galanis with a phone and eventually pleads guilty to assaulting Galanis. By 2006, four other employees claim Campbell abused them: assistant Vanessa Frisbee claims she was attacked by Campbell; assistant Simone Craig claims the model held her hostage and threw a phone at her; maid Millicent Burton claims she'd been punched; and maid Gaby Gibson claims Campbell hit her and called her names. In 2005, the supermodel wears a Chip and Pepper T-shirt that reads: "Naomi hit me & and I loved it."
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Ron Galella/WireImage; REX USA; REX USA; Richard Young/REX USA; REX USA; Leon Schadeberg/REX Features; Lawrence Schwartzwald/Splash News Online