Naomi Campbell on wearing a D&G gown for community service: ‘I was very aware of what I was doing’

Naomi Campbell on wearing a D&G gown for community service: ‘I was very aware of what I was doing’

Naomi Campbell has reflected on the headline-making moment when she wore a Dolce & Gabbana gown on her last day of community service.

In January 2007, the British supermodel, then 36, was sentenced to five days’ community service and ordered to attend an anger management course after she admitted throwing a mobile phone at her maid.

Campbell, now 54, carried out the community service at the New York sanitation department, sweeping and scrubbing.

Famously, on the final day of the punishment she wore a silver, sequined D&G dress, which will be on display at a new V&A exhibition celebrating her life and career.

Speaking about the iconic moment in a new interview with The Guardian, she said: “It’s part of my life. I was open and I came out in my dress. I was very aware of what I was doing and I finished my week of community service.”

The Vivienne Westwood platforms she wore when she fell on the catwalk in 1993 are also included in the exhibition. “I fell on the runway. It happens,” she said. “No one’s perfect. You know, when you fall, you pick yourself up and you keep going.”

Campbell wearing the D&G dress in 2007 (Getty Images)
Campbell wearing the D&G dress in 2007 (Getty Images)

In a piece for W magazine at the time, Campbell revealed her thinking behind the D&G gown moment in a diary-style, “week in the life of” article, saying: “I want to walk out of here with my head up. I want to go out in style, and fashion is what I’ve done for 21 years. It’s something that I love. So, when I’m finished with my work, I slip on the silver sequined Dolce & Gabbana demi-couture gown that I packed in my bag this morning. I put it on lying down so I can’t be snapped by the paparazzi, who can see in the window.

“When I get outside, they start screaming, going crazy, as I get into my friend Giuseppe Cipriani’s silver Bentley. I go back to his place and relax for an hour before I fly out to Miami, because I want to watch my friends Venus and Serena [Williams] play in the Sony Ericsson/IMG tournament.”

She added: “I go to sleep late, but I wake up early, thinking about my coworkers who are continuing their service. I call [coworker]Marc, and he says, “We missed you today.” But life goes on, and I learned from my mistakes…”

The exhibition, which is called Naomi and which opens on 22 June, is the first V&A show to focus on a leading model’s career in fashion. Around 100 looks from Campbell’s four decades in the industry will be on display.