Ebola has been declared an international emergency and like many around the world, Naomi Campbell admits she’s “scared.” But the supermodel is using what she knows best — the runway — to help the effort to stop the epidemic and provide aid to victims.
Campbell will stage two fashion shows during New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week in February 2015, as a part of her “Fashion For Relief” foundation, to raise awareness and funds for victims of ebola. It’s a problem that hits close to home for the model: the World Health Organization has said Kenya is at “high risk” for the the spread of ebola, and Campbell told Page Six she has a home and works with three orphanages there. She wants the charity fashion shows to help victims and educate the public because, “people don’t have a clear idea about what Ebola is.” She added that as a Black woman, she feels a responsibility to fight the Ebola crisis, and has also been gravely concerned as a globe-trotter. “Ebola does not discriminate,” she said.
The first-ever patient to be diagnosed with ebola in the US was pronounced dead October 8 in Texas, the same day that an American patient with ebola in Georgia was cleared of the virus after using an experimental treatment. While the US maintains they’re doing what they can to stop the virus from spreading, overseas nearly 4,000 people have died (121 people died in Sierra Leone on Sunday alone).
Campbell has rounded up her fashion friends in the past to raise money for global causes. She started her “Fashion For Relief” organization in 2005 as a way of raising money for disaster relief for Hurricane Katrina through fashion shows and auctions. She’s also used the organization to help aid citizens in India after 2009 terrorist attacks, the Haiti earthquake in 2010, and the Japan tsunami in 2011.
Each of her runway shows has included star-studded runway walkers with artists like Beyoncé and Chris Brown participating in the past alongside notable models and actresses. The 2015 shows are still being planned, but Campbell teased she has a few big headliners in mind to include.