Naomi Campbell Remembers Her Viral Fall in Vivienne Westwood’s 12-Inch Heels in Tribute Post Following Designer’s Death

Following the death of celebrated British fashion designer and activist Dame Vivienne Westwood on Thursday, Naomi Campbell shared a heartfelt Instagram message today accompanied by a slideshow of images of the designer by her side. Campbell applauded the 81-year-old punk rock dame’s life and the impact she had on the “male dominated” fashion industry, as well as her own career and upbringing. 

Within the post’s caption, Campbell fondly recalled her childhood, baring witness to the ever flourishing “revolutionary” punk scene in England, largely because of Westwood’s influence in the matter. “I didn’t know then that I would meet Vivienne Westwood in ’86 and not only get to work with her but be able to call her a friend,” Campbell wrote.

Campbell highlighted Westwood’s strength and outspoken nature, commending her raw honesty, “whether we liked to hear it or not,” along with her large body of work full of “storytelling designs” featuring provocative, and often groundbreaking silhouettes. The fellow fashion trailblazer wished Westwood’s family well, further writing, “YOUR LEGACY IS JUST BEGINNING, and it will be etched in stone for forever, as your contribution to our industry is immeasurable.”

The supermodel’s connection with Westwood and her work runs deep. The pair first met when a 16-year-old Campbell and her friend and fellow supermodel Kate Moss hassled Westwood to let them look at the house archives. Westwood obliged them and took the curious pair to tea at the Criterion soon after.

Campbell also infamously walked Westwood’s 1993 show where a then 23-year-old Campbell strutted in a sweater, plaid skirt, white tights and a pink voluminous feather boa. As Campbell bounded down the runway, she began to wobble and lose her balance due to a pair of Westwood’s “Super Elevated Gillie” towering heels, eventually falling to the ground with an exasperated laugh.

The blue leather Gillie style with an imitation crocodile-embossed pattern is set atop a whopping 12-inch Louis heel with a 4-inch front platform to balance out the steep height. With its lace-up silhouette and rounded toe, the shoes elevated kept in-theme with Westwood’s bold mix of traditional silhouettes and standout designs.

The fellow philanthropist reminisced on the tumble previously on “Late Show With David Letterman” and in an interview for British Vogue alongside Westwood.

“I felt like I should have practiced more..there’s a trick to walking in your shoes,” Campbell said before the designer chimed in, explaining that the reason she fell was because her tights, which were made out of rubber, caught together against her thighs, causing the spill.

Making lemonade out of lemons, the fall aided in Campbell’s already budding career, leading to the making of insurance and chocolate commercials. What’s more, Campbell revealed that certain designers asked if she would take tumbles for their runway shows.

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Vivienne Westwood’s “Super Elevated Gillie” from the designer’s fall ’93 collection.
CREDIT: Courtesy of the Museum of Applied Arts & Science

PHOTOS: Vivienne Westwood With Celebrities Wearing Her Dresses, From Emma Watson to Queen Camilla

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