Naomi Campbell‘s runway strut is the stuff of legend.
The supermodel, 49, has brought fashion’s elite to tears with her walk, and compilations of her best catwalk moments are all over YouTube. However, one of Campbell’s most famous fashion moments is her infamous fall in sky-high platforms during Vivienne Westwood’s fall 1993 show.
“I was embarrassed,” Campbell told Westwood nearly 26 years after the incident, during an interview for British Vogue. “I was embarrassed because also it was not the right time of the month for a woman to fall and I felt like I should have practiced more … there’s a trick to walking in your shoes.”
However, the iconic model said she knew she wasn’t going to simply sit there and give up: “The most important thing is that I said to myself, ‘Get up and keep going, that’s all you have to do.’”
Despite how mortified she was immediately after the tumble, Campbell said she laughed at all of the press coverage the next day — and even fielded calls from designers who asked her to repeat the viral moment at their shows.
“A couple of people, designers, asked me if I would fall for them. And I was like, ‘Why would you want me to fall unnecessarily?! Press! The press that you got! But it wasn’t planned!,” Campbell told Westwood. “They asked me if I would do it and I said, ‘Absolutely not, it goes against everything that I stand for. I’m not falling purposefully.’”
For her part, Westwood thought Campbell’s iconic catwalk stumble was “fantastic.”
“It was really beautiful when you fell, it was like a gazelle,” the designer recalled, joking that she wouldn’t have had enough money to pay Campbell to stage a stunt at her show at that point in their careers.
The fall became such a defining moment in Campbell and Westwood’s careers, in fact, that the supermodel’s exact pair of platform shoes went up for auction at the Bowes Museum in the UK in 2011.