Finances of Naomi Campbell’s fashion charity investigated

"Naomi Campbell-1a" (CC BY 2.0) by Fergie10

Naomi Campbell’s fashion charity. Fashion for Relief has come under formal investigation from the charities watchdog due to concerns relating to its finances. The charity was set up by Campbell in 2005 to raise money to help children living in poverty around the world but now is under fire with claims of misconduct relating to its management. 

The charity says it has raised millions over the years through its annual charity fashion show but the Charity Commission is to examine whether Campbell and her fellow trustees “have properly exercised their legal duties and responsibilities under charity law”. One of the actions under investigation is a run of payments made by the charity to one of its trustees. 

The charity’s spending will also come under scrutiny from the watchdog and any potential misconduct or mismanagement will be looked at. Campbell is one of three trustees of Fashion for Relief. The other two named on the charity listing are Bianka Hellmich and Veronica Sylvia Wing Wai Au Chou. 

Naomi Campbell’s fashion charity has long held glamorous fashion events to raise funds. In 2019, it teamed up with Sadiq Khan’s Mayor’s Fund For London to support low-income youngsters with skills and training. To bring in cash it held a London Fashion Week show with a gala dinner and art auction. The charity’s website does not appear to show how much money it raised for the fund, although it does include editorials that relate to the event. 

The charity’s 2020 accounts are over 178 days late according to the online register kept by the Charity Commission. The last visible set of accounts for the group show that in the year 2019 it raised £1,722,000, most of it through sponsorships. According to the accounts, £1,606,000 of that was spent putting on a charity event and paying for PRs and other staff. Just £5,515 appears to have been given to good causes.

There also seems to be unusually large trustee expenses on the 2019 reports. Hellmich was paid £77,000 in consultancy fees and £15,942 in travel expenses. The previous year, the charity spent £107,000 on trustees’ fees and £23,000 on expenses.

According to The Guardian, the Charity Commission has been in private discussions with Naomi Campbell’s fashion charity for over a year. The compliance issue that was originally being investigated has now been upgraded to a full inquiry, which is its most serious level of investigation.

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Written by

Claire Gordon


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