Linda Evangelista On The Elephant Crisis, Reuniting With Christy And Naomi

Linda Evangelista On The Elephant Crisis, Reuniting With Christy And Naomi

The nineties supermodel trinity reunites for #KnotOnMyPlanet, a fashion-based campaign to raise awareness and donations for the Elephant Crisis Fund, set to stop the genocide of the endangered species

The nineties supermodel trinity reunites for #KnotOnMyPlanet, a fashion-based campaign to raise awareness and donations for the Elephant Crisis Fund, set to stop the genocide of the endangered species

Text: William Defebaugh

How did you first hear about the Elephant Crisis Campaign?

Well David [Bonnouvrier] has been going to Africa and he’s been telling me, and so passionate, and he adopted an elephant for my son and we get these newsletters and it’s heartbreaking. We always said we were going to go, so finally we planned a trip for March on spring break. So we’re going. As soon as he told me about the campaign I said anything I can do. And then he had the idea to put Christy and Naomi and I together, and I was like ‘ok, let’s see if we can do this…’ and then it just happened so quickly. They were in, and everyone was on time and it was fabulous! Oribe flew in, and with Patrick [Demarchelier] and Carlyne [Cerf De Dudzeele]…it was like the good old days. And basically, the bottom line is, there aren’t going to be any elephants in 25 years. Which is crazy scary. That alone should be enough to get anybody on board.

What kind of personal significance do elephants have to you?

I think they’re personal to everyone. Just the fact that my grandchildren won’t be able to see them… that’s significant enough. It’s such a pity. How they influence the ecosystem, and how important they are and how beautiful and lovely, and emotional they are… it’s such a pity when it can so easily be rectified if we get the word out. In the fashion industry, we can be so fickle and so vein (guilty here), but I think that elephants are so emotional. Together, we can really do something. And Doutzen has been working on this forever. She has been so instrumental in gathering everyone. She came on the shoot tonight and she is a living doll.

And what are some the responses you’ve received from other members of the industry you’ve reached out to?

Well everybody’s said yes! So I can’t wait to see their posts. I hope they get creative. We’re encouraging everyone to be creative and fun and come up with new hashtags. I reached out to David Downton. I love his fashion illustrations. He said he would do an elephant. I can’t wait to see it. I don’t even know what they’re going to be I can’t.

Illustration by David Downton.

It’s such a creative industry; you know the responses will be so diverse.

I hope everybody outdoes each other! I hope they outdo us, I hope it gets attention to the crisis.

How did it feel reuniting with Christy and Naomi on set?

We see each other all the time, and we keep in touch, but we haven’t been on set together…it was funny, because everyone was there: Patrick, Oribe, Carlyne. It was like time stood still. Somebody said something at one point and Naomi started cracking up so much she was in tears. It was fun and it was effortless. It was really nice. Christy brought her son, I brought my son. It felt like family.

Your son must be so happy about the campaign.

Oh, he is! And he’s very excited to visit them in March.

Illustration by David Downton.

Looking forward, what are some next steps after Friday? 

We need more funds. I know Leo DiCaprio wired a million, Tiffany’s is a partner, Snapchat made those filters, Loewe made a bag, Moschino did a print…it’s just so nice to see the responses. And it’s easy. What Cara [Delevingne] did with the tying of the knot at Burning Man was so fabulous and inspirational.

The campaign plays off the idea of memory. What are some of your favorite memories from your years working in the fashion industry?

I have a great memory of an elephant shot I did for Kenar. She came from a sanctuary out in California. But I have over 30 years of memories… what was really nice was to reunite with this team. We worked together over and over, but hadn’t in so long—over a decade. We were telling stories tonight—I didn’t even remember half of them—but Oribe and Christy have the memories of elephants. And Naomi! I think I’m the only one who doesn’t. They remember everything. We had a really good time.

What do you hope people we take away from the campaign?

I hope they donate! We need to stop the poachers. There are funds in place with this campaign that will help stop the poachers. And we have to do it now. I knew it was bad but I had no idea that it was this bad. Ivory has no value unless it’s on an elephant!

Linda Evangelista photographed by Rocco Laspata for Kenar's Fall 1994 ad campaign.

 

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