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Tony Federico "Smile"

Tony Federico "Smile"

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Fine Art Print
59,4 x 72,2 cm
Limited edition: 15 prints

Gallery quality print

Hahnemühle Photo Matt Fibre 200 g/qm
Printed, stamped & numbered in Berlin

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About this artwork

Shot on Polaroid i-Type 600 / 5x8
Milano / 2004

“This picture has a history because Naomi Campell has played a role in my life for a long time. I started as a driver when I was 18, in Milan. A few years later, in 1994, I was a bodyguard for models who came to Milano Fashion Week. I worked for Linda Evangelista and Claudia Schiffer. But I was super excited when I started working for Naomi because she was always my favourite model. But our relationship was, let's say turbulent. You have to know, she was very moody. And everybody knew that. One morning, she was supposed to go to a show, it was at the Four Seasons Hotel. I'm there at 5:30 to pick her up. But she doesn't show up. Then some famous people come out of her suite, a bunch of Hollywood actors and models. I didn't know what was going on, but I knew we were late for the show!

I called the agency and kept knocking on the door for over an hour. At some point Naomi opens the door, she had been up all night, it was obvious. I say: 'Naomi, we have to go'. And she makes a gesture that I will never forget. It's the kind of gesture, like when you send a dog away. Very disrespectful. And she says, 'Go away, I don't need you here anymore'. I was her personal assistant and driver. I was practically responsible for her - but I was also angry and offended. I had specially got a Jaguar because Naomi didn't want to drive a Mercedes - it was too bourgeois for her. So I give her the keys to the Jaguar and say, 'listen to me, the Jaguar is in the garage, here are the keys. Have fun!’. So she freaks out and yells at me: 'You're not going to work for anyone in this industry anymore!'. She scared me. Those were her words and I'll tell you one thing: for the next two seasons I didn't get a job in the fashion industry! Her word had weight!

But then, 10 years later, when she made her comeback as a model, she was back in Milano. It was the Miss Bikini show. She was the star again and had her mannerisms. No one was allowed backstage, definitely no press. I saw her agent and asked him to tell Naomi that Tony was here. She came right out and took me by the hand and pulled me backstage with her. She was very sweet to me and when she saw my camera she asked what I was doing now. 'Oh wow, you've changed jobs - so come take a picture”. I then took two or three pictures with my digital camera, but suddenly my camera hung up and I was desperately pushing some buttons. She laughed and I took this Polaroid. She said to me: 'You know, it would be better if you still worked for me'. That was her way of saying sorry without having to say sorry. At the time I thought, she's must have grown up, she is not as mean as her reputation. But she is still the best model I have ever met in my life.”


* "Framed option" comes with a premium Nielsen aluminium frame

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