Charity Commission opens statutory inquiry into Naomi Campbell’s charity

26 Nov 2021 News

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Fashion For Relief, a charity set up by Naomi Campbell, over concerns of “potential misconduct and/or mismanagement”. 

The Commission opened its inquiry on 8 November 2021, after concluding a compliance case in September last year. 

During the compliance case, the Commission identified regulatory concerns which included the charity's consistent late filing of accounts and lack of evidence to show that conflicts of interest were being managed correctly.  

The charity has filed its accounts late four times. Fashion For Relief’s annual return and accounts are currently 179 days overdue. 

After a review of the charity's response to the compliance case, the regulator identified further concerns and escalated it to an inquiry. 

Last May the Daily Mail reported that Fashion For Relief spent £1.6m on a Cannes gala in 2018, but only donated £5,000 to good causes. Time's Up, the sexual harassment charity Fashion For Relief was fundraising for, told the Daily Mail that it received no funds directly from the charity since the event took place. 

Inquiry 

The inquiry into Fashion For Relief will examine whether the charity properly exercised its legal duties under charity law, its consistent late filing of accounts and whether there has been misconduct or mismanagement by those in control of the charity.

To protect the charity’s property, the regulator has restricted the trustees from making certain financial transactions. 

Fashion For Relief’s data for financial year 2019 shows its total income is £1.7m and it’s total spending was £1.8m. 

The inquiry will also inspect the charity's financial management, including its payment of trustees. 

Bianka Hellmich, a trustee of the charity, received £77,000 in remuneration for her role in 2018-19.

The Daily Mail reported that Hellmich said: “We are a fundraising platform not a charity and we do not operate like most charities. We connect donors to charities. Donations do not always come through us and this is not reflected in the accounts every time. We prefer not to handle donations for various reasons, including tax purposes… and legal set-up.” 

Fashion For Relief

Fashion For Relief was launched in 2005 by British supermodel Naomi Campbell to raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The charity’s purpose is to relieve poverty, support overseas aid and advance the health and education of people living in adversity across the world. 

Fashion For Relief raises funds for various charities through fashion galas often hosted by Campbell, and featuring celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid. It also hosts charity pop-up shop events.

However, the press section on its website has not been updated since 2019. 

Similarly, its homepage urges visitors to donate to a fundraising page that is no longer active. This claimed to be that raising money for children living under the UK lockdown. 

No answer

Civil Society News contacted Fashion For Relief for a statement, but did not receive a response. 

Its phone number on the Charity Commission website redirected to Queensbury Consulting, a consulting company one of the trustees is a partner of. 

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