Naomi is late. Thirty-four days, two hours and 15 minutes late. Or at least, this is when we finally meet since the proposed date, last year. Also, I say “meet” in the loosest possible sense. She is on a flight heading to London from Qatar – this being the only spare hour she could find in her happily crowded and exuberant life – and we’re relying solely on the strength of its Wi-Fi, which, sadly, doesn’t stretch to video call capabilities. But in this case, a detailed description of Naomi’s physical appearance is somewhat redundant, thanks to Steven Meisel. Naomi, otherworldly, actually does look like that. Impossibly flawless skin, sensational hair, honed-beyond-belief body. A goddess. Still. At 51.
What isn’t lost at some 40,000 feet is this new mother’s effervescence when it comes to talking about her nine-month-old daughter, who is with her now and is, amazingly, as quiet as a church mouse for the duration of our call. “I’m lucky my little one loves to travel like me – no whimpering taking off or landing,” she says, proudly. “She’s a good girl: she sleeps very well, she hardly ever cries and I’m told she’s very alert for her age. She’s just started waving, which is fun. She laughs a lot. She’s almost talking,” she says, adding, “I think she might walk before she crawls. And she’s got six teeth already.” Some grumbles through teething, then? “None! She’s a trooper.” Truly a model baby. A supermodel’s model baby.