GRACE JONES, ZENDAYA SNATCH PARIS FASHION WEEK
By Erin White
March 4, 2019
The internet damn near collapsed over the weekend when Tommy Hilfiger and global brand ambassador Zendaya threw the disco party you never knew you wanted them to throw. Debuting the Spring 2019 Tommy x Zendaya collection—which was inspired by 70s pop culture—summoned the magic and spirit of the 1973 Battle of Versailles fashion show with spectacular flare. An industry-stopping bash, the iconic 1973 show stunned the industry with the unapologetic appearances of eleven Black models who stole the show for the American designer delegations.
This weekend, the quintessential American designer attempted to recapture the magic at the Comédie & Studio des Champs-Élysées with the assistance of an all-Black cast of gorgeous models like newcomers Jourdan Dunn, Ebonee Davis, Precious Lee and Winnie Harlow to veterans like Beverly Johnson and Pat Cleveland. “I feel like we are paying homage to these women who changed our legacy, and who allowed me and so many others to be here,” Zendaya said before the show. “This is a proud and happy celebration of female beauty in all its forms, something which is as important now as it ever was before.”
Did we mention Grace Jones yet? The iconoclast and style icon stormed the stage rocking a gold bodysuit and metallic blazer to the tune of “Pull Up To The Bumper” before the finale walk featuring a parade of Black models of all ages, and bodytypes.
Yeah, there was something just a little performative about Hilfiger’s show — considering how perilous the fashion industry is for Black women. Each season top designers make the prevalence of Black women at their shows into anomalies, who knew there were so many of us who were runway ready this whole time? And even though Tommy Hilfiger himself was, at one time, accused of making anti-Black statements about not wanting us to wear his clothes, that rumor has long been debunked. And, performative or not on his part, Zendaya used the opportunity as a literal platform to put on for underrecognized Black women and we ain’t mad at it.