Zendaya x Tommy Hilfiger show shuts down Paris Fashion Week with all-black cast of models

The show featured 59 black women aged 18-70

Sarah Young
Sunday 03 March 2019 15:06
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Grace Jones dacnes on catwalk to close Zendaya x Tommy Hilfiger show at Paris Fashion Week

Zendaya shut down Paris Fashion Week on Saturday with an all-black cast of models for her Tommy Hilfiger show.

In October 2018, the US fashion brand revealed that it would be launching a collaboration with The Greatest Showman star following a two-year partnership with supermodel Gigi Hadid.

Ahead of the collection's debut, Zendaya revealed she was inspired by fashion muses from the golden era of the 1970s and 1980s, and the “Battle of Versailles” Fashion show – a 1973 charity event that pitted French designers against their American counterparts.

The show made history after the American team of designers delivered a collection which featured a record number of black models for the time – 11 out of 36.

The 22-year-old continued this train of thought with the #TOMMYNOW show at the Comédie & Studio des Champs-Elysées, where the runway was transformed into a disco-ready roller rink, complete with a light up floor.

Showcasing a luxe 70s-inspired collection, Zendaya recruited an all-black, cross-generational and size-inclusive cast of models including some of the women that walked in the original fashion face-off with Beverly Johnson, Beverly Peele, Pat Cleveland and Veronica Webb strutting alongside the likes of Winnie Harlow, Halima Aden and Jourdan Dunn.

“We’re paying homage to these women who changed our legacy … and allowed for me and so many others to be here,” Zendaya told WWD ahead of the show.

“I remember when my Vogue cover came out, Beverly Johnson [the first African-American model to land the cover of American Vogue] tweeted me congratulations, and I said this wouldn’t be possible without you.

“This is about saying we appreciate and love you.”

The event concluded with supermodel-cum-singer Grace Jones dancing down the runway to her 1981 hit Pull Up to the Bumper wearing a metallic rainbow jacket, gold bodysuit and matching belt.

The entire cast of models then joined the singer as they sauntered our to the tune of We Are Family by Sister Sledge.

The Zendaya x Tommy Hilfiger show is just one example of how the fashion industry is working towards becoming more diverse and inclusive.

In September, New York Fashion Week had its most diverse season yet in terms of race, size and age.

A number of brands, including Burberry and Gucci, have also recently announced new diversity initiatives designed to “make real change happen”.

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