The #TommyNow Show by Tommy Hilfiger x Zendaya x Law Roach: Josephine Baker, Black Model Magic, and Appearances by Grace Jones and Pat Cleveland
Last night’s #TommyNow: Tommy Hilfiger x Zendaya show took place at Théatre des Champs Elysées, a historic theater on Paris’s expensive Montaigne Avenue, where iconic performer Josephine Baker’s career took flight. With her exceedingly popular La Revue de Negre, American born Josephine Baker made her first splash on the Parisian scene, titillating onlookers with her dance moves and her sensational costumes (one of her most iconic consisted only of a girdle of artificial bananas).
It was here that Tommy Hilfiger, Zendaya, and image architect and creative director Law Roach intentionally chose to host their first Parisian showing, almost 100 years after Josephine’s first show in 1925. For years, Zendaya has served as Law’s muse and beautiful canvas for his creativity–his mini Josephine. Under Roach’s watchful eye, Zendaya has blossomed into a style icon, topping best dressed lists globally. And now, with a partnership with iconic American designer Tommy Hilfiger, the duo displayed a stunning collection that, similar to Baker’s dances of the past, titillated the audience with dancing, bouncy runway walks, and serious style.
Though Baker was given a nod with the venue, the show was staunchly rooted in the 70’s, and as the crowd filled into the theater and took their seats in the stadium like venue, they were treated to a roller skating dance party, with dancers in sparkly costumes break dancing, popping and rolling on roller skates. #TommyNow immediately established that this collection would be far from the norm.
After the initial entertainment, the show began with a 70’s soundtrack, as a cast of mostly black models of all body types stepped down a red, white, and blue illuminated runway, wearing bouncy Farrah Fawcett inspired hairstyles, and daywear to evening wear that evoked the Disco era: skin clinging jumpsuits, dresses with deep v’s, leather A-line skirts, and show stopping gowns.
As another nod to an erstwhile time, the collection closed with walks by legendary models and fashion icons Pat Cleveland and Grace Jones. Pat took to the catwalk in an iridescent dress with a pleated batwing sleeve, and twirled the length of the runway and back.
Grace Jones showed off her form in a gold belted bodysuit, and also danced the length of the runway, to the delight of the crowd.
The energy in the air was electric, the excitement was palpable, and as Law Roach later said, the night felt historic.
Tommy Hilfiger has been falsely accused of once saying he didn’t make his clothing for black people (or he wouldn’t have made his clothing of such high quality if he knew black people would be wearing it so much). Though he has debunked this wives tales in his book, American Dreamer, and on Wendy Williams, below, many in our community have still held steadfast to erroneous belief.
Though Mr. Hilfiger has cleared the air several times, last night’s show reaffirmed his commitment to diversity by not only hiring a mostly black cast, but also collaborating with a black Image Architect, Law Roach, and young black starlet, Zendaya. He sent a strong message that resonated throughout the room and beyond.
What did you think of the show?
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*Want Claire Sulmers to come host or review your next show? Email BookClaireSulmers@gmail.com