Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Women's History Month Moment: Pat Cleveland

"Fashion gives you that extra something. It helps make the world an interesting place to live in because it is part of life. Thank God for fashion." - Pat Cleveland 

As the month winds down, I want to end off with style, grace, and elegance… and Fun! So what better way than end off with the fiesty fashion diva Pat Cleveland! 

Cleveland was discovered at the mere age of 14 while riding the Subway in 1967. A Vogue editor noticed her for her amazing sense of fashion (Pat was wearing one of her own designs) and invited her to present her pieces for the magazine. She was featured as an up and coming designer, but that dream was quickly abandoned when she was picked up by Ebony to model on their Fashion Fair Tour.

Through the exposure from Fashion Fair, Ms. Pat continued to sky rocket in the modeling industry but took her talents abroad in the 70s where she settled in Paris and vowed to never return to the US due to the overwhelming racism African American Models faced. She quickly became a favorite for some of fashion's biggest houses including Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, Yves Saint Laurent, Thierry Mugler Christian Dior, and a personal favorite for Halston (who named her a member of his modeling troupe the Halstonettes in which she was the only African American). While gracing the the runways, she developed her own unique style of runway walk by creating a "Narrative" with the garments and it became her staple.

She returned to America in 74 after Vogue released it's first cover featuring an African American Model (The infamous Beverly Johnson) and continued to model into the 80s before a semi retirement to focus on her family.


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