10.21.2011

Black Models of 1973 Fashion Show Honored



The Versailles models of 1973 were honored this week at the Huffington Post Game Changers Awards last night. Why is this important and who are the Versailles models, you ask?
The 11 African-Americans models were part of the legendary Grand Divertissement √† Versailles fashion show held in 1973 at the Palace of Versailles to raise money for its restoration. It featured 5 American designers (Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Anne Klein, and African-American designer Stephen Burrows) and 5 French designers including Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior’s head designer Marc Bohan, Hubert de Givenchy, Emanuel Ungaro and Pierre Cardin.
Back then, it was rare to see Black women modeling on the catwalk but the American designers decided to take advantage of the international spotlight and make a statement about diversity. They hired 11 Black models to walk their shows, while the French used not a single one.
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