Iconic! Zendaya Employs A Cast Of All-Black Models, Including 70-Year-Old Grace Jones For Her First Tommy Hilfiger-Designed Collection

Zendaya and Tommy Hilfiger

Iconic! Zendaya Employs A Cast Of All-Black Models, Including 70-Year-Old Grace Jones For Her First Tommy Hilfiger-Designed Collection

Fifty-nine Black models, ages 18 to 70, walked the runway in the most diverse cast we've ever seen in Paris.

Published March 4, 2019

Fashion has been in a really weird place recently concerning both racial diversity and size inclusivity. However, another shift in the right direction happened this past weekend (March 2) when Zendaya and Tommy Hilfiger debuted their TommyNow collection during Paris Fashion Week.

Zendaya has made a name for herself turning heads on red carpets the past few years thanks to her stylist, Law Roach. So, the Gen Z actress and activist signed on as Tommy’s global ambassador back in October and just debuted their first collaborative collection with the most diverse cast in history. 

The 22-year-old activist has been vocal about her support of Black Lives Matter and racial representation in pop culture, so employing an all-Black cast of models in all sizes along with ages ranging from 18 to 70 years old to walk her runway show was just a part of her agenda for pushing the industry forward.

As an ode to 1970s icons and the Battle of Versailles, Zendaya tapped icons from the past and present to walk in the show.

With a range of brown beauties on the runway, Pat Cleveland, Veronica Webb and Beverly Johnson are a few of the trailblazers from the Studio 54 era who walked the show. 

Some of the top millennial models included Winnie Harlow, Jourdan Dunn and Muslim model Halima Aden. But no one expected the grand finale in which 70-year-old icon Grace Jones stole the show wearing a gold shimmery mock-neck bodysuit with a striped metallic blazer and 5-inch, high-heeled, over-the-knee boots. And she gave a jaw-dropping twirl that resulted in a standing ovation. 

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 02: Grace Jones performs on  the runway during the Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres at Theatre des Champs-Elysees on March 02, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images For Tommy Hilfinger)
(Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images For Tommy Hilfiger)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 2: Model Pat Cleveland walks the runway during the Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres at Theatre des Champs-Elysees on March 2, 2019 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Estrop/Getty Images)
(Photo: Peter White/FilmMagic)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 02: A model walks the runway during the Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres at Theatre des Champs-Elysees on March 02, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images For Tommy Hilfiger)
(Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images For Tommy Hilfiger)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 02: A model walks the runway during the Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres at Theatre des Champs-Elysees on March 02, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images For Tommy Hilfiger)
(Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images For Tommy Hilfiger)

According to Vogue, Zendaya really wanted Grace Jones to be a part of the show: "We said, 'We want Grace Jones, she represents so much beauty and power and she needs to be here,' and somehow, Tommy's team made it happen."

The runway included a light-up dance floor where models got their boogie on playing with their 'fros and blowing kisses to the audience. The retro-inspired collection consists of 79 different looks in which Zendaya and her stylist/creative director Law Roach helped design. The pieces include shiny metallics, flared jeans, flirty disco dresses, lurex jumpsuits, wide-leg and high-waist jeans, bright knits and colorful swimsuits.

 

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 02: A model walks the runway during the Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres at Theatre des Champs-Elysees on March 02, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images For Tommy Hilfinger)
(Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images For Tommy Hilfiger)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 02: Halima Aden walks the runway during the Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres at Theatre des Champs-Elysees on March 02, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Peter White/FilmMagic)
(Photo: Peter White/FilmMagic)

Tyra Banks, Yara Shahidi and Janelle Monaé are a few of the Black stars who sat front row, cheering on the iconic models as they came down the runway.

After Grace Jones took her walk, the remaining models appeared in a Soul Train line wearing jeans with zodiac sign T-shirts, which are currently sold out.

The SS19 collection is currently for sale as a part of the fashion industries' see now, buy now initiative.

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 02: Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, Zendaya and models walk the runway during the Tommy Hilfiger TOMMYNOW Spring 2019 : TommyXZendaya Premieres at Theatre des Champs-Elysees on March 02, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Peter White/FilmMagic)
(Photo: Tim P. Whitby/WireImage)

The Tommy x Zendaya TommyNow collection proved that inclusion and diversity should be celebrated and not an after-thought. We hope other brands take note and realize that #BlackGirlMagic is stronger now more than ever.

 

Written by Tira Urquhart

(Photo: WWD/Shutterstock)

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