#ModelMonday: OnLaVe In Paris
We are now entering the month of April. This month is special for several reasons! One, we are now in the thicket of Spring. Two, we are entering the second quarter of the year. Three, we aren’t having a #ModelOfTheMonth on LolaChel.com this month. Instead we are going to have an experience vicariously through a group of models who experienced HISTORY.
The illustrious models with OnLaVe visited Pairs in March for Paris Fashion Week and were able to attend the groundbreaking Tommy Now runway show, and the launch of Tommy x Zendaya which featured all black models and the iconic Grace Jones!
Below I have shared their experience for your enjoyment and fulfillment.
So please read, enjoy, share, and read again an amazing first hand story of Paris fashion week with OnLaVe!
Thank you for the opportunity to feature our Paris trip on your blog.
Co-Founders: Alana Smith, Lauren Venise and Ontwanet Moran.
A little about OnLaVe before we get started with their amazing trip:
OnLaVe Signature Productions is a boutique fashion and consulting group specializing in event production, model training and runway choreography. Each Co-Founder has a background in modeling for over 15 years and transitioned to fashion production after meeting as members of a fashion entertainment group.
Now on to Paris!
Lauren and I had the opportunity to attend Paris Fashion Week 2019, at the invitation of one of my sorority sisters, Tamara Taylor, who manages artists/talent through Mastermind Management Group(@thee.mastermind). One of her clients, Law Roach, who styles for Zendaya, was influential in the TommyxZendaya show which we were able to experience.
The show was inspired by 1973’s Battle of Versailles where American designers faced off against French couturiers. The American’s ultimately came out on top partly due to the casting of 11 black models for the show.
The fashion show was held at The Theatre Des Champs Elysees on 3/2 @9pm. From the moment we arrived to the venue we were mesmerized by the photographers, lights, music and crowd. Our seats looked down upon the illuminated runway with dancers and roller skaters partying to disco music. The 70’s themed atmosphere set the tone for an amazing runway show which featured black models ranging in ages (18-70 yrs old) sizes, shapes, textures and tones. To highlight the evening, legendary black models such as Pat Cleveland, Beverly Johnson and Grace Jones worked the catwalk as only they could.
We took this trip as an opportunity to experience fashion at its highest level in Paris. Our goal was to attend at least two fashion shows, gain inspiration and network with other creatives. We sent over 100 emails to contacts at major fashion houses and secured an address in Paris in hopes of getting invitations. Despite not gaining access to those shows, we ultimately ended up witnessing an iconic moment in fashion at the TommyxZendaya show which was the talk of fashion press, media and news circles.
As an alternative, we also got tickets to the Original Shows at Galeries Lafayette which is open to the public and features fashion shows in the mall every Friday. We enjoyed the clean aesthetic, scattered columns and dual LCD screens from show. The most enjoyable part of that day was an impromptu runway session Lauren did for a friendly attendee after the fashion show!
Inclusion and diversity behind the scenes for the TommyxZendaya show was equally as important as on the runway. The lead hair was orchestrated by Kim Kimble and lead make up by Pat McGrath who are black women at the top of their industries.
For black models, stylist, managers and creatives alike, moments like this are a reminder to embrace the culture and aspects that make us unique. There are people challenging the status quo and carving out spaces for us to shine. For OnLaVe, we aim to add to the diversity of creatives behind the scenes who help to guide the narrative and execute unforgettable moments like this in fashion.