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It’s here! First announced in October of last year, Zendaya’s collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger has kept us on our toes for months. When it was finally unveiled during the Paris Fashion Week, it became a breath of fresh air—the resulting set between Zendaya and Tommy Hilfiger’s partnership made us momentarily forget of the gaffes committed by Gucci, Burberry and Katy Perry. Its unabashed celebration of American fashion, and more particularly, of black fashion icons, is the way it should have gone during the Black History Month that went on for the whole of February.
Before the show proper, the actress-slash-singer has already teased us with a Instagram-worthy piece from her the Tommy x Zendaya collection. She was snapped with a lovely, retro-ish trench coat that came in rich brown-maroon, proven to be in trend during the series of week-long fashion weeks for being shot on other fashion icons as well. There was a colorful frock underneath that was not shy about how high up the slit went and thigh-high boots, which matched her coat and went wonderfully with the dress as well. But the ensemble was just setting the tone for what the groovy show will be later on.
Tommy Hilfiger and Zendaya lit up the Avenue Montaigne’s Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in a way that sparked in us a reminiscing for the 1970s, even if some of us did not live the decade. The audience, which included former collaborators Lewis Hamilton and Gigi Hadid as well as celebs Yara Shahidi and Janelle Monáe, were also in on the fun. The music was just in theme, as an all-black cast strutted the Zendaya creations—silk tops, disco frocks, trenches similar to what the star wore earlier that day—onstage. The women who agreed to walk were some of the most notable models in history, such as Pat Cleveland who is generally considered to be the first black supermodel, and Grace Jones who sizzled while flaunting the stuff in the tune of her own song, “Pull Up to the Bumper,” as well as rising stars Dilone, Winnie Harlow and Marquita Pring.
Zendaya, who was given complete artistic freedom by Hilfiger for the project, is said to have been inspired by the so-called 1973 Battle of Versailles in fashion. The momentous event pitted American designers against their European, particularly French counterparts, during which the stateside talents emerged victorious. It also saw designer Stephen Burrows set a catwalk that had an exclusive black cast which was unusual for the time and is often cited as one of the reasons for the American win. To Zendaya and many other black style icons, this paved the way for more people of color to be involved in similar endeavors.
Inclusivity was a major theme for the show and was immensely important for the new designer. Besides having a multi-generational cast of models, Zendaya also aimed to be more size inclusive, which became a first for Tommy Hilfiger. The demand to do so was initiated by the singer herself because she wanted the collection to be something that women from her family can also wear. The age and size inclusivity of the catwalk is something we’re seeing more and more of recently, especially now that consumers are shifting their opinions on what they want to see in fashion.
Image credits: Backgrid, Dominique Maitre/WWD, Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis, Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images For Tommy Hilfiger, Michel Euler/AP/REX/Shutterstock, Kristy Sparow Getty Images, Estrop Getty Images, Nordstrom