Zendaya debuts first Tommy Hilfiger collection on all-black cast of models

Leave it to Zendaya to give Paris Fashion Week a much-needed shakeup.

Over the weekend, the 22-year-old actress showed her first collection for Tommy Hilfiger on the catwalk on a cast of 59 models of all ages and sizes, all of them black.

Fashion-world legends like Beverly Johnson (the first African-American model to star on the cover of American Vogue), Veronica Webb (the first black woman to have a major cosmetics contract) and Pat Cleveland (who once modeled for Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino and many more) were among the lineup, as was 70-year-old Grace Jones, who closed the show to much fanfare.

The event also marked the first time Tommy Hilfiger has used plus-size models, a decision Zendaya explained in an interview with WWD. “Size-inclusivity has been important to me always — if women in my family can’t all wear it, I don’t want to make it,” she said.

The runway spectacle, as well as Zendaya’s collection itself, was inspired by 1973’s Battle of Versailles, at which French couturiers faced off against American designers with a fashion show at the legendary chateau. The Americans (Oscar de la Renta, Stephen Burrows, Halston, Bill Blass and Anne Klein) used 11 black models to show their designs, at the time an unprecedented casting move.

Grace Jones, Winnie Harlow and Pat Cleveland on the Tommy x Zendaya runway
Grace Jones, Winnie Harlow and Pat Cleveland on the Tommy x Zendaya runwayFilmMagic; Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images; Estrop/Getty Images

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