Fashion Week

Inside Tommy Hilfiger and Zendaya's Spring 2019 Collaboration

The '70s-inspired collection paid homage to trailblazing Black women in fashion.
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Photo Credit: Getty/ Estrop

The long-awaited Spring 2019 Ready-To-Wear capsule collection designed by Tommy Hilfiger and global brand ambassador Zendaya took place this past Saturday evening at Paris Fashion Week. The  'Tommy X Zendaya’ collaboration was announced in October 2018 with the luxury designers committing themselves to casting only models of color. Long anticipated, the show proved epic, reminiscent of seventies disco, in a roller rink setting that was illuminated by red disco lights that spotlighted models as they glided down the runway in shiny roller skates. A truly legendary show, the collection was more than just a form of entertainment. It was eclectic, speaking to a diverse spectrum of generations, body types, and sizes, as well as ethnicity, with Zendaya saying "This is about saying we appreciate and love you." 

Although the idea of inclusion in the fashion industry is still lagging in comparison to, say, the workforce, Tommy Hilfiger and Zendaya’s show tapped into the responsibility all of America has to speed up the process by creating a magnificent show that celebrated age, size and color. 

In a mass of over one thousand spectators seated within the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on Avenue Montaigne was an art deco-inspired production put to play, enchanting guests such as Tyra Banks and former Hilfiger collaborators such as Gigi Hadid. The experimental 'See Now, Buy Now' show sent a cast of cross-generational models down the runway including Pat Cleveland, Veronica Webb, Beverly Peele, Halima Aden, Winnie Harlow, and Jourdan Dunn. Notably, Hilfiger and Zendaya, as well as her stylist and America’s New Top Model judge, Law Roach, were paying homage to women who have influenced our perception on fashion, thus creating a legacy that will mark a new era of creativity and innovation for the future.

What Hilfiger and Zendaya have done is not only present an all-inclusive collection that has never been done before, but they have also shown luxury that is all-accessible. To WWD, Hilfiger revealed, "Our innovative 'see-now-by-now' experimental show will blend our American heritage, Zendaya’s confidence and optimism, and the city’s iconic elements for a truly unforgettable runway event." Just about every garment is priced under $500, demonstrating that beautiful designer clothing can be affordable and worn by everyone. 

Inspired by women of the seventies and eighties, the clothing was spectacular with a vast assortment of fabrics including denim, leather, and silk, making up waist-hugging jumpsuits and dramatic gowns in which the catwalk stars danced their way down the runway wear. In many of the designs, we see an emphasis on tailoring, and at-ease athleisure wear that is produced with a certain grooviness and elegance that seems to have disappeared with the passing of the seventies. Between the setting, the playlist, the clothing, and the models, both Hilfiger and Zendaya brought forth an effortless, unprecedented idea about inclusivity, marrying our perceptions of the subject to women’s empowerment. Some more highlights of the show include belted skirts of denim as well as leather whose hems grazed just below the knee, multicolored sweaters with Breton stripes, relaxed silk tops with zodiac-inspired prints (a favorite of Zendaya who herself is a Virgo), as well as cropped and halter tops for the more daring and care-free.

Grace Jones stunned the crowd as the show closed with the ageless model and singer making her way down the runway jamming to her hit 1981 single, "Pull Up to the Bumper" in a flashy gold bodysuit and glamorous pink blazer. The finale was, put quite simply, a happy moment - there is really no other way to express how good you were left feeling following the conclusion of the show. Each of the models returned to the runway to the beat of Sister Sledge’s "We Are Family" booming reminding us that we, you, me - everyone are indeed equal. 

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