Whether or not you know who Leon Dame is, you're likely to have noticed him in a video from Maison Margiela. This week in Paris, while John Galliano presented a wartime-influenced collection for the Belgian house, the model closed the show in a theatrical and ultra-unique way. His bold walk was an unforgettable moment truly worthy of capture, and in a few hours, he was already buzzing on Instagram.
From Dame's previous track record, there is no doubt the walk was something that he, Galliano, and movement director Pat Boguslawski (who was also behind the Tomo Koizumi show) carefully planned. Aggressiveness was the intention with this heavy step, which only became more clear with an outfit that took inspiration from military uniforms. The goal of the walk and the collection in general? To awaken the consciences that Galliano feels are not alert enough in the face of potential international conflicts.
Dame, a young model from Berlin, is not a new figure on the runway, as he has brought his unique attitude to catwalks since 2016. Quickly becoming an undisputed star at fashion shows, he has used his performative walk to enhance the visions of major brands since like Burberry, Gucci, and Valentino, to name a few. But Margiela has become his sartorial home base, where he's had the chance to embrace his walking style repeatedly to significant attention. His appearance in the Fall 2019 show had already set a precedent with his quick pace and his unconventional character. If this viral moment catapults Dame into the spotlight more than ever before, it's just further proof that the industry is embracing performativity as it heads into a new decade.