Tommy x Zendaya Takes Paris Fashion Week by Storm

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Earlier in the day, along Avenue Montaigne and the surrounding Champs-Élysées area in Paris, crowds of “yellow vest” protesters swarmed the street for the 16th straight weekend of planned and organized marches. Police sirens became the backdrop to Paris Fashion Week shows as protesters went on the move, causing further sections of the city to come to a grinding halt.

That evening, after the fervor had died down, it swelled once more along Avenue Montaigne as hordes of onlookers arrived for what was Fashion Week’s grandest spectacle. Instead of the typical fashion crowd, regular folks were crowding the streets hoping for a mere glimpse of Tommy Hilfiger’s guests – Janelle Monae, Gigi Hadid, and Yara Shahidi included. People were screaming their faces off as the cool kids entered the Comédie & Studio des Champs-Élysées.

The reason for the fuss had as much to do with the famous faces as the new house collaborator who brought them out: Zendaya Coleman (who fabulously goes by the single moniker, Zendaya). As a bona fide beauty and triple threat, Zendaya is one of Generation Z’s most intriguing figures. This prismatic young woman is also Tommy Hilfiger’s new partner in a sophomore effort preceded by a successful joint venture with Gigi Hadid in 2018.

Photo: Courtesy of Imaxtree

But when Hilfiger tapped the young star for the project, he had no idea what he was really in for. What he found was, with the help of Zendaya’s brilliant stylist Law Roach, a fully formed idea of what the collection should be. From the outset, Zendaya and Roach were a cohesive front on what they wanted to bring to the storied American sportswear house, and it had nothing to do with the boldly colored athleisure that it has become so well-known for.

Instead, they wanted to inject their offerings with a little 1970s French je ne sais quoi. They even had the casting and music in mind from the beginning. Goodbye streetwear, hello urbane sophistication with a playful twist. Tommy x Zendaya proved to be a marvelous mix of polished tailoring, retro Zodiac prints, structured outerwear, and flared trouser suits that have fantastic day-to-night potential. Oh, and did we mention it’s size inclusive as well?

While Hilfiger was uncertain whether or not his brand was ready to show in Paris, the chic and grown-up nature of the collection reinforced a new confidence. Not only were they ready to show in Paris, but they were also ready to take the city by storm. In what turned out to be an absolute rager of a show, Tommy x Zendaya unleashed the fun. Social media was instantly buzzing about the diverse cast, which included body-positivity advocate Winnie Harlow, covered model Halima Aden, fashion’s first black supermodel Beverly Johnson, and OG black model Pat Cleveland.

It was a cast for the ages, and you have Zendaya to thank for that. She insisted on representation. It was beautiful. It was moving. It was unlike any Tommy Hilfiger show that has ever existed. Let’s not forget that the brand has a prominent place in black culture; Hilfiger was one of the few designers to reach out to the hip-hop community in the early days, dressing everyone from Coolio and Raekwon to Snoop Dogg. With this inclusive, diverse, and emotional show, everything came full circle for the brand.

At the end, the unearthly Grace Jones appeared, boogying down the runway as a disco beat throbbed through the speakers. She unbuttoned her lamé jacket to give herself room to move and proceeded to wiggle and groove, chewing up the scenery as she went. The crowd went wildIt turns out, it wasn’t that Tommy Hilfiger wasn’t ready for Paris – it was that Paris wasn’t ready for Tommy Hilfiger.

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