Remembering Versailles: A Fashion Revolution

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

On November 28, 1973, during a time when African-American models did not walk the runway, a single fashion show held in a French castle called Versailles put a new kind of modeling on the runway.  Five French fashion designers and five American fashion designers participated in the fashion show that became known as the “Battle of Versailles.”  This event was documented by filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper in Versailles '73: American Runway Revolution.  The purpose of the event was to raise funds for the restoration of the castle that had been destroyed by termites. At the time, 11 African-American models did not know that they were breaking a racial barrier, let alone changing the face of fashion forever.  Esince Management Services will commemorate the 40th anniversary of this fashion event and celebrate the historical mark of African-American models on the runway.

Five advocates, turned models (Akil and Ronda Foderingham, Ashley Macon, Mathew Cobb and Tammy Lawrence) will step on the runway to raise awareness of the local charity of their choice.  The Bethlehem Community Center is a Bronze Sponsor of this one of a kind fashion show.  The show will feature fashion designer Kimara Cox, Giorgio menswear, hat designer Michel Johnson, Allasso Shoes and entertainment from songstress Neshawn Calloway as “Bessie Smith.”

The show will begin with a celebration of the period, the 1970’s with clothing and music and end with fabulously flowing and flattering designer dresses and French cut suits on the men.  Esince Management Services looks forward to a night of fashion entertainment while celebrating African-American history. 

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

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