• Solange McKenzie

Pat Cleveland is a show stopper at the Battle Of Versailles

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

Pat Cleveland in Stephen Burrows, Battle of Versailles

Pat Cleveland is an African American model who was discovered by Vogue editor Carrie Donovan's assistant in 1966. At the time Cleveland was an aspiring fashion designer and was featured in Vogue as an up and coming designers. After the article was published, Cleveland was approached by Ebony Magazine to model in their Fashion Fair national runway tour. This kicked off her career as a model where she began developing her working relationship with Stephen Burrows. Year later in 1973, Burrows chose Cleveland as one of his models for the Monumental Battle of Versailles.

Stephen Burrows

The Battle of Versailles was a Fashion Show held on November 28, 1973 at the Palace of Versailles. This fashion show pitted French and American designers against each other in order to raise money for the restoration of the historical palace. Each of the designers submitted 8 designs to the competition, and the American designers ultimately blew the French designers out of the water. The reason for this was not solely based on the quality of the designs, but because the American Designers chose to feature about 10 Black models. The inclusion of Black models was not a norm at this time. The battle would go down in history as one of the most influential fashion production that would change the fashion world forever.

Pat Cleveland being fitted by Stephen Burrows

- Solange McKenzie

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