On November 28, 1973, during a time where 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 including Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, Yves Saint Laurent, and five American fashion designers (Haltson, Anne Klein, Bill Blass, Stephen Burrows and Oscar de la Renta) participated in the fashion show that became known as the "Battle of Versailles."
The purpose of the event was to raise funds for the restoration of Versailles castle that had been destroyed by termites.
At the time, eleven African-American models did not know that they were breaking racial barriers and changing the face of U. S. fashion forever. The music, the daring looks in their eyes, the energy they brought to the stage and the daring sway if their hips were noted throughout many journals recalling the moment. By the end of the show, the audience, mostly French leaped to their feet in a screaming frenzy, many even throwing their programs in the air. There was a surge in the use of black models on the runway in Europe and America after the Versailles event.
On Friday, February 28, 2014, at 7:00 p.m., Esince Management Services
will commemorate the 40th anniversary of this fashion event and to celebrate the historical mark of African-American models on the runway by once again combining fashion with passion. How fitting is it that this event will be held at the Bessie Smith Hall! This uniquely styled runway fashion show called Remembering Versailles will feature models of all races and sizes who will hit the runway to raise awareness for the charity of their choice. Akil and Ronda Foderingham are both modeling for Build Me A World
; Ashley Macon is modeling for Girls Inc. of Chattanooga
; and Matthew Cobb is modeling for the Chattanooga Scenic City Sickle Cell Corporation
to name a few.
In order to minimize the event's expenses and maximize the donation potential to one or more of the charities, we are seeking in-kind donation of ancillary services for the fashion show, event ticket sales and program booklet ads to offset the cost of the event. You may contact one of the models directly to purchase tickets as well. Ticket sales will end February 24th! Get your tickets in advance