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Pat Cleveland - Pioneers Who Have Shaped America's Fashion Industry

Pat Cleveland was a notable fashion model in the 1960s and 70s, known as being the first African American model to achieve commercial success in both runway and print modelling. Cleveland was one of the 11 Black models that walked for American designers at the Battle of Versailles in 1973.

Cleveland continued to have a successful career in the industry; working with photographers like Irving Penn, Steven Meisel, and Richard Avdeon, as well as publications like Essence. Cleveland is known for her prowess on the runway, being a constant feature in shows for designers such as Kenzo, Valentino, and Yves Saint Laurent. Cleveland is still considered to be a modelling-maven, for her ability to captivate audiences by incorporating dance and movement into her modelling.


Image: Pat Cleveland for the Gentlewoman_Image by Bejamin Alexander Huseby_2013.

Text: Jones, E. 2020. Pat Cleveland: the model who partied with Warhol, lived with Lagerfeld – and took on Vogue. Available at:

Storey, K. 2016. ​​How Pat Cleveland Conquered Racism to Become the World's First Black Supermodel. Available at:


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