Valentino presented its Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2019 Collection at Paris Fashion Week in a revolutionary way. In a historic move, the fashion house intentionally cast 43 Black models out of 65. Valentino shocked the crowd when he presented a very black selection of models, more so a very African selection of models. We have seen many all black model casts on the runway when designers are trying to make a statement, what was beautiful about the Valentino show is, it didn’t feel like a diversity statement but more like a selection of choice.
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Every part of the show was purposeful—from the beautiful models to the magnificent ensembles to the mellifluous sounds of Roberta Flack’s “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” playing in the background. The monumental event led many to tears.
FashionGHANA.com noted the names of over 30 black models, 21 of which happened to be of African decent. All the models of African decent were Ugbad Abdi (Somalia), Nyarach Aboja (Senegal), Adut Akech (Sudan), Akiima (Kenya), Nicole Atieno (Kenya), Grace Bol (Sudan), Ajak Deng, Rouguy Faye (Senegal), Sana Diouf (Senegal), Fatou Jobe (Gambia), Liya Kebede (Ethiopia), Judy Kinuthia (Kenya), Sabah Koj (Sudan), Blesnya Minher (Angolan), Mayowa Nicholas (Nigeria), Shanelle Nyasiase (Kenya), Niko Riam, Duckie Thot (Sudan), Alyssa Traore (Cote d’Ivoire), Ayak Veronica (Uganda) and Alek Wek.
Other black models from the West and the Caribbeans were Miqueal-Symone Williams, Tami Williams, Anyelina Rosa, Hannah Shakespeare, Lineisy Montero, Licett Morillo, Karly Loyce, Elibeidy Dani Martinez, Hiandra Martinez, Selena Forrest, Janaye Furman, Aaliyah Hydes, Naki Depass, Naomi Campbell, Annibelis Baez, Assa Baradji, Sompa Antonio.
Watch them rock the runway below.