(Photo Credit: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images)

Pat Cleveland wins ESSENCE’s Icon Award

ESSENCE’s inaugural Best in Black Fashion Awards is one you’d never want to miss. This annual event pays special attention to shining a light on creators of color across varying fashion positions, including top designers, stylists, photographers, models and insiders, all of whom who made an impact in 2019.

This year, one of the special attendees and award recipients was Pat Cleveland. She took home the Icon Award, and it was for good reason. Through a career that was seen by many as trailblazing and fierce, she first appeared in the 1960s as a woman of color in a time when women of color were not acknowledged.

With her beautiful, unique, and bold features and a passion for her job, she achieved a career that spanned decades and included becoming a popular face of not only runway but also print work. She worked with the likes of Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, and Valentino, and she graced the covers of magazines like Vanity Fair, Essence, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, L’Officiel Vogue Paris, W, and Elle.

Even now, over half a decade since the start of her career, she’s still walking the runway, most recently with the all-Black Zendaya x Tommy runway show.