Good Afternoon Fashionistas:

If there is an embodiment of the catwalk theatrics synonymous with the late sixties and seventies, it is defined by one of the industry’s first supermodels, Pat Cleveland.With a walk that was something like Broadway-meets-flamenco, Cleveland proved that models weren’t just good in pictures, they could move, too. The two videos below will leave you more energized or exhausted.  Needless to say this legendary supermodel had plenty of energy to spare. 

​Pat Cleveland wearing Stephen Burrows
at the Battle of Versailles 1973
​Pat Cleveland wearing Halston
circa 1970’s
Model Pat Cleveland was born in New York City on June 23, 1950. Her father, Johnny Johnston, was a saxophonist; her mother, Lady Bird Cleveland, a painter. After her parents separated, Cleveland was raised by her mother in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. She graduated from New York’s High School of Art and Design in 1969.

Cleveland’s career as a fashion model began in 1966 when she was spotted on a New York subway by Carrie Donovan, an assistant editor at Vogue magazine. She first modeled as a live mannequin in Ebony’s Fashion Fair, and then for Vogue magazine. In 1970, Cleveland relocated to Paris, France, where she worked with illustrator Antonio Lopez and became a house model for Karl Lagerfeld’s Chloé. She modeled for designers such as Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, Yves Saint Laurent, Thierry Mugler and Christian Dior. In 1973, Cleveland was part of the benefit fashion show at the Palace of Versailles in France.

Cleveland returned to the United States in 1974, and continued modeling into the 1980s. She also established a modeling agency in Milan, Italy, andpublished a volume of poetry in 2001 entitled In The Spirit Of Grace. In 2003, Cleveland returned to the fashion runway, walking for designers Bill Blass andStephen Burrows, and at Chanel, with her daughter, Anna van Ravenstein.(see photo below)  Cleveland also modeled with her daughter for designer Zac Posen in 2013.

Cleveland has appeared in countless fashion spreads and on the covers of such magazines as Vanity FairEssenceVogue,Women’s Wear DailyL’Officiel, and GQ. In addition, she appeared in advertisement campaigns for Vidal Sasoon and Karl Lagerfeld, and has been photographed by Steven Meisel and Andy Warhol. In 2010, Cleveland appeared as a guest judge in season fourteen of America’s Next Top Model. That same year, she appeared in the documentary Ultrasuede, In Search of Halston. In 2012, Cleveland was featured in two more fashion documentaries, Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution and About Face: Supermodels Then and Now.

Cleveland is married to Paul van Ravenstein. They have two children: Noel andAnna.

Pat Cleveland was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 14, 2014.

The Bold and the Beautiful photo shoot
Left: Pat Cleveland, Alva Chinn, Bethann Hardison, 
Jaunel McKenzie, Kinee Diouf & Shelby Coleman
The Battle of Versailles ’73 book launch 2015
There were many more models participating in the The Battle of Versailles. Fashion editor Robin Givhan’s book unfolds all the high drama that arose in implementing this historic event.
​Pat with daughter Anna in for Lanvin
Summer 2015
NCM Blog
September 9, 2015
​Book synopsis on September 9, 2015 blog post above.
The fashion designer that broke the mode in part 3 of 3 The Battle of Versailles.