On Monday, January 24, the Met's Multicultural Audience Development Initiative and The Costume Institute honored eleven models of color who walked the runway for five American designers in 1973 as they faced off against five French designers at Versailles, forever altering the way fashion was presented on the global stage. The event, co-hosted by the surviving American designers Oscar de la Renta and Stephen Burrows, saluted models Billie Blair, Jennifer Brice, Alva Chinn, Pat Cleveland, Norma Jean Darden, Charlene Dash, Bethann Hardison, Barbara Jackson, China Machado, Ramona Saunders, and Amina Warsuma for their role in this landmark triumph of American style and diversity. Held in the Met's Temple of Dendur in the Sackler Wing, the event attracted more than two hundred guests, and included these remarks.
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