Cleveland, Pat

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Cleveland, Pat

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Pat Cleveland was one of the most popular models working in Fashion during the later half of the 20th Century. Born in 1950, Cleveland's modeling career began in 1967 after being spotted on a subway platform by Carrie Donovan, an assistant editor at Vogue magazine. Vogue published an article on Cleveland's fashion designs. The African American lifestyle magazine, Ebony, hired Cleveland to model for their annual Fashion Fair national runway tour. After working with Ebony, Cleveland signed with New York's Ford modelling agency. During the last few years of the '60s, Cleveland worked with some of the best photographers, like Richard Avedon and Irving Penn. Cleveland, however, became fed up with the U.S. and its racism. She moved to Paris in 1971, stating that she wouldn't come back to the U.S. until a black woman appeared on the cover of Vogue. While in France, she became friendly with Karl Lagerfeld and lived with fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez and his entourage. While in Paris, Cleveland worked with some of the biggest names in fashion. In 1973, she was one of the models chosen to walk in the legendary 'Battle of Versaille.' After Beverly Johnson appeared on the cover of US Vogue in 1974, Cleveland returned to the U.S. Having proven herself to be a talented runway model, Cleveland was hired by many designers to walk the catwalk in their shows. Cleveland continued to work in fashion until the mid-1980s when she went into semi-retirement to focus on her family. In 1995, Cleveland started her own modelling agency in Piedmont, Italy. Cleveland published a memoir, "Walking with the Muses," in 2016. While returning to the runway for Paris Fashion Week in 2019, Cleveland fell ill. She was diagnosed with colon cancer. Luckily, she pulled through. As of Fall 2020, Cleveland is healthy and continues to work in fashion. Her daughter is model Anna Cleveland.


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