02/28/2012 12:24 pm ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

A Black Model in Paris

I would like to share with you my new documentary A Black Model in Paris. The beginning of the battle at the Palace Versailles. I was one of the first dark-skinned models to walk the Paris catwalk in 1972. I felt it was taboo because if you weren't a mullato or couldn't pass for white you weren't hired to walk on the runway. Karl Lagerfeld brought me to Paris and gave me two weeks to make it. The reason for that -- I was an experiment, something new. He didn't know whether it was going to work or not and neither did I. Not only did I become a success in two weeks, I stayed in Paris for six months and became a supermodel throughout Europe that entire year.

When I was in Paris I wore Stephen Burrows clothes which the French designers all laughed at me and said I look like a carnival. They didn't understand the American designer and they all thought his clothes were amusing. In Europe at that time they didn't respect American Designers. I was the life of the party dressed in Stephen Burrows. I think I was invited to all those parties just so they could see what I was wearing. At the time it was new and colorful and I must say the colors looked very good against my skin tone. The matte jersey fabrics would cling to every curve on my body. It was electrifying! The dresses, tops and pants with no zippers or buttons, I could just slip in and out of them. They were like nighgowns and pajamas I could sleep in them if I wanted to. I always had to wear a bra and panties but some models didn't wear either and Stephen Burrows clothes would just clinged to their bodies.

His clothes were very unusual in America and bizarre in Europe. Fashion in Europe was more precise the cuts were tailored the fabrics lined, fitted. Perfectly buttoned and zipped the stitching immaculate. This was what the haute couture houses in Paris and throughout Europe were designing and making. Now that I look back I consider myself a beacon running around Europe in Stephen's clothes which were shouting loud and clear "THE AMERICAN DESIGNERS ARE COMING!" That was the beginning! I was the signal of the great confrontation that was to come in the battle at the Palace Versailles in 1973. That night at the Palace Versailles changed everything. As a model, I became even more successful. The effects are still felt today economically thirty years later.

I invite you to see my documentary and to share my journey go to or go to my website You can also look up the Metropolitan Museum of Art luncheon for the models at the Palace Versailles and The Huffington Post Game Changer awardfor the models at Versailles 73.