The name is Dame, Leon Dame.
You may not be familiar with the 20-year-old model from Berlin, but chances are you’ll be seeing a lot more of him thanks to his career-making moves at the Maison Margiela show at Paris Fashion Week.
Strutting down the runway like some kind of deranged nautical cyborg, Dame wore a black leather vaguely sailor-esque hat, a boxy belted leather jacket topped with a striped capelet, tiny white shorts, and a pair of knee-high heeled black boots.
They weren’t quite stilettos, but the heels were still high enough to teeter on, and he werked that narrow stage like his life depended on it.
Savage genius and Maison Margiela creative director John Galliano specifically chose Dame to close the show, and the young Berliner managed to deliver the biggest moment of fashion week. Even Anna Wintour couldn’t help cracking a smile at this guy’s chutzpah.
Dame was scouted by an agent while waiting for a bus, he told British Vogue, and is also currently studying theatre theory (of course!) and politics in Berlin.
He had help with that walk, he says, crediting movement director Pat Boguslawski for his choreography and revealing that he usually works on his character with Galliano ahead of his final fitting. “I loved that idea [of character building] from the beginning and always tried to push it a bit further,” he said.
It takes a village, apparently — when posting the video of his MM appearance to Instagram, Dame also thanked fashion editor/brand consultant/Galliano’s partner Lexy Roche, fashion stylist Katy England, hairdresser Eugene Souleiman, makeup artist Pat McGrath and casting director Jess Hallett.
Galliano had just two parting words for Dame before he set off down the runway on Thursday: “Work it!”
Baby, he OWNED it. A star was born.