Runway shows tend to be quite serious affairs. The music thumps, the audience is silent, and the models keep straight faces as they methodically stomp down the catwalk. And then when it’s all over, everyone rushes out as fast as they possibly can to get to their next show. But for Le Défilé L’Oréal Paris – the makeup conglomerate’s annual fashion show held in Paris and featuring not only professional models but celebrity spokespeople – you’d think you walked into a party for one of your best friends. People cheered, models danced and laughed and hugged each other on the runway, and every single person had a huge smile on their face.
The models and celebrities on the runway were obviously having the time of their lives. Cindy Bruna waved to friends in the front row (including Naomi Campbell), Camila Cabello winked and blew kisses, Andie MacDowell twirled and tossed her gorgeous waves, Aja Naomi King smiled ear-to-ear as she strutted around the circular catwalk, and, of course, the incomparable Dame Helen Mirren closed the show by running onto the runway barefoot in a flowing floral gown, whirling her skirt around with the grace of a flamenco dancer.
“It is fun!” King told POPSUGAR backstage before the show, right at the exact moment that Eva Longoria popped around the corner to surprise King and say hi. “I mean, that’s what’s so great about this [event], because I never get to see Eva or Doutzen [Kroes] unless we’re doing something for the brand. And I think that’s the other thing, [it seems like for] L’Oréal, everyone has to be wonderful human beings to be here, so that makes it perfect.”
“To do this show with people who I’ve really come to love and respect and know, it offers safety in something that would otherwise be terrifying and intimidating.”
“I’m excited to be here and to see the variety of spokespeople that have come together to create this show,” actress Amber Heard told POPSUGAR. “You know, the choice to do a fashion show, at Fashion Week in Paris, is a really bold choice. I think it’s a bold way to celebrate beauty and fashion and creativity.” Echoing King’s sentiments, one of Heard’s favourite parts of doing the show was being surrounded by her fellow spokespeople. “To do this show with people who I’ve really come to love and respect and know, it offers safety in something that would otherwise be terrifying and intimidating,” she said.
In addition to being a damn good time, the message of L’Oréal Paris’s runway show was all about celebrating and uplifting women, something many of the brand’s ambassadors were quick to acknowledge. “L’Oréal has done such a wonderful job of standing in solidarity with incredible women and really promoting the belief system of ‘You are worth it,'” said King. “Like, however you are, you’re existing in this world as a woman and you’re worth it – it’s just so empowering and so beautiful. And I love that I get to be the face of it.”
“When L’Oréal Paris came to me, they came to me not because I was a bearer of some superficial quality – they could have hired 50 other pretty people – but because I represent something and stand for something,” responded Heard when asked about why she was proud to participate in the event. “I was honoured to be considered among one of those iconic figures on their roster – from actors and singers to gold medalists of all ages and backgrounds – that represent the breadth of female diversity.”