*Super model Pat Cleveland is virtually synonymous with the world of high fashion. Widely coveted by the world’s top designers and purveyors of high style, Cleveland 66, for has reigned as queen of the runway for 5 decades and counting. Born in New York to a black mom and Swedish father, the biracial beauty was discovered on a subway platform by a Vogue magazine editor.
Although initially interested in becoming a designer, Cleveland fortunately recognized her enormous potential as a model and soon kicked off a career that has been legendary. During her career she has worked with legendary designers like Halston, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Oscar del la Renta and Stephen Burrows and top photographers like Scavullo, Avedon, Irving Penn, Steven Meisel and Andy Warhol. Pat Cleveland is a true diva in a good way who has garnered a reputation that is unique, timeless and inspirational.
The Robertson Treatment recently had the honor to speak with the model who’s promoting her memoir, WALKING WITH THE MUSES – a candid romp that details the experiences of her illustrious career.
Robertson Treatment: Why did you want to become a model?
Pat Cleveland: It’s been a long journey. I have been writing this book nearly all of life – since I was a teenager and now I’ve finally got it between two covers. I love writing, and when I came back to America to take care of my mother I found all of these diaries and wanted to do something with them. Working on this project has been so magical – like poetry.
I’ve had a love for art all of my life – my mother was an artist, so I use to dream about living a life that was completely immersed by art. Growing up, I became inspired when I would sit next to her while she was doing her work. So art is in my blood and that’s one of my goals that I wanted to achieve through my work in fashion. Modeling was something that I could do well, and my experiences have been just like a dream. I got discovered when I was 15 by an editor from Vogue who spotted me wearing some of my designs while waiting on the subway. I then learned how to be a model when I was selected by Mrs. Eunice Johnson (founder of the Ebony Fashion Show), for whom I toured around America wearing designers like St. Laurent and Dior every night.
RT: How would you describe your legendary signature walk?
PC: My being able to walk at all was a gift from God. I was almost not able to walk after an accident that I had when I was 17, so I had to get the courage to learn to walk again. So for me walking was a gift, and I just learned to walk my walk. When I hit the stage it’s like show time – the stage is like a big stadium to me and I’m there to do my best.
RT: What was your greatest challenge as a high-fashion model?
PC: Opportunities were very limited during my career. Being part black and Scandinavian, I never fit in, so I had to let my instincts guide my career. Fortunately, I am good at what I do and like wild flowers just went around spreading my joy. I hope my story will help inspire someone to dream a little about what’s possible.
RT: How would you grade the industry today in terms of its diversity?
PC: It’s more international now – a rainbow situation, but still political. The good thing is that today people want more and they are not motivated by fear and want more color in their palette. Today, people want to get things done quickly, but I’m like an oil painting that needs more time to create the magic.
RT: What’s been the high point of your career?
Oh wow… Well I modeled in the Olympics – did the cover of Vogue and shot with some of the world’s greatest photographers. I’ve touched base with so many of my dreams, but I still feel like to best is yet to come.
RT: How do you want to be remembered?
PC: As a loving person. Young ladies reach out to me all the time about how they want to be a model to be a part of something. For the girls coming up, I want them to know how important it is to have the courage to keep going. Regardless of what you do in life, it’s important to keep discovering yourself and feed your life with joy and always believe that your dreams are possible.
2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
Full disclosure: I’ve been a Jeep Cherokee owner for nearly twenty years, so I’m an obviously a fan of this brand. Known for its on the road versatility and robust exterior stylings, the ride has a loyal following. This latest edition of the iconic ride is loaded with new features that are said to amplify it’s legendary status. That plus well-known strengths off-road, made me excited to take it on a spin on Atlanta’s mean highways.
Wow Factor: Gone is the boxy like exterior that had become a signature for this brand. In its place is a new, smoother exterior that stays true to the ride’s tough-guy status. I drove the Trailhawk trim that comes outfitted with some great improvements that includes an advanced four-wheel-drive system (Active Drive II), plus other features that enhance this ride.
Ride: Armed with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that yields a competitive 184 horsepower, supported by a nine-speed transmission, the Cherokee Trailhawk gets the job done for both big city living and off road excursions. Another big plus is its superior all-independent front and rear suspension system that will impress any driver.
Comfort: The Trailhawk’s interior cabin is outfitted with high quality soft leather and amble seating for both the driver and passengers alike. The well-appointed cabin features straightforward, easy to use controls that adds to the driving experience. Also, its excellent suspension and tight steering will give drivers great on the road control and passengers a smooth ride.
Spin Control: Competitively priced (starting MS $ ) and with solid fuel economy (an EPA-estimated22 mpg combined with either the four-cylinder or the V6, the Cherokee Trailhawk is a highly styled crossover, that will leave some its competitors quaking. I clearly expect it to attract a new group of loyalist to this great automotive brand.
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