Tracee Ellis Ross is best known as an actress, but we've been well aware that the woman's fashion game is unmatched. Turns out, she used to have very real aspirations of walking the catwalk herself for major fashion houses -- and did just that back in the day.
Yesterday, Ross shared a video, photos and a little backstory from a Mugler fashion show in Paris 30 years ago to the day that she walked in. As she tells it, her mother -- the Diana Ross -- was asked to walk in the designer's spring 1991 "Butterfly" show. Diana, knowing how painfully her second eldest longed to be a high-fashion model, gave the couturier an ultimatum: Either Tracee would walk with her, or she wouldn't at all.
"She knew that I would sh*t my Guess jeans at the chance to model for real because I desperately wanted to be a model. Plus, I was only a couple of weeks shy of my 18th birthday. So, my mama agreed to walk in the show as long as they allowed her daughter to model in the show as well," Tracee wrote.
The accompanying photos are fabulous, showing an 18-year-old TER in couture with an Ariana Grande-esque ponytail (sorry, Ari, guess she did it first!), and she also shared anecdotes about being mentored by Willi Ninja, walking alongside model gods Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell and being asked back for the next show by Thierry Mugler himself. But what makes this post so beautiful is the absolute joy radiating off of mother and daughter as they slay that walk.
Diana Ross is always exuberant and full of life, and that's obviously something she's instilled in her children. The two of them sashaying down the catwalk, in matching leather, to the beat of "I'm Coming Out" -- like, how do I go back in time and sit front row for this moment?
Tracee had relayed the story to Vogue back in 2015, when she was being honored at Harlem Fashion Row's New York Fashion Week Award Ceremony. Though now firmly planted in the entertainment industry, she's been photographed by the greats and edited the fashion sections of Mirabella and New York Magazines. Fashion was her springboard, and her mama made it happen.
"Great birthday, period! Top of the line. One of the best. Everything has been downhill from there. I peaked at 18!" she told Vogue.