L’Oréal Paris brings together beauty and fashion with runway show


Tonight marks the sixth edition of the L’Oréal Paris Défilé, the monumental fashion and beauty show staged by the brand during Paris Fashion Week. This year, the theme was “Walk Your Worth” taking once again the brand’s world-renowned tagline “Because you’re worth it” to new heights.” Last year, the event was watched live by 150 million people on social networks, with four billion views across all platforms. This year, for the first time, L’Oréal Paris invites people to live an immersive experience of Le Défilé on Roblox. With a runway constructed on the forecourt of the Eiffel Tower, this year is poised to be the most memorable yet, as models and ambassadors wear creations by fashion houses and designers such as Viktor&Rolf, Elie Saab, Atlein, Ester Manas, Lecourt Mansion and Ludovic de Saint Sernin. Here, L’Oréal Paris International General Director Delphine Viguier-Hovasse and French model sensation Cindy Bruna, an ambassador since 2020 who will be wearing a made-to-measure dress by Viktor & Rolf, discuss what the event represents to them and how beauty and fashion in tandem can have an uplifting impact.

Cindy, you have been a L'Oréal Paris ambassador since 2020. How did this adventure start? 


Cindy: I felt part of a team and a family very quickly. I grew up with L'Oréal Paris products. When I joined the brand, I really realised how far-reaching it was, and the values that I completely share. I used to say the slogan "I'm worth it" to myself in front of the mirror when I was growing up. And now to be part of it, to find myself on the other side of the screen, is a great honour and a great responsibility. There's this weight of representation and celebration of diversity and sisterhood embodied by the brand. For me, my values and theirs have come together. The fight against gender violence, which is also one of my fights, with a book that I've written [Le jour où j’ai arrêté d’avoir peur]. Thanks in particular to their Stand Up Against Street Harassment programme, which is their brand's cause, I was able to find out more about this subject. I've become even more aware of it, even though it's something I've experienced myself. It goes beyond beauty; it's a message, a fight, a show of values.



Delphine, why have you decided to promote these values even more?


Delphine: I like to say that L'Oréal Paris is a brand for women on the move, who want to rise intellectually, socially and physically. Having them walk is putting them into action. It's not a dinner, it's not an exhibition, they're walking. And we're a partner of Paris Fashion Week because we support young designers by doing make-up for their first shows. This gives concrete expression to our partnership with Fashion Week.



Cindy, do you feel that this show is different from designer shows? 


CB: What's different is the accessibility. It's one of the first fashion shows to be open to the public. Before, fashion shows were for the fashion elite, but now it's a gathering where everyone is invited to celebrate women, to encourage them to be aware of their values, their self-esteem. It's a gathering of women, passionate about fashion and beauty, from every background. 


Delphine, in your opinion, how is female empowerment linked to fashion?


DVH: I think beauty is power, it makes you feel better. When you put on a garment, when you put on make-up, when you arrange your hair, you look better than if you don't. Beauty is a power and physical appearance makes you feel good, gives you confidence. It's not the only thing of course, but it's the first impetus that gets you moving and allows you to dare. There's a very strong link between physical appearance and power. 


CB: I have the impression that it's about choice. The choice to wear blue lipstick if you want, or red or nude, and to take responsibility for it. To choose your hairstyle, the way you want to present yourself to the world. It's a freedom of expression. We can all make different choices. 



Delphine, the show intended to emphasise that L'Oréal Paris is at the forefront of fashion?


DVH: We want to show that L'Oréal Paris is a brand of Parisian excellence. The brand was born in 1908 in Paris, the capital of fashion. There still aren't many challengers. The show demonstrates what we can do in beauty, hairdressing, fashion and Haute Couture. It's definitely a source of pride for France. 



Cindy, do you have any memories of your first Fashion Weeks?


I was scouted when I was 16 and did my first fashion show when I was 18. I came to Paris during the school holidays. I learned and did my first tests. I did my first showroom at Alaia. I didn't know how to walk in heels. At 18, I decided to move to Paris and start my career. What really propelled me into fashion was New York Fashion Week with a Calvin Klein exclusive. I was the first Black woman to have this exclusive. Then I went on to Paris. 



Delphine, how will you measure the success of this event? 


DVH: Obviously the number of views, the impact on social media, in the press. I can see that every young person around me wants to attend. Doing things that are entertaining and fun; they give emotion. Of course, it's also a business, and the fashion show boosts product sales. 



Cindy, how does it feel to see yourself on posters all around Paris?


It's still surprising! I saw them as I was driving with my mother. We went round again and took a video!



This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.