New York Fashion Week has always been known as little more experimental and spontaneous than the other fashion weeks around the world when it comes to how the lines are presented, except for possibly Sao Paulo. In part, that is often because at NYFW, the runway isn’t strictly the domain of seasoned models, with actresses, athletes, singers, dancers, and sometimes people that are just reality television famous taking part. This year was no exception when dancer Leiomy Maldonado walked The Blonds show and took the whole thing over by storm, creating a sensation everyone is still talking about.
Usually during NYFW, the only time people who don’t follow fashion hear anything about the week is when there is some ridiculous spat between non-models such as Nicki Minaj and Cardi B., or a famous nipple makes its way out of an outfit. This year has had plenty of that kind of drama, but it has also had Maldonado, who made her mark on the event for all the right reasons. While her walk was anything but traditional, the Bronx-bred star, according to Harper’s Bazaar, helped solidify her legend.
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As Harper’s Bazaar mentioned, many on hand mistakenly thought that Paris Hilton might be the highlight of the show, but as the press coverage following the event proved, she became a footnote of the event with some not even remembering she was dressed as a Cruella de Vil type character. Hilton took it like a pro and had only good things to say about all involved after the show.
Maldonado has earned the nickname the “Wonder Woman of Vogue,” as she is considered the best at the dance style in the world, even if Madonna may disagree. As a faculty member at the Peridance Capezio Center, she has stayed on top of the latest trends and established her actual credentials in dance, from her beginnings in ballroom to being one of the better-rounded dancers on any scene. People that don’t necessarily follow fashion, or dance too closely, may still know her from Willow Smith’s Whip My Hair video and the Nike NYC Be True campaign.
Maldonado has also appeared on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew and My House as well as Pose, which she also choreographed. Her signature hair flip, “The Leiomy Lolly,” has been adopted by Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Janet Jackson, and Britney Spears, according to Forbes. While Maldonado doesn’t currently appear on a roster for the remainder of NYFW, it wouldn’t be surprising if someone requests her to walk again after her rousing success at The Blonds Show.