As usual, the final day of Paris Fashion Week kicked off with Chanel, which is now under the helm of the late Karl Lagerfeld’s successor, Virginie Viard. It also marked the end of the spring 2020 shows—a season that’s been full of runway model surprises,
Still, not even Keke Palmer or Agyness Deyn can hold a candle to the surprise model—well, “model”—who joined Kaia Gerber and Gigi Hadid in walking Chanel’s finale on Tuesday morning, when a woman wearing a tweed houndstooth suit stormed the runway to join them. Naturally, spectators immediately turned their cameras away from the collection and toward the intruder, who turns out to have been one Marie Benoliel, aka Marie S’Infiltre, a 28-year-old YouTuber.
And yet that wasn’t the end of the excitement. Once she’d walked the length of the catwalk herself, Hadid took it upon herself to escort Benoliel off the runway, beating even the security staff who rushed off to do the same (though they apparently had trouble distinguishing the interloper from the models whom the house had officially cast). Hadid’s efforts were ultimately successful, though Benoliel managed to stall enough to squeeze in a final round of poses for the cameras.
Rather than slink away from the spotlight, Benoliel has been equally bold about embracing her responsibility for the publicity stunt. She confirmed her identity by commenting “that’s me” with a heart and middle finger emoji on a video of the incident that WWD posted on Instagram. She also shared a screenshot of one of the many headlines she made on her Instagram, where she now has thousands of additional followers since storming the runway.
As it turns out, this isn’t the first time that Benoliel has pulled such a move. She also crashed Étam’s runway show last week, that time also taking care to blend in by suiting up in lingerie. Somehow, Benoliel managed to get invited (or sneak her way in) to Chanel—for better or for worse. Reactions to her latest act are almost entirely divided into two camps: those who think Hadid saved the day from a selfish gate-crasher and those who are living vicariously through Benoliel’s star turn, declaring her to be a “legend.”
The Most Surprising Models to Walk Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020
Marie Benoliel, better known as the YouTuber Marie S’Infiltre, was not officially cast in Chanel’s spring 2020 show on the final day of Paris Fashion Week. But that didn’t stop her from leaping onto the runway during the finale, as if she were meant to be there all along. Benoliel, who wore Chanel-style houndstooth tweed, fit in surprisingly well, though her star turn didn’t last for long; a less-than-amused Gigi Hadid soon intervened.
As usual, Xiao Wen Ju has been booking editorial after editorial and campaign after campaign. Still, her turn on the runway of Miu Miu’s spring 2020 show during Paris Fashion Week came as something of a surprise; she’s barely appeared on the catwalk over the past few years, and tends to stick to New York Fashion Week.
Agyness Deyn joined Jenner in making a platinum blonde comeback to the runway at Burberry—the same brand that reportedly once fired her for being too famous. (The late-aughts icon last walked a runway in 2015.)
The Stranger Things actor Caleb McLaughlin left behind Hawkins for the Kings Theatre, in Brooklyn, where Kerby Jean-Raymond staged what’s shaping up to be the most vital fashion show this year: Pyer Moss spring 2020.
As you may recall, the last time that Slick Woods walked the runway—for Rihanna, no less—the model went into labor. Things went a little smoother this time around, when she made her return to the catwalk at LaQuan Smith’s show in New York.
Debi Mazar and her 17-year-old daughter Evelina Corcos brought back last year’s biggest Fashion Week trend—moms—by walking at Kate Spade hand in hand.
Right up there with Agyness Deyn when it comes to late-aughts blasts from the pasts is Cole Mohr, the heavily tatted It boy of yore who was practically everywhere a decade ago. Like last year, he walked at Helmut Lang, but this time around the 33-year-old model showed up—and elicited audible gasps—at Eckhaus Latta, too.
Ashley Graham’s appearance at Zendaya’s latest extravaganza with Tommy Hilfiger wouldn’t be a surprise—save for the fact that the 31-year-old model is currently several months pregnant.
The Wolverine and Westworld star Tao Okamoto returned to the runway for the first time in five and a half years to walk Prabal Gurung during New York Fashion Week.
As a former muse to Hedi Slimane, the Sunflower Bean singer Julia Cumming has always had ties to fashion. But it was still quite the surprise when she turned up in an innocent white cardigan on the catwalk at Anna Sui.
The YouTuber, actor, and singer Cameron Dallas once again solidified his multihyphenate reputation when he made his way down the catwalk at Christian Cowan.
The Hustlers star Keke Palmer spent the day before giving the world the gift that is “sorry to this man” moonlighting as a model for Christian Cowan.
Perhaps to balance out the newcomers, Christian Cowan tapped Karolina Kurkova to both open and close his New York show.
With everything going on at the Blonds’ collaboration with the Moulin Rouge revival on Broadway, you’d be forgiven for missing out on the fact that Gigi Gorgeous walked the runway. The YouTube superstar, on the other hand, “literally screamed for hours” when she heard the news.
Veronica Webb resurfaced on the runway last season, and fortunately, the ’90s supermodel appears to be here to stay. This time around, she’s walked Nicole Miller and Tommy Hilfiger x Zendaya—so far, anyway.