By Chuck Bennett

Paris — “Sometimes your exit should be even more dynamic than your entrance,” says fashion designer Cedi Johnson, describing elements of his “AbsoFAB” collection over dinner at Le suffren in Paris. “Because we’re in the fashion capitol of the world, I took designing this collection totally from a couture perspective. We call it off-beat elegance.”

On Friday, Cedi, a native Detroiter, who now resides in Washington, D.C., presented his collection in Paris, France, at the Ritz Hotel during Paris Fashion Week. And not only did he show once, but he was asked to present his show twice, the second time filling in for a Russian designer who was unable to participate. The show was produced by Fashion Week Studio, a Los Angeles-based company that produces runway shows during Fashion Week in Paris, Milan and New York.

Cedi was the last designer to show during the 4:30 presentations. His soundtrack, created by Detroit DJ Spence, generated a different feeling in the air from the first bar played. (Was that really a house-music version of “Superfly” by Curtis Mayfield?)

As promised, Cedi’s Parisian models stormed the runway dressed flawlessly from head to toe in Cedi originals, including the jewelry, the bags, the shoes and even the hosiery. “I mixed the wonderful textiles, the knits that I’m known for, some sportier pieces cut with a couture silhouette, some avant garde things with lots of elegance, and of course, the dramatic exit pieces.”

The collection is Victorian-inspired, mixed with couture, mixed with street. How about the long/short dress with the lengthy train and big bow; or the dress with the solid lace front and the sexy illusional see-through lace back; or the gowns that seemed to literally float as the models glided down the aisle?

There were several screams from the audience of women shouting, “I must have that!” About 30 women from the audience of nearly 300 people flew in from Detroit to celebrate and support Cedi, with at least another 30 from Washington, D.C., Atlanta and New York. Among the Detroiters were Juliette Okotie Eboh, Monica Anthony, Shannon Steele, Mable Jones, Maxine Beatty, Carmen Carter, Crystal Sanford-Brown, Sanya Tyson Wes and Char Goolsby.


The crowd cheered as a very humble Cedi took his bow.


“It took eight months to put this collection together, but I’ve been practicing for this performance all my life,” Cedi said. “It’s really surreal that this is actually happening.”

Cedi’s uniquely astute creations have graced the bodies of actress Vivica A. Fox, gospel superstar Dorinda Clark Cole, singing superstar Anita Baker, and R&B singer Dwele among others.

His collection was featured during New York Fashion Week in 2018. Cedi hosts intimate gatherings and pop-ups for his exclusive clientele to preview and purchase his latest creations. Last October, he hosted a sneak peek of the AbsoFAB line, held at the Carley House in Detroit's historic Boston Edison District, then another one hosted by Monica Anthony at Fellowship Chapel in February.


March 4th at Paris Fashionweek Fashion Designer Cedi's 40yr Dream comes true. He Showed his 'AbsoFAB" Collection. www.cedigoestoparis.com/Andre Royster (Video)