Leeanet Noble

by Andriana Albert

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LIQUID VISCOSE TOP AND LEATHER MARINE HIGH PEROXIDE SHOES BY ALEXANDER WANG AND SILK PAISLEY GOWN WITH METAL DETAIL BY ETRO.

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LIQUID VISCOSE TOP AND LEATHER MARINE HIGH PEROXIDE SHOES BY ALEXANDER WANG AND SILK PAISLEY GOWN WITH METAL DETAIL BY ETRO.

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TECHNO JERSEY COAT BY SALLY LAPOINTE, PRINTED TECHNO JERSEY ASYMMETRICAL DRESS BY MISSONI, WOVEN LONG CULOTTES BY ELLERY, AND METALLIC AND MESH SNEAKERS BY PAUL SMITH.

Leeanet Noble

A Pistol Without A Trigger

LeeAnet Noble, daughter of performing artist and actress Lauretta Malloy, learned how to dance as
a kid in an unlikely place: the knockabout streets of Cleveland. As she grew up, Noble immersed herself in the arts, joining a touring tap company and, later, a step troupe. “I always had a passion for choreographing and making unique things,” she says. “When I was in the step troupe, I choreographed a piece where we fused gumboot, step, and tap—and we also told a story while we were doing it. I really like to tell a story—or make an impact—do something unique and out-of-the-box.”

It was that sentiment that inspired designer Rick Owens to enlist the help of Noble and Malloy—along with Noble’s 40-person group of steppers, Team Vicious—to bring his Spring 2014 collection to life at Paris Fashion Week. “I had seen some avant-garde presentations before from Paris Fashion Week,” Noble says, “but nothing quite like what we were doing.”

Though the choreography was designed to showcase Owens’ latest creations, the runway presentation explored more than just fashion. The show surged with adrenaline, transfixing an audience no doubt accustomed to theatricality. But this was about a particular experience. In the middle of Paris Fashion Week, here’s a high-profile runway show with “real” women wearing real sizes. The show aimed to make
a statement exploring this concept: The group marching onto the runway in sets of ten—each representing a different color palette from Owens’ 2014 line—stepping, jumping, and clapping in unison.

Keeping true to step’s deep-rooted traditions, Owens and Noble chose to close the show out with a symbolic gesture: the lockup. “The lockup,” Noble explains, “is when a person crosses over into their sorority. They connect to each other and they’re now one—that’s what it’s supposed to signify.” Using the visual of the women linking made a powerful impression that spoke to more than just aesthetics. “Rick’s vision was supposed to show all these separate entities coming together as one whole,” Noble proclaims. “We performed in individual groups, in different colors, but we came together as one full team, and went out together.”

Since returning from Paris, Noble and Malloy have been afforded the opportunity to fuse fashion and step in other projects, pushing their craft in new directions. “I’ve always had a love of fashion but it was something that didn’t seem as attainable. I didn’t think I would be a model on the Paris runway. I think a lot of girls imagine being a model, and they watch everything from America’s Next Top Model to whatever the hottest fashion shows are, and they practice posing. I didn’t know that
I would actually get to do the posing for magazine shoots and things of that sort. So it really just opened me up to a new world.”

Photographer: Zach Gross for Sohomanagementus.com. Stylist: Joshua Liebman at JoshuaLiebman.com. Hair & Makeup: Clelia Bergonzoli for UtopiaNYC.com using Nars.