By: Tatum Koster | September 20, 2021
LaQuan Smith brought New York Fashion Week to another level last week, unveiling his Spring 2022 collection at the top of the Empire State Building. The iconic building had never completely shut down for a fashion experience like this before, grasping the attention of the fashion community.
In 2013 Smith made his formal debut as a fashion designer after being declined from the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons School of Design. Over Smith’s career, he has had the opportunity to prove his talents by dressing some of the biggest celebrities, such as Kylie Jenner, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Beyonce. In October, he will begin a partnership with Asos to make his products available to the mass market worldwide. This will allow his consumer base to grow from top names, like Beyonce, to those who look up to her and aspire to dress like her. It was only right that veterans Winnie Harlow, Elsa Hosk, and Taylor Hill were some of the models showcasing his designs. Harlow has been an inspiration for women all over the globe as she has confidently developed a name for herself in the limelight despite her skin condition known as vitiligo. Patches of her skin have lost their pigmentation, but she has not lost her confidence, flaunting her natural body shamelessly.
Growing up in Queens, New York, Smith understood how iconic the Empire State Building truly is and, in an interview with E News, said, “It's really about celebrating the strength and vibrancy of New York, and that’s what I’m all about. New York has really inspired my design aesthetic.”
In addition to providing the audience with glamorous pieces, the crowd sat 86 stories high on the observation deck, directly facing the New York City skyline at night. The show included 55 different looks, ranging in style from bedazzled bikinis, sleek gowns, leisurely oversized t-shirts. Even a poodle had its turn strutting down the runway. Opening with a statement, Jordan Daniels stepped out in a long-sleeve sparkly dress accentuating her waist with slits following the natural line of the hip bone. Every stitch was made to compliment the model’s natural body allowing them to look as Smith had wanted, “unapologetically sexy.”
Adjacent to the twinkling lights of the city skyline, Smith displayed a sparkling, blue bikini paired with a basic white robe and white bedazzled heels. An oversized graphic hoodie hit the runway, complete with fishnet leggings crisscrossing all the way up the model's legs and strappy heels to embody New York City streetwear. A category that is hard to define, Smith took the casual look and just stretched it a little further.
LaQuan Smith’s show was just one of many shows that took place across the city last week, each one with its own unique take on fashion, though none with a setting quite like Smith’s.