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LaQuan Smith and New York Fashion Week 2022

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Temple chapter.

LaQuan’s Star-Studded Runway Show and Black Designers at Fashion Week.

New York Fashion Week has taken the world by storm as its week-long semi-annual event took place between September 9th to 14th. Established, as well as newer designers, showcased their pieces during hundreds of runway shows. One of these designers, who has been in the game since 2013, is LaQuan Smith. As a womenswear designer, the aesthetic he seeks to create with his clothing is to “embrace the female figure.” 

In his 2022 NYFW runway show, he displayed his Spring/Summer 2023 ready-to-wear collection, with some stars making an appearance as well, including Cassie, Kyle Kuzma, Spice, Uncut Gems star Julia Fox and Power’s Lala Anthony. Well-known America’s Next Top Model star and supermodel Winnie Harlow also made an appearance, as she took to the runway adorned in Smith’s pieces. 

Proceeding Julia Fox’s arrival to the runway, a moment of silence was taken for a Black fashion icon and the first Black man to be the creative director for Vogue magazine, André Leon Talley, who also happened to be Smith’s mentor. His cultural impact is undeniable, and being that he was a lover of all things glitz and glamour, he would’ve definitely enjoyed the looks Smith produced for the show. 

Fox walking in Smith’s show explains just how critically acclaimed and successful the New York City-based designer has become. Smith has dressed the likes of Beyoncé, Rihanna, Hailey Bieber, and Irina Shayk so he’s no newbie to the industry and his connections to celebrities have undoubtedly assisted with his rise to the top. However, this year’s Fashion Week did display and shed light on the work of more Black fashion designers than in previous years. 

Among these designers of color include Victor Glemaud, who makes knitwear for all sizes, races, and genders, Teni-ola “Tia” Adeola, a Nigerian-born New York City-based fashion designer inspired by her passion for the Renaissance and art history as a whole, and Telfar Clemens, Brooklyn-born Liberian queer designer whose shopping bags have put him on the map. 

Smith’s collection included very short miniskirts, faux fur corsets, gold leggings, and sequined red dresses- accompanied by extremely high heels worn by each model. Those in the audience of his big night were eccentric people in unique and quirky garb, colored hair, tutus, and a mix of leather with faux fur. 

All in all, Smith’s incremental climb to the top of the fashion industry has been a long time coming, as he began his brand at the age of 21- inspired by his grandmother, who ultimately influenced his decision and subsequent passion for pattern making and sewing. He was rejected by both the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons School of Design, and eventually made patterned leggings worn by Kim Kardashian and Lady Gaga. This simply goes to show the importance of preserving in the face of failure, because if Smith hadn’t, he wouldn’t have made it to where he is today as a luxury designer.

Hi! I'm Natalia Opoku, a 4th-year student at Temple University. I'm a Media Studies and Production Major with a Film minor. I have a passion for all things fashion, beauty, music, and film/ entertainment! I'm so happy to be a part of the Her Campus family and I'm looking forward to writing pieces for the magazine!