“Eclipse” is the latest collection from designer LaQuan Smith’s ready to wear/diffusion line, LQS.
Futuristic and subtle, the foray includes an array of textures, sharp silhouettes, cute cut outs, and bold shoulders
Gone are the electric pinks, blues, and peaches characterizing LaQuan’s last Hard Candy collection. Fall/Winter 2011-2012 is all about neutral blacks, conservative navies, and winter whites.
Smith says, “The Eclipse collection is young, fun, and hip with a flare of classic luxury that works for every woman.”
LaQuan Smith at 22 years old is an emerging talented designer who had no formal education in fashion designing. He started sewing clothes at the age of 13 when most boys where interested in football or video games. He grew up in Queens, New York and still lives in a room that doubles as his studio in his grand parents house.
While preparing for a fashion show in high school he was diagnosed with fibrosarcoma, a malignant cancerous tumour, his toe had to be amputated. This has not deterred him as he’s usually spotted wearing six-inch Christian Louboutin heels.
After high school, he worked as an intern for nine weeks at the famous Black Book magazine but wasn’t up for writing articles, he wanted to get recognition for his work as a designer. Since no one knew about him he opted for crashing fashion shows wearing his designs usually tight fitted pants, spiked leggings and cropped jackets exposing his mid-riff. He introduced himself at parties as a designer to anyone who would care and eventually got noticed by publicist Kelly Mills, who now represents him.
LaQuan Smith (LQS) debuted at the New York Fashion Week in February 2010 at the Society of Illustrators where he showed his ‘Water Goddess’ collection made up of 15 looks. The collection was inspired by the sea, shells and sharks, hence his choice of fabrics, ones usually used to make divers suit, “they were best for translating my inspiration”. The show was a huge success as notable industry players like Andre Leon Tally, Contributing Editor of Vogue and many others where present. He has since then received accolades from the press and major celebrities. He has custom made clothes for a roll of celebrities such as Rihanna, Alicia Keys and Courtney Love.
Through his travels, LaQuan was inspired to create a diffusion line for the everyday women he encountered at each city. LaQuan Smith's diffusion line entitled “LQS” was first introduced at Africa Fashion Week in Johannesburg, South Africa.
LQS is for the modern, sensual and liberal woman, while his diffusion line is for a much younger and retro woman.
He still makes his clothes from scratch by himself “the whole process of making an outfit usually takes about two and a half weeks but sometimes what I have in mind is not usually what comes out at the end because the fabrics I can find in the city might not be able to totally interpret them”.
LaQuan Smith loves hanging out with friends and listening music and says, “ if I wasn’t a fashion designer I would be a performer, I’m not sure how good I would have been though, I love the music of Lady Gaga and other genres which is a major part of inspiration for my clothes”.
Inspired by designers like Balenciaga, Halston, Diane von Frustenberg and Muccia Prada he is currently working on his Spring/Summer 2011 collection, which includes shoes to be released in September during the New York Fashion Week. It is the first time LaQuan is designing shoes as part of his collection. Inspiration for this also came from dogs, (101 dalmatians and poodles), so we are expecting to see a lot of polka dots.
When asked how he wants people to see him as, he replies “as a determined and positive person, I want to have a voice and an opinion in fashion, I have a fun loving attitude and want them to see me that way”.
LaQuan has received tremendous amounts of press for his work from Vogue, The New York Times, NY Daily News, Wall Street Journal, Marie Claire, Essence, Ebony, Prosieben Television, Flaunt, Daily Candy, YRB Magazine, Jones Magazine, Glossy Mag, Iconography, Ghubar, Iconique, Kouture and many more.
LaQuan’s success has allowed him to showcase his collection both domestically and internationally with fashion shows in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Athens, Cayman Islands, South Africa, LA, New York and more. While in Atlanta supporting Foundation F.O.C.U.S, LaQuan received the F.O.C.U.S. for Life Service Award for surviving cancer and not allowing the trauma of such an experience hold him back from his passion.
LaQuan opened his first showroom in 2011 in Soho, New York.
For more information, visit: www.laquansmith.com
Photo Shoot Credits
Photographer: David Josep Perez
Producer: Adaku Okpi
Assistant producer: Amy Theard.
Hair: Kimiyuki Masawa
Makeup: Harumi Machii
Model: Ingrid – FORD Models
Wardrobe Stylist: Jason Rembert