Julia Fox steals the show while LaQuan Smith sticks to glamor at New York Fashion Week New York Fashion Week

LaQuan Smith’s Fall / Winter 2022 fashion show at New York Fashion Week on Monday night began more than an hour late.

It soon became clear why – a famous person was involved. Julia Fox, a model and actor who has been followed by paparazzi on her for months thanks to her recent relationship with Kanye West, opened the show and caused silence in the audience.

Her arrival was preceded by something a little darker – a moment of silence for Smith’s mentor, former Vogue editor Andrea Leon Talley, who passed away in January. ‘This is for you, Andre,’ said a voice over the sound system before the show began.

Talley, who loved glamor, would be proud. The collection has matured with the style of clothing that Smith has made his trademark.

The model walks the runway
LaQuan Smith is showcasing its new collection at New York Fashion Week. Photo: Caitlin Ochs / Reuters

There were red dresses with sequins, faux fur corsets, gold leggings, cut-out dresses, lurex and very short miniskirts. Each model wore high heels.

Fox’s appearance could be seen as a diversion of Smith in terms of his increasingly powerful position in the celebrity landscape. The designer also trained Rihanna, Beyonce and Irina Shayk. Hailey Bieber wore his dress last summer when she met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

In addition to glamor, Smith is gaining a reputation for taking on American landmarks. After his show in September at the top of the Empire State Building, this show was at a private club in the heart of Wall Street. All this could be understood as a statement of intent – he plans to go to the very top of American fashion.

The model walks in at LaQuan Smith fashion show
The models wore a textured and dazzling look while the designer intensified his focus on glamor. Photo: Kena Betancur / AFP / Getty Images

It is fair to say that the audience here was not the usual people who are in large rooms with walls lined with wooden panels. Kids from the club with pink hair, extra wide shoulders, PVC and tutus mixed with fashion types in suits, faux fur and leather. There was no striped suit in sight.

Smith – like many black designers now on the New York Fashion Week calendar – has taken a detour to the top of fashion, and his connections with celebrities have been central to his rise.

Rejected by the prestigious Parsons and FIT schools, he first produced textured leggings, worn by Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian, and founded his brand in 2010, at the age of 21.

Glamor has always been his share in the trade – aesthetics bought by celebrities thanks to his collaboration with Asos and Revolve.

Smith, 33, includes fellow mentors fellow designer Tom Ford and former Vogue editor André Leon Talley.
Smith, 33, includes fellow mentors fellow designer Tom Ford and former Vogue editor André Leon Talley. Photo: Caitlin Ochs / Reuters

“I’m here to bring back the sexy!” he said Vogue Business in September. “Where are the women who want to dress up and look fantastic? These are the people I have to qualify for. ”

This glamor unexpectedly experienced him through the era of closure. While tracksuits were the norm for many, Smith’s collections of cocktail dresses, sequined leggings and satin blouses had sales growth of 87% from early 2020 to September 2021.

He was mentored by powerful personalities from the industry, including fellow designers Tom Ford and Talley. Talley was crucial in Smith’s career – as the first person to write about his work – so the designer dedicated the show to him.

The model walks in at LaQuan Smith fashion show
Smith has become a favorite of celebrities wearing Rihanna, Beyoncé and Irina Shayk. Photo: Caitlin Ochs / Reuters

“There was no limit to the amount of support or guidance he gave,” Smith told the New York Times.

“When I was designing from my grandmother’s home without a team and money, cutting out stencils from newspapers, André gave me the money I needed to travel to Paris for the first time.”

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