LaQuan Smith

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When we first shot LaQuan, there was a duality to his style that was based on the sun and the moon. During the day, he was “chill, the good boy… doing his thing,” in jeans and Converse, with maybe a hit of his beloved sequins or a tee with his sculptural camel blazer in the vein of classic Balenciaga. At night, “the woman [he] designs for” would emerge. “Powerful, motivated and confident,” LaQuan was in catsuits, Louboutins, very “bubbly and flashy.”

Since traveling to Paris and Africa last summer, however, “the heel moments and days are over.” A more seasoned LaQuan arrived for the second part of his shoot in an eye-catching and less conspicuous blend of ’90s grunge flannel and torn jeans with accents of ’80s neon green leopard that for me were genius surprises. At the ripe old age of twenty-one, this designer is arriving, and thankful for what once ago was devastating – his rejection from FIT. Now the “school of life” has him far ahead of his peers as a designer, while he gets to follow his heart. LaQuan eats and sleeps where he sews at home, with his impressively supportive mother and grandparents, who are some of the most unconditionally loving people I’ve ever met (I wanted to be adopted). Though he has had to fend off the usual “when are you going to get a job” discussions, it seems that his familial support has contributed to his inner “Sasha Fierce.” Armored in his silver knuckle rings, there is nothing stopping the talent of LaQuan: “The more I create, the better I become.”

If you love LaQuan, you may also like Jeffrey Williams, Tiziano Mazzilli and Kelly Mills.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jordanlines Jordan Middendorf

    Loving his sense of color and how he re-appropriates those ankle straps!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8829466 Samantha Lind

    His style is so fun! I’m obsessed with his medieval rings.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1435440640 Ashley Paintsil

    LaQuan, I love you! Your style is so amazing and your aesthetic is so powerful. If I ever get to wear one of your dresses, I know I’ll like I can take on the world it in it. Bravo! SLU keep up the good work

  • http://www.facebook.com/pleasebegood Sophie Samul

    I love the way he uses bold color and fabrics to his advantage. Somehow, LaQuan makes the atypical seem so natural and simple. I love when he says, “…it’s all me all here. I eat, sleep, sew here.” This man has heart!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1011750128 Camille Okhio

    his determination is inspiring

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001113977228 S.f. Perrius

    Mm, love him! I am obsessed with his everyday jeans–I want some just like them–and loving the neon animal print under the “regular” clothes. Love that he is making it happen. ALT is applauding somewhere right now!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lukeademus Luke Peralez

    perfection. Litterally. I’m obsessed. Love his passion for what he’s doing and for style and designing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/djramsay DJ Ramsay

    he’s not afraid. i love it. this is the new generation.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001224262977 N’dazeba B. Amihere

    So fearless! I love the mixture of all those different elements.