LaQuan Smith RTW Spring 2021

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Bring on the Latex, bodysuits and crystal bling — LaQuan Smith isn’t about to let COVID-19 crush his unapologetically sexy vibe.

“I took a step back,” Smith told WWD of prepping his latest collection, photographed by Hype Williams, the legendary video director who has worked with Beyoncé, Jay Z, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Meghan Thee Stallion and many more. “And I realized my sales were actually going well. It dawned on me women were still shopping, and it inspired me in a way, that they were shopping optimistically.”

Enter spring, designed with “new money, the smell of Champagne and pimpish Cadillacs” in mind.

LaQuan Smith RTW Spring 2021

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Aside from a high cut denim bodysuit over super-low cut jeans that was all early Aughts sex-cess, this season’s collection was less raunchy and more flirty, with beautifully executed Latex jeans, draped silk blouses and slinky jersey tube dresses with oval cutouts conveying a glossy sophistication. Meanwhile, cutesie satin shirred corset dresses, miniskirt suits and bustiers in icy pastels hewed more pop starlet. (Selena Gomez recently appeared on the cover of Allure wearing LaQuan Smith.) The designer rounded things out with sportswear, in the form of an orange quilted bubble vest and wrap skirt, T-shirts, denim shorts and animal patterned leggings.

Like most designers, Smith had challenges getting his collection together because of COVID-19, and his photography wasn’t finalized until after New York Fashion Week. “Being a part of the fashion calendar puts pressure on designers, and it would be great if we could have more time,” he said more broadly about the future of the week. “I’m sure the CFDA will continue to have a calendar, but we as designers have to start having confidence in our capabilities and followings and doing what makes sense for us.”

The cancellation of Coachella also put the kibosh on a major event Revolve was planning for Smith in April. But he will have another chance at a Hollywood moment later this fall when he releases a fashion film with Williams, who actually approached him to collaborate.

“When I wasn’t getting support from journalists and editors, celebs were there for me — to the point where people wondered if they had to be celebs to wear my clothing,” Smith said of his Hollywood following. “No, of course not, but that’s the feeling — lights, camera, action, you walk in and feel like a superstar.”

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