The girls that get it, get it and understand that LaQuan Smith is running the fashion game one ensemble at a time. Known for creating looks for many of entertainment’s biggest superstars — Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and more — this fashionisto has been running the gamut since 2013. Oh, and let’s not forget his iconic after-parties.
His recent Met Gala after-party saw celebrities like Teyana Taylor and Saucy Santana make appearances, as guests were treated to Popeyes chicken sandwiches and free merch throughout the evening. One thing’s for certain, whether we’re talking events or glamour, Smith knows how to set a vibe.
As he continues to make his presence known, the renowned designer has become one of the most recent faces to partner with Cîroc to introduce the liquor brand’s newest flavor “Passion.” As we celebrated the Cîroc Passion Vodka launch during an exclusive party, LaQuan Smith caught up with REVOLT to chat about the exciting alliance, fashion, music, and much more for Black Business Month. Read up!
What made you want to collaborate with Cîroc?
Cîroc has definitely been a huge supporter of the brand and me as a designer. For my recent Met Gala after-party, the brand was one of the main liquor sponsors, so that started an organic relationship between us. Cîroc is family at this point. More importantly, I’m super inspired by Diddy because he’s always been such an influence to me and my design aesthetics. His videos, his fashion — I have such a huge admiration for him and obviously the business that he’s built. It felt so organic for me to be a part of this initiative and the creative aspect, where it’s about unification of art, culture, fashion, and music, because that’s what I resonate with the most. I’m super honored to be a part of it.
Speaking of fashion, what’s one of your favorite Diddy music videos? Give us an all-time classic.
Oh, wow, that’s so hard because he has many classics. But I would say the one with Lil Kim, Diddy, and Mase. Also, “All About The Benjamins.” Lil Kim was rocking the Chanel suspenders, it’s a vibe. He has other great hits with other artists like Total — I love what he created.
You are known for having the best after-parties — guests enjoyed gifts and Popeyes chicken sandwiches at your most recent event. How does it feel to have not only reached fashion icon status, but to also know your parties never miss?
Well, that’s an honor for you to say that I’m iconic, as I don’t really see myself that way (laughs). I think if anything, I’m living to my fullest potential by being unapologetically me. I’m doing things that I love and that I’m very passionate about that involve moods, vibes and attitudes. Even when it comes down to not only fashion but creating a space and a venue space where people walk in and say, “I can’t forget about this night.” For me, I like to have fun and make people feel a sense of sexiness and glamour, which is an attitude. I’m doing my thing, living life, and being a native New Yorker. I’m doing the things I’ve always dreamt of doing.
The merge between fashion and music, specifically hip hop, is so iconic. How do you see yourself continuing that trend with your own collections?
I feel it seeps through with the women that I dress — female artists and rappers. There’s an influence with the music that I display on my runway shows and at my parties. Even during my creative process, I’m constantly listening to Lil Kim and some Foxy Brown from the 90s to really emphasize that attitude, especially for the Autumn/Winter season. It’s all about a puffer coat and a puffer boot — those thigh-highs, to be exact. Music moves me in a way like nothing else. I can go on a trip and sketch to get inspired or I can watch a film at night, but there’s something about music that really ignites me when it comes to creativity and designing.
Is there a hip hop artist you would love to do a collaboration line with?
I can’t say in particular, but I’m so honored by everyone from Nicki Minaj to Lil Kim to the newer girls like Coi Leray and City Girls, who all wear LaQuan Smith and embrace the brand. That’s what it’s about — celebrating the unapologetic-ness in female empowerment, and I love that there’s a spectrum between the different body types, ages and eras. We can all still unite in a LaQuan Smith piece and get her life back.
How should one feel when wearing a LaQuan Smith original?
I used to say LaQuan Smith is a woman’s best kept secret. That means that she’s walking in the room and commanding a level of attention that men and women can’t seem to escape. She’s versatile. Guys are courting her and girls are like, “B**ch, you better work.” It’s that kind of exciting factor — to wear LaQuan Smith is truly an experience. She got her entire life in that dress and it gave her a sense of motivation and inspiration. I also feel my business is built in a very unorthodox way, and girls used to come up to me and ask if they had to be a celebrity to wear one of my pieces — no, that’s the feeling that she gets. When a woman wears LaQuan Smith, she feels like she’s that mega rockstar, so that’s the takeaway.
In the words of Sheree Whitfield, it’s about to be September-Spring-Summer fashion week this year. Let us know what’s in and should be in everyone’s closet for the upcoming season.
Definitely a silk pajama set — silky, sleek, minimal, and fabric that has fluidity and sensuality to it.
Also, congratulations on making The Power List. How does it feel to be recognized for your accomplishments?
It’s an honor and it’s humbling. I have always dreamt of doing what I do, and I’m not trying to be the best of anything — I want to be the best that I can be. For people to embrace me and the way that I choose to live my life and build my career unapologetically, I feel blessed. I feel blessed to be able to be seen and heard — hopefully we can continue that initiative in uplifting and supporting Black creatives.
You posted your recent travels to the Hamptons. Where’s another place you would like to fly to for a trip? And name three celebs you would take along for the ride.
I’m always somewhere (laughs). I definitely will have to say Grace Jones, Halston, and Tina Turner. I love those people and those are my girls I’d probably travel with.