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{alt missing} Courtesy of LaQuan Smith

LaQuan Smith

Founder & Designer, LaQuan Smith

The designer’s long journey through the fashion industry has been seen as a template for independent designers who hope to find success in establishing their own brands.

Biography

LaQuan Smith is the founder and designer of his namesake brand, known for glamorous, skin-baring party wear favoured by a deep roster of celebrity clientele. 

After he was denied admission by FIT and Parsons, Smith struck out on his own, introducing the world to "LaQuan Smith 3D leggings” in 2013, which soon began appearing on celebrities like Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian and Lady Gaga. His fan base spread from there, buffeted by lively New York Fashion Week shows, endorsements by key stockists such as Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, and collaborations with brands like Asos and Puma. 

Smith’s days as an industry outsider are long over. In 2022, he was nominated for a CFDA Award for American Womenswear Designer of the Year. Today, his unusual path to acclaim is seen as a template for independent designers who hope to find success while controlling their own fate. 

“Everything that I have done from the very beginning has been unconventional; it hasn’t been the proper formula for how to be successful in fashion,” Smith said on the BoF VOICES stage in 2018.

Vital Statistics

Born
30 August 1988
Nationality

United States

Location
United States
Member since
2023

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What is The BoF 500?

The people shaping the global fashion industry, curated by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on nominations and on-the-ground intelligence from around the world.