24 Hours With… LaQuan Smith
Quiet minimalism? Not on LaQuan Smith’s watch. The NYC native has made his name creating high octane looks for the likes of Beyonce, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian and Hailey Bieber (the latter was spotted wearing a LaQuan Smith dress to meet the French president). As one of the newest additions to the Browns designer roster (not to mention our go-to name for the upcoming party season), we went behind the scenes to discover what keeps this A-list favourite energised on the daily.
“Morning workouts at the gym to get my mind prepared for the work day ahead”
“My apartment in Brooklyn is my serene oasis. I decorated it to be a clean and modern aesthetic.”
“Off to the office in Long Island City. It’s special to me that I am able to create there since I grew up in Queens.”
What time do you wake up and where?
I wake up at 5:30 AM every morning in my apartment located in Astoria, New York.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
I wake up and immediately thank God for the many blessings in my life. I pray and meditate for 30 minutes, then I take a hot shower, drink a glass of water with lemon and head straight to EQUINOX Hudson Yards for an hour’s workout with my trainer.
Where are you usually based?
I am usually based in Long Island City, NY where my design studio is located. Everything from runway samples, custom designs, and production is made and produced here. I tend to spend a lot of time in Long Island City because I am from Queens and it's my own creative hub - here I can design beyond my imagination.
What does your average day look like?
At 7 am I do an early morning workout at EQUINOX. Then at 8am I have All American Breakfast at one of my favorite diners named Court Square Diner. Between 9:45 and 10am I’m in the office working with my seamstresses and design team in my Atelier. I’m usually reviewing samples, overseeing production, having fittings and conducting meetings. 2pm is lunch and an iced coffee. My days usually fluctuate depending on the season.
Do you have any rituals?
My family is extremely religious and I was raised in a Baptist Christian household. My grandparents taught me to always put God first, and that is why I start every day with giving Thanks.
Where is your studio located and how do you get there?
Long Island City. I usually get there by train or taxi depending on my schedule.
“On my way to the Garment Center to review production and meet new fabric vendors for next season’s collection.”
“Fittings with our stylist, the incomparable Alex White, for our FW21 collection.”
“BTS of a photoshoot for WWD with the amazing Ariella.”
How would you describe what you do?
I am a fashion designer and CEO.
How has your background influenced who you are today?
My family has taught me to be humble. I am grateful for all that has happened and all that will be happening in the near future.
How did you get your start in fashion?
My grandmother taught me to sew and construct patterns. From there I started making leggings and built up a celebrity clientele.
What was the impetus behind starting your label?
The women in my family who dressed so beautifully every day.
What are the most important factors for the brand?
That it is relevant, sexy and resonates with our customers.
How do you get into a creative headspace?
Loud Music, tequila and burning incense. I also like to reference coffee table books for inspiration.
Whilst working, where do you go and what do you do to take a break?
I like to go to Central Park, the Botanical Gardens, shopping, and dinner with friends. The Ipic Theater is a luxurious experience when I want to see a movie. Also, being with family is a great escape from the fast-paced world that I live in.
Do you have a favourite piece from your new collection?
All the moto pants and the oxblood tiger print catsuit with matching maxi skirt.
Who would you most like to see wearing it?
Beyonce and Rihanna.
“I usually wind down the day with dinner with work colleagues or friends. Stay safe everyone.”
What’s on your bookshelf right now?
Relentless by Tim Grover, French Exit by Patrick Dewitt, 100 Boyfriends by Brontez Purnell.
What do you usually do for dinner?
Cook. I love to cook!
What time do you go to bed?
Around 11 PM.
Last thing you do before you sleep?
Read over a few emails on my iPad.
What do you dream about?
The upcoming collection.
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