On Repeat is a music series where NYLON asks our favorite creatives — designers, artists, and more — about the songs they can't stop playing while they work. You're going to want to add these to your playlists and streaming platforms ASAP.
The official fashion month calendar may have come to a close in early March, but designers like LaQuan Smith are ditching the traditional system to create on their own terms. A regular night-show staple on the New York Fashion Week schedule, Smith presented his namesake brand’s Fall 2021 collection online on March 10, a day after Paris Fashion Week wrapped.
“It’s a looking-good, feeling-good collection with the understanding and the ownership of the fact that we are a Black-owned luxury brand,” said Smith in an interview with Vogue. “So I wanted things to be as unapologetic and unique as possible, diving deeper into my truth as a designer.”
Indeed, his pieces have been spotted among some of the biggest and most-watched recently: magazine cover stories with Lizzo, Selena Gomez, and Solange, and celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Kendall and Kylie Jenner. If there’s anything that a LaQuan Smith garment is meant to do, it’s to be seen.
The designer’s growing tie with a flashy, glamorous lifestyle is only getting stronger, and the songs that are keeping him inspired are proof of that. “Music is a necessary part of my design and creative process, from keeping my spirits up on those late nights to keeping my creative juices curious and ready to push boundaries,” he tells NYLON.
Ahead, Smith shares his favorite tracks behind his creative process, the Fall 2021 collection, and what’s to come for his next runway show.
“The Look Of Love” - Dusty Springfield
“Elegant, rich, glamour, and the epitome of sex.”
“You’re Makin’ Me High” - Toni Braxton
“Toni Braxton is an idol of mine and I always play her in the studio to lift everyone’s spirits.”
“Buss It” - Erica Banks
“The viral sensation keeps me ready for a runway moment.”
“Popping Bitch” - baby.com
“Aptly titled, all LaQuan Smith women are poppin’.”
“Something Special” - Pop Smoke
“Dearly miss Pop Smoke. This song instantly makes me feel nostalgic, like the ‘90s summer in New York.”
“No No No” - Dawn Penn
“Classic dancehall. Catch me on the dance floor when this beat drops.”
“Would You Mind” - Janet Jackson
“Janet is an icon, and this song has always been such a dangerous and sexual reference. She performed this on stage and gave screaming fans lap dances. She will forever be the GOAT.”
“Bitter” - Queen Naija feat. Mulatto
“This will definitely be my summer anthem.”
“Pursuit” - Gesaffelstein
“Spring 2022 runway show I’m SO ready for you.”
See some of our favorite looks from LaQuan Smith’s Fall 2021 collection, below.