The Queens-born designer fused contemporary designs with 102 floors of Art Deco architecture, fostering a new discussion around style and its relationship with time. Attendees overlooked the vast city skyline as the 56 models moved across the observatory floor. As a New York native, the collection included elements of the ’90s and early 2000s fashion that characterized the hip-hop music scene. While Smith’s designs impart a modern touch, any of the models could fit into a music video from that era. Some of the styles showcased channeled the decadent and unique glamour that artists like Lil’ Kim made popular.
Showing at the Empire State Building was no simple feat, though for Smith, it represented the manifestation of his tenacity and a life-long dream. With Queens in view, attendees were reminded of Smith’s early introduction to fashion at the age of 13, practicing pattern-making on his grandmother’s old Singer sewing machine.