The O'Jays' “For the Love of Money” served as the theme song for The Apprentice. Thanks, in part, to the reality show, the song has become iconic not only of Wall Street, but also of a culture obsessed with finances. Money: who has more, who doesn't, where to find it.
LaQuan Smith held his Fall 2024 show tonight at Cipriani 25, across from the famous “Bull of Wall Street” statue, in the heart of Manhattan's financial district. Caviar and cocktails awaited guests upon their arrival. Busta Rhymes and Babyface sat in the front row; played it at the closing of the show. “For the Love of Money” was the opening song, following the unmistakable sound of the New York Stock Exchange bell. The trading day was officially over, but Smith's night was just beginning.
Smith said he looked into the sartorial language of Wall Street in the 1980s. “Pinstripe really appealed to me with this concept of financial stability,” he said, explaining that he was trying to 'be more evocative than literal with this reference.
Financial stability is a trending topic backstage and front row this season in New York, with designers canceling shows or announcing corporate restructurings or closures. “It’s important to me to have healthy dialogues with shoppers and my customers to understand how my wife shops,” Smith said. “My purchases increased by over 80% during the pandemic, and a few seasons later they decreased, but not for any reason as a designer; Buyers currently have plenty of inventory. He is right and he is not alone.
“The thing is, when you come to LaQuan Smith, you're always looking for something after 6 p.m.,” the designer explained. “This allowed me to expand my collection with many daytime pieces.” It's smart to look to expand your everyday collection, tapping into the other half of your existing customers' wardrobe. His challenge will be, as he says, to “understand who she aspires to be and merge that with the fantasy of what she needs.”
The LaQuan Smith you know remains: va-va-voom body-hugging dresses, dizzyingly cut bodysuits and micro mini hemlines. There were plenty of the usual cocktail options, but during the day, Smith worked on some interesting options, keeping in mind that “this woman is still sexy.” There were pinstriped pieces cut to the millimeter, pony hair suits, leather bodysuits, poplin shirts dizzyingly open in the back, and charming, beautifully draped dresses and separates in charmeuse and chiffon. . A few hip-hugging pencil skirts gave a nod to Smith's new stylist, Carine Roitfeld (“Carine is so iconic, and she's the queen of pencil skirts!”).
There was also real fur made in partnership with Saga Furs. A sense of opulence with a touch of Tom Ford elegance presided over proceedings, except for a series of shiny jersey fabrics that didn't look as expensive as the rest of the collection. Smith's tailoring certainly improved: he cut a broad shoulder and cinched the waist of jackets and coats with cleverly placed darts at the back. It's also the designer's most effective menswear line to date.
What does the Smith woman do during the day? “Well, she's got some shit to do,” Smith said, “she's in charge, she's going to work, she's going to sue you,” the designer added with a laugh. Where she goes is up to her, but what Smith wants to make sure of is that “she looks damn good” while doing it. “What I want is for her to just zip up the dress and let the magic happen,” he added. “Once she makes that trip to the mirror, she’ll be ready to come out.” And if she doesn't have a place to go, she'll find one, because now she has the dress. »