Words by Shatay Speights

LaQuan Smith, whose designs are favored by Cardi B, Beyonce, and Rihanna, is bringing his sexy garments to the mass market to dress millions of 20-somethings in a partnership with mega online retailer ASOS.

The announcement of this collaboration between the Queens, New York native and ASOS is a step forward for boosting the visibility of black designers in the fashion industry. Despite the undeniable black influence on pop culture and fashion, few African Americans—and their contributions—are consistently recognized in a major way for their efforts, especially in the fashion industry. Though the visibility of black creators and artists is rising and the black gaze in fashion is slowly being seen as valuable currently, much work still has to be done.

The ASOS x LaQuan Smith collaboration came about casually, with Lola Okuyiga, the then director of collaborations and special projects at ASOS, playing a key role. She approached Smith’s team with the opportunity after being a fan of the brand for years and expressed interest in working together.

The ASOS Design x LaQuan Smith collection will bring the stunning creations from Smith that showcases a luxurious nightlife aesthetic with hallmarks like plunging necklines, body-hugging silhouettes and high slits to a wider audience. The British retailer boasts reach of over 18 million active customers. “Customers can expect classic, sexy LaQuan Smith shapes—women’s, men’s, accessories, shoes and plus size—reworked for the global ASOS customer. There is something for everyone,” the designer had to say. “I’m just really excited because there are a lot of people out there, specifically young kids, who aspire to wear my clothes that can’t necessarily afford it. Items in this collection will sell for less than $300, a price in line with the majority of offerings on the ASOS site.

The ASOS x LaQuan Smith collection will be available on the ASOS website in October.