Meet Charles Smith II, the Dallas Designer Taking Fashion to the Dark Side

ByMarcella L. Bouffard

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Smith give up basketball—he was an NBA D-league player—at 23 many years previous to go after structure whole time. He began his luxury label SMITH II in 2012 and the streetwear line Do Not Contact in 2016, and began staging runway displays in 2013. McQueen’s visible language is frequently integrated into the two lines, which embrace black as a principal colour though employing textual content expressing sardonic views on death, identification, and private place. Notably, his layouts have been worn by the likes of Solange Knowles and Zoe Kravitz. Smith describes his aesthetic as “street stylish that embodies power, elegance, lifestyle, new music, craftsmanship. It’s about looking at something common and using it ideal side up and flipping it upside down to see anything new. This could be a tiny element or experimental silhouette.” The consequence are substantial-close, conceptual appears to be that fuse demi couture with stark minimalism.

For Do Not Touch, Smith was impressed by Trayvon Martin and desired to use vogue to enrich the sanctity of Black lives. “You go to any museum, the phrase “do not touch the art,” is there, keeping the artwork to the maximum stage of delicacy,” he said. “That’s the very same way we really should handle human lives, specially Black lives. Simply because our lives are normally becoming taken in these nuts means.” The clothes liberally feature the slogan, which also applies to females. “Men are generally grabbing, touching, and cat-contacting you,” he mentioned. “When you examine that phrase, it tends to make you consider 2 times about your technique to anything at all. So when you see “Do Not Touch” on a hoodie with the destructive space, going for walks towards me, you will realize what I’m stating devoid of me even declaring it.”

Alicia Stepp


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