LaQuan Smith: Unconventional Path To Designer Dream....

How does a skinny, 6-foot-1, 21-year-old who lives with his grandparents in St. Albans, Queens, go from sneaking into fashion shows to showing his own runway collection tomorrow?

The answer is a classic New York City tale of a little hustle and a lot of talent.

In the past year, LaQuan Smith has created custom pieces for the likes of Lady Gaga and Rihanna, but he's been making clothes since he got a sewing machine for Christmas when he was 13.

"My friends were all getting PlayStations and I wanted a machine and fabric," says Smith, adding, "I don't think I chose fashion, fashion chose me."

After graduating high school and being rejected by FIT twice, Smith decided to forgo college to try to break into the fashion world. He got his foot in the door scoring an internship with BlackBook magazine, working for fashion editor Elizabeth Sulcer.

"It was so evil, but I used to check her mail and go to events as her," Smith confesses.

He crashed parties decked in his own designs — cropped sequined tops and leggings paired with 6-inch Louboutin heels — and people took notice.

Check His Designs After the Jump


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