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

Smith quit basketball—he was an NBA D-league player—at 23 many years outdated to pursue design comprehensive time. He started out his luxurious label SMITH II in 2012 and the streetwear line Do Not Touch in 2016, and started out staging runway reveals in 2013. McQueen’s visual language is generally integrated into the two traces, which embrace black as a principal color when utilizing text expressing sardonic sights on death, id, and personalized room. Notably, his designs have been worn by the likes of Solange Knowles and Zoe Kravitz. Smith describes his aesthetic as “street chic that embodies power, elegance, culture, tunes, craftsmanship. It is about looking at some thing familiar and getting it correct aspect up and flipping it upside down to see a little something new. This could be a little depth or experimental silhouette.” The consequence are high-stop, conceptual seems that fuse demi couture with stark minimalism.

For Do Not Touch, Smith was inspired by Trayvon Martin and needed to use trend to enrich the sanctity of Black life. “You go to any museum, the phrase “do not contact the artwork,” is there, holding the art to the highest stage of delicacy,” he stated. “That’s the very same way we ought to take care of human life, primarily Black life. Because our life are normally staying taken in these outrageous strategies.” The apparel liberally function the slogan, which also applies to ladies. “Men are usually grabbing, touching, and cat-calling you,” he mentioned. “When you study that phrase, it tends to make you imagine two times about your approach to just about anything. So when you see “Do Not Touch” on a hoodie with the adverse house, walking toward me, you will realize what I’m expressing with out me even expressing it.”

Alicia Stepp