LaQuan Smith brings sexy back in NY Fashion Week collection

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NEW YORK (AP) — LaQuan Smith turned to cowboys and bikers for spring-summer inspiration, bringing a sexy edge to his designs at New York Fashion Week.

The designer made liberal use of animal prints, Western influences and unconventional cutouts.

There were pants reminiscent of riding chaps in a cow print with a cutout in the front and metallic snakeskin short shorts with a matching bandeau top under a snakeskin trench. Models wore black Western hats, transparent pointed-toe heels, cowboy boots and graphic tees saying, “I will not, not be rich” and “Jordan Smith Hoedown.”

“It’s all about female empowerment,” Smith said Sunday at his show. “One of my favorite films is ‘Showgirls,’ so I just wanted to pull just these different elements of just what sexy represents and what that looks like.”

Smith said he wants to promote “a strong sense of identity, which basically is just unapologetic.”

“Right now we are living in such a world where it’s sportswear — you put on a suit and white sneakers and that’s considered sportswear, which I’m OK with,” he said. “But I think as a designer right now in the market, I want to really bring back sexy and I just feel like that’s missing.”

Trevor Jackson, who co-stars in “grown-ish,” tried to help on that front during his first runway walk, donning a men’s blouse in a sheer tiger stripe design.

“This is kind of like, hoedown, kind of the style,” Jackson said. “I’m super excited. Everybody is so beautiful and the clothes are so dope and I can’t wait for the people to see it.”

Models Slick Woods, Halima Aden and Winnie Harlow also walked in the show.

Aden, who also walked for Smith last year, is a huge admirer.

“I love how he’s like, he still dresses me modestly but it’s young, it’s cool, it’s edgy,” said Aden, who is Muslim. “I always feel like a rock star.”

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