Smith give up basketball—he was an NBA D-league participant—at 23 years outdated to pursue design full time. He began his luxurious label SMITH II in 2012 and the streetwear line Do Not Contact in 2016, and began staging runway exhibits in 2013. McQueen’s visible language is commonly included into the 2 traces, which embrace black as a main colour whereas using textual content expressing sardonic views on demise, identification, and private house. Notably, his designs have been worn by the likes of Solange Knowles and Zoe Kravitz. Smith describes his aesthetic as “road stylish that embodies energy, class, tradition, music, craftsmanship. It’s about seeing one thing acquainted and taking it proper aspect up and flipping it the wrong way up to see one thing new. This could possibly be a small element or experimental silhouette.” The consequence are high-end, conceptual appears to be like that fuse demi couture with stark minimalism.
For Do Not Contact, Smith was impressed by Trayvon Martin and wished to make use of trend to counterpoint the sanctity of Black lives. “You go to any museum, the phrase “don’t contact the artwork,” is there, holding the artwork to the very best stage of delicacy,” he mentioned. “That’s the identical method we must always deal with human lives, particularly Black lives. As a result of our lives are at all times being taken in these loopy methods.” The garments liberally characteristic the slogan, which additionally applies to ladies. “Males are at all times grabbing, touching, and cat-calling you,” he mentioned. “While you learn that phrase, it makes you suppose twice about your method to something. So once you see “Do Not Contact” on a hoodie with the unfavourable house, strolling towards me, you’ll perceive what I’m saying with out me even saying it.”