Asos Goes Urban With LaQuan Smith Collaboration

By CultureBanx Team

  • ASOS x LaQuan Smith collection comes out in October
  • Only 1% of fashion designers sold at major U.S. department stores are black

Queen’s based designer LaQuan Smith is bringing his celebrity threads to millions of people. The brilliant fashion mind is partnering with British online retailer Asos (ASC -0.97%), as they try to reinvigorate their sales growth. 

Why This Matters: From Rihanna, to Beyonce and even Cardi B, Smith has played a prominent role in their fashion choices. Asos is making a concerted effort to seek out black designers who continue to be at the forefront of the industry, with its twentysomethings fashion demographic. This audience sits right in Smith’s design sweet spot.

It’s been very hard for black fashion labels to work with major distribution partners. Harlem’s Fashion Row recently reported only 1% of fashion designers sold at major U.S. department stores are black. Smith told the Wall Street Journal “I would have thought by now I would have been sold in a few prominent stores. I’m not picked up for whatever reason. There’s a misunderstanding or uncertainty.”

Asos needs this partnership to be a success as shares of the company are down more than 10% year to date. The company missed analyst sales expectations in its most recent quarter as they look to introduce new warehouses. “U.S. activity has all but stopped ahead of the new Atlanta warehouse coming on-stream,” the company said in a statement.

What’s Next: The new ASOS x LaQuan Smith collection is going to be available online in October. Items will sell for less than $300 apiece well below the thousands of dollars his celebrity clients shell out for their one of a kind designs.

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