Smith quit basketball—he was an NBA D-league player—at 23 several years previous to go after structure comprehensive time. He began his luxurious label SMITH II in 2012 and the streetwear line Do Not Contact in 2016, and commenced staging runway shows in 2013. McQueen’s visible language is typically incorporated into the two strains, which embrace black as a main shade when utilizing textual content expressing sardonic views on loss of life, identity, and private place. Notably, his patterns have been worn by the likes of Solange Knowles and Zoe Kravitz. Smith describes his aesthetic as “street stylish that embodies power, magnificence, lifestyle, audio, craftsmanship. It’s about seeing something acquainted and having it right aspect up and flipping it upside down to see some thing new. This could be a modest detail or experimental silhouette.” The final result are high-conclusion, conceptual appears that fuse demi couture with stark minimalism.
For Do Not Contact, Smith was encouraged by Trayvon Martin and required to use fashion to enrich the sanctity of Black life. “You go to any museum, the phrase “do not touch the artwork,” is there, holding the art to the optimum amount of delicacy,” he reported. “That’s the exact way we should really handle human life, in particular Black life. Because our lives are constantly becoming taken in these crazy strategies.” The garments liberally attribute the slogan, which also applies to women. “Men are often grabbing, touching, and cat-calling you,” he stated. “When you browse that phrase, it can make you feel twice about your technique to anything at all. So when you see “Do Not Touch” on a hoodie with the detrimental place, going for walks towards me, you will recognize what I’m stating without having me even stating it.”