Since starting Dapper Luq brand back in 2014, I have always had the dream of designing my own collection. After meeting designer Clavon Leonard back in 2017 and working with him as his stylist, I really began to learn the process. When I retired from the military in January 2020, my mind was set and I officially began the process of designing my own men and women’s suit collection.
On January 22, 2020 with Clavon Leonard I traveled to Dhaka, Bangladesh to select fabrics and create my Spring/Summer 2020 Collection. My main goal was to design a clean and functional suit collection for men and women, but to use colors and patterns that are not normally used for suits. After 2 days of venturing through the fabric markets of Dhaka, I was able to find an array of colors and patterns I was happy with. Using local tailor Hannan Khan, I was able to make 22 complete suits prior to leaving Bangladesh on Jan 30th.
Prior to going to Bangladesh to work on my collection, Clavon and I secured a position for the Dapper Luq Collection in the 2020 Oran Fashion Week in Algeria. On March 7, 2020, I packed my bags, which included my collection and began my trip to Oran, Algeria. After landing in Oran, I was met by Oran Fashion Week coordinator Nasro Toumiat. This was a new experience for me, because I have never arrived at an airport and had someone waiting with my name on a sign, of course I had to take a picture of the experience. Nasro then took me and another designer from Morocco to the Vent-Dome Khaled Hotel & Spa to check+ in. Fortunately all the events were held at the same hotel we were going to be staying at.
Like many fashion weeks, Oran Fashion Week started with press conferences and interviews with local news outlets. The 2 languages that are predominately spoken in Algeria are French and Arabic. Lucky for me many of the younger folks in Algeria are big fans of English and were eager with me. After 2 days of press conferences and workshops, Oran was ready to showcase the designers on the runway. I was scheduled for day 2 and would be the final designer that day. The day prior to my runway debut, I selected and fitted all the models that would be walking for me. All the models that were used for Oran Fashion Week were under Glamor Model Agency in Algeria.
Day 4 of Oran Fashion Week, and the day I would be introducing the Dapper Luq Collection to the world. For me it was a surreal experience but one I definitely felt I was ready for. The years of blogging, styling and viewing fashion shows, I fealty I was ready. The models wore my items well and the crowd loved my looks. After my collection was complete I received a lot of complaints from the crowd and was asked to take pictures with them. Oran Fashion Week was my first, but it most certainly will not be my last fashion show I will feature my collection. I was originally scheduled to follow up by showcasing my collection in Nairobi, Kenya for E Fashion Week, but due to the COVID-19 outbreak, mostly all major events have been postponed. For now, I will embrace the success of my first show and focus on how I can make the collection better.
Fashion Model, Blogger, & Connoisseur.