From New Mexico State University to a runway at New York Fashion Week, Isaac Lawrence’s fashion label is hitting its stride.
Lawrence, originally from Los Angeles, attended NMSU several years ago where he studied textile design and fashion merchandising. He said all he knew when he entered the program was fashion illustration.
“I had zero experience when it came to apparel construction,” Lawrence said.
Following his college graduation in 2017, Lawrence returned to Los Angeles where he worked in the “business of fashion,” interning for several major brands. However, his applications for designer positions never yielded anything.
“A lot of people ask me ‘well, hey, what made you decide to start your own clothing line?’ And my response to them is I really didn’t have a choice,” Lawrence said. “I say that because in order for fashion designers to really secure and land fashion designer positions in corporate, the schools that they need to go to are more art institutions … That just wasn’t my experience. New Mexico State is more business of fashion.”
He said he decided that he would take matters into his own hands. In 2019, Solomon Lawrence launched.
“It’s been an adventure, for sure,” he said.
Invitation to Spring 2024 New York Fashion Week
“I would (describe) my design style as just – there’s a very strong attention to detail,” Lawrence said. “I would say my aesthetic is really for the fashion goer. You know, very feminine, sexy women’s wear and very vibrant menswear.”
He explained he uses a lot of blues, blacks and oranges in his work.
Since launching the line, his designs have been commissioned for networks like OWN Network, HBO Max, Apple TV and Peacock TV.
This year, he was invited to participate in Spring 2024 New York Fashion Week held in September. NYFW is an internationally attended week of runways and launches of seasonal fashion lines held biannually.
Lawrence said he applied for NYFW in the early part of the year, but was already developing a new collection. He found out he was accepted to display his clothing in March – his first NYFW as a designer.
His fashion show was Sept. 9 at the Canoe Studios in Chelsea, New York.
He described the collection as an “homage to high school experiences” – high school fashion with a twist. People can see the influence of homecoming queens, athletes, prom queen and king and a "preppy school girl."
“The story behind it is that for emerging fashion designers and people that are coming from the inner cities, that one man's trash can be another man's treasure. And that, you know, as a creative, we can create beautiful things with the resources that we do have,” Lawrence said.
“I’ve hand-created this dress made of college ruled paper and it was definitely an iconic piece for the people at the fashion show. It was one of the biggest statements there and everybody was kind of gravitating to it.”
Lawrence said after the show, he was approached by other brands interested in collaborating with him to further build the look with accessories.
“It was so interesting because there was so many accents in the building. There were people from Lebanon, there were Russians there, Nigerians, people from Turkey, from Italy, Paris, London, China, Japan, Croatia. There were so many different brands and so many different designers that flew in for this event from around the world. So it's very, very hectic, very hectic. But it was super, super fun,” he said.
And since NYFW, Solomon Lawrence has been featured in Elle, Glamour and Fashion Week Online.
Lawrence is working on the next spring/summer collection as well as getting his designs into stores. So far, he has partnered with Cosmos Glamsquad in Los Angeles and The Fortt Urban Boutique in Sherman Oaks. He said he wants to expand and have his clothing available in Las Cruces at some point.
Lawrence’s fashion pieces are available to purchase and pre-order online at solomonlawrence.com. He also encourages college students to use the promo AGGIE30 on his website for a discount.
This article originally appeared on Las Cruces Sun-News: New York Fashion Week: NMSU alum shows Solomon Lawrence fashion brand