Ever attended a drive-in fashion show? Probably not. Similar to a drive-in movie— but with hot models, tricked out rides and dope ‘fits— STRUTZ Miami made history this month with a unique fashion and art event that put traditional snooze-fest runway shows to shame. And as the perfect pre-NYFW teaser, CASSIUS was invited to take in all the action.
Wardrobe stylist and CEO of DezignNation Productions, Aguy Smith curated a four-hour event featuring live music, exotic cars and an art auction benefitting a local charity. Miami’s own Stichiz of 103.5FM was the night’s MC, while models hit runway to tracks spun by Grammy Award-winning artist, Casey Benjamin— a.k.a. Stutz McGee. Of the inspo behind the night’s soundtrack the DJ added, “I’m a visual artist. I’m often inspired by fashion, so [this was true] improvisation in the spirit of jazz.”
The parking garage setting provided a throwback feel which contrasted well with the event’s edgy vibe. On the way up to the roof, cars were surrounded by a live art gallery featuring young creatives painting alongside a live band. On the rooftop attendees marked their territory and took in the fashion from the comfort of their own cars. Miami vendor, Pink Pie provided sweet treats and a pop-up concession bar kept the crowd lit. The show opened with dramatics as two luxurious cars pulled up and models stepped out to hit the catwalk.
Featured designers included Project Runway Season 15 finalist Laurence Basse and emerging labels Cuffed Designs, Over a Trillion Served , Sivad Ade, and House of Roxy B. The show’s producer, Smith also took to the runway, live-styling models on the catwalk to display the versatility of various looks. Post-show, we caught up with the fashion maven for more intel on her cutting-edge event. To keep up with Aguy’s style tips, check out her personal website at http://www.aguy.style — coming soon. Take a look at our interview with her below.
CASSIUS: How did the concept of a drive-in fashion show come about?
Aguy Smith: I was [looking for] new places that people weren’t expecting a fashion show to be in, and [rather than] go the extra mile to rent those places out, I did some real digging and a garage rooftop came to mind.
C.: Where did the name of your brand, Dezign Nation Production come from?
A.S.: [While working on] a college assignment, I realized how many elements must come together for a show to be a success. You can’t just have models without the hair and makeup. The lights, staging— everything matters. Everyone has to play a part and we have to become a nation. It’s not just my production, it’s all of ours.
C.: If there was one thing you could change about the fashion industry, what would that be?
A.S.: The color of one’s skin and the size of the model are still issues. I don’t stand on industry terms as a stylist. I feature short, tall and thick models because if you look good, you feel good. Everyone deserves that.
C.: When did you realize you wanted to be in the fashion industry?
A.S.: My mom modeled and produced [shows], so I grew up modeling from the moment I could walk. At Broward College in Florida, I started thinking about the various elements needed to produce a fashion show, such as hair and makeup. I knew I could somehow access all of these sources, so I started Dezign Nation Productions in 2006. I call [my events] “Fashion Plays”— they’re fashion shows that tell a story.”
Aguy’s vision of unification through fashion included both male and female models of all sizes and body types rocking everything from casual looks to high fashion. Check out the gallery below for a closer look at the cutting-edge event and check out our one-one-one interviews with the featured designers here.