It’s Fall 2021, some things are looking up. New York City is still in a virtual shutdown, but it’s delighted to be hosting Fashion Week. Designers, photographers and models are excited about offering new Spring and Summer 2022 collections on podiums.

Visible on Thursday was perhaps the most extravagant of all the shows, hosted by New York-born luxury fashion designer LaQuan Smith. Smith made quite a statement by booking the entire Empire State Building, no visitors allowed. The entire space, from the first floor all the way up to the rooftop, is a podium for the models presenting new collections.

Laquan Smith

This is the first time in the Empire State Building’s existence that it’s been the site of a New York Fashion Week show. “We’ve waited 90 years for this moment and we are excited that the first time we have ever closed our world-famous observatory for such an event will be with another native New-Yorker,” Stacey-Ann Hosang, the Empire State Building’s Vice President of branding, said in a press release.

Alongside the designer, British Actress Niomi Watts visited the Empire State Building where she, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, and Afterpay company Co-CEO and Co-Founder Nick Molnar took part in the lighting ceremony. The building will be lit in Bondi Mint, the color of Afterpay, one of the sponsors of New York Fashion Week this year.

As LaQuan Smith told Vogue in an interview, the collection for today’s show was inspired by New York coming back: “My vision for this collection was to inspire women to dress up and feel sexy again because New York is back. I am so passionate about this collection and am very excited for everyone to see what I have been working so hard on.”