Fashion week is officially in full swing kicking off yesterday with shows from Slashed By Tia, Sergio Hudson, and Christian Siriano to bring in the week-long fiasco. With a day’s work of runway shows complete, a much-anticipated show this evening is from 26-year-old designer Christopher John Rogers.

Rogers sat down with GQ Fashion Director Nikki Ogunnaike and an intimate crowd at the top of the week where NYFW hosted a series of chats with BMW titled, “The Talks.” The designer detailed his very untraditional way of entertaining the fashion industry by designing for a major fashion house before stepping into his passion. One in which he describes manifested with hard work, a bit of networking, and not being afraid of the word “no.”

“It’s hard because in the industry there are rules and regulations. So, for me, it’s kind of like slightly, and respectfully inserting your opinion in the space. And see how people receive it.” Rogers told ESSENCE.

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CJR is the latest winner of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and his fashion show today is the first since holding the title. Last September, the Baton-Rouge born designer sent models down the runway in pops of color and stretching the imagination of fashion with patterns, designs, and an ode to monochromatic moments. His southern upbringing he details has a huge influence on his jazzy aesthetic. “Baptist church Sundays,” he exclaimed. “Like the shoes have to match the bag, have to match the hat,” said Rogers.

And what to expect for today’s show? Sex appeal. “We like to play with volume. But there’s a new edginess, a trimmer line. More feeling. A bit sexier than seasons past,” Rogers told ESSENCE.