If you’re a fashion designer eager to be taken seriously (at least in America), the trajectory is pretty much the same: start out, develop solid collections on a consistent basis, gain a following, and then showcase your creations in the heart of North America’s fashion epicenter: New York. Or at least, that was the case until now. This season, a gaggle of designers are making the case for Los Angeles as a serious fashion city, with a packed calendar of shows and presentations for a reenergized Los Angeles Fashion Week. One of the designers leading the charge is Sergio Hudson, who unveiled a new 14-look Spring 2024 collection in Los Angeles on Thursday.
Born in South Carolina, the designer had been making clothes for over a decade before gaining widespread attention and adoration following his New York Fashion Week debut in 2020. With his strong tailoring, high glamour, and modern ladies who lunch-esque separates, Hudson has become an industry favorite ever since, culminating in a Met Gala appearance alongside Keke Palmer earlier this year. Though the designer is a regular on the NYFW calendar, it’s Los Angeles where he prefers to spend most of his time (he’s been living in the city for 8 years). So when the organizers behind Los Angeles Fashion Week wanted to beef up their roster for this year’s festivities, it made sense that Hudson was one of the first people they called. “Since LA is home for me, I’ve always wanted to do a show or event here, but it never felt like the right fit. When they came to me about LAFW this season, they said they wanted to do something new, something different from New York Fashion Week and it spoke to me,” revealed Hudson.
But joining the calendar also meant working double for Hudson and his team—he also staged a full-scale runway show in New York just less than two months ago. For his LAFW appearance, he wanted to conceptualize something entirely new. “It’s a completely different collection,” said Hudson, “I wanted to show versatility.”
That vision came into fruition with a lavish presentation held at Nya Studios in Hollywood on Thursday night. In a big warehouse packed with stylists and creatives, models walked to a live jazz performance along a backdrop of ethereal florals for one of Hudson’s most elegant collections yet. The designer, known for his unwavering use of bold, audacious color, decided to go a softer route this time, opting for a muted palette of creamy neutrals. “I am always inspired by women, whether that’s women from different decades/ages, backgrounds, etc. For this collection it was a woman at Martha’s Vineyard during the summertime. I thought of the Inkwell beach there that Black wealthy families would go to and wanted to evoke the feeling of being carefree, comfortable and fashionable. I wanted something that would be lightweight but still provide the structure my customer is used to seeing from the brand,” he said.
With structured suiting including a waist accentuating vest and pants-set and pretty dresses like a white broderie a-line dress, Hudson’s creative objectives were clear. They’re the kind of pieces that would fit right in among the set that ventures to New England for the summer—lobster rolls and crisp glasses of Sauvigon Blanc not included.