The fashion industry is indeed a cool girls club. To become recognized as a “global” designer takes years and years of networking around New York City, plenty of “no’s, and poorly paid positions. But, there is a group of young designers, influencing the rest of the industry and continuing to break down barriers within this space. “We have contributed so much. I emphasize “so” because we really have,” says Megan Carter, founder of LAVNTG.
LAVNTG has curated a much-deserved buzz on its approach to remixing sleek designs into its own mod creation. For example, Carter has taken the very popular fitted jumpsuit and removed a leg to create a sexy approach to a recycled look we have seen time and time again. Her design would then go to be recreated and worn by the Kardashians but, New York’s bubbling creatives knew where it was originated.
Since then, Carter’s pieces have been worn by influencers and was a street style favorite this past NYFW. ESSENCE got a chance to chat with Carter about her step into the industry, what LAVNTG means, and a 2020 collection is on the horizon. Read below.
ESSENCE: How would you describe your first step into fashion?
Carter: My mom and grandmother are the true epitome of style & grace to me. I use to play dress up in their closets every chance I got. I was taught that when you feel good you look good, and I like to embrace that with my personal style. You dress for you & you only. When the fashion network existed I used to sit there and imagine myself in Milan and Paris one day sitting front row or even having my own line presented during fashion week. My dad also helped. As soon as I displayed interest in being this creative he immediately bought yearly subscriptions of high-fashion magazines.
ESSENCE: When did you decide you wanted to create your own line?
Carter: I always have been creative. I knew styling and creative direction were my callings and, as much as I love it, I started to feel limited to my skills. People always asked me, “where do you get your clothes,” and I personally love to reconstruct pieces, specifically vintage designs. So I said to myself how can I combine my two passions into one and LAVNTG was born. LAVNTG is a brand that is originally designed pieces reconstructed from vintage archives.
ESSENCE: How do you differentiate yourself from other brands out there?
Carter: I differentiate myself from other brands by being authentically me. Embracing unique silhouettes from past eras, illustrating sex appeal in my designs, and daring prints and colors. Anything that is fun and wild is my energy when it comes to LAVNTG. “Noticed” is a strong word when you describe my brand.
ESSENCE: What would you say is the biggest challenge about being a black designer?
Carter: Acceptance. Is my brand going to be diverse enough to everyone else that doesn’t look like me? My brand is a diverse brand, but to be honest with you, my brand represents and embraces women who look like me. Women with curves, thighs, and hips. All sizes, all heights.
“I always say if Kollin Carter can do it or Aurora James of Brother Vellies can do it, so can I.” – Megan Carter
ESSENCE: What’s next for you/your brand?
Carter: All I can do is go up from here. I can honestly see my life emerging and it already has. I am truly blessed to have gotten this far and all I want to do is keep creating. LAVNTG will be on the “Girls”, she will be on stage in front of millions of people, and she will be customized for celebrities on premieres and fashion week. I just genuinely see a great future for LAVNTG. Currently, I am working on my new collection dropping January 2020 right before February fashion week.