An editorial photoshoot of models ewaring designer Claude Kameni's work.
Photo courtesy of MC Gregor Lapierre/Lavie by CK

How Self-Taught L.A. Designer Claude Kameni Went from Sewing ‘Horrible’ Clothes to Dressing Superstars

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Note: This article first appeared on UncoverLA and is shared with their permission in partnership with Los Angeleno. You can subscribe to UncoverLA for local retail, fashion and lifestyle news here.

The Lavie by CK designer debuted her spring ’21 collection in Beverly Hills during a virtual New York Fashion Week show.

The pandemic canceled New York Fashion Week as we know it, but for rising Cameroonian designer Claude Kameni, the show went on. The self-taught 26-year-old designer is still on cloud nine from wrapping her first NYFW show, which was live-streamed Sept. 15 on the CFDA’s new digital platform, Runway360, from Spring Place in Beverly Hills. There Kameni debuted her label Lavie by CK’s ready-to-wear spring 2021 collection dubbed Mind Your Business, a trove of pieces featuring colorful, bold prints inspired by her heritage and modeled by an all-Black cast of models.

“I wanted the collection to help women and men stand out when they step out of the house. I was really inspired by broad shoulders from the ’80s, because if you see anybody with broad shoulders, they look bomb. So these pieces were made to make you feel good and look good without getting anybody’s approval while minding your business,” Kameni tells UncoverLA following a private media preview of her collection. (The designer was recently named one of the most influential Black designers to watch this year by Women’s Wear Daily.)

Available for pre-order, Mind Your Business comprises broad-shouldered mini and midi-dresses with flared cuffs; bell-sleeve crop tops and matching bell-bottoms in geometric darts print; an oversize blazer dress layered with a waist-snatching African-print corset; flowing wide-leg pants in regal-hued block print; a pleated print skirt with a camp shirt; and a matching print turtleneck and drawstring pant set.

A standout was a green-yellow print coat dress featuring a plunging neckline that flows into a dramatic peplum and train, a statement-maker that closed the virtual show.

From the powerful blazers to the figure-flattering body con dresses and the twirl-ready gown, this is a collection that brings the best kind of drama to everyday wear. Mind Your Business’ through-line is that the pieces hug your curves in all the right places while showing just a hint of skin — the product of Kameni’s personal fashion sense.

Read more at UncoverLA.

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