Does dressing celebrities like Michelle Obama, Rihanna, Cardi B or Lizzo sound like career goals for a fashion designer? Well, Christopher John Rogers certainly achieved that!
Still not impressed? The Louisiana native is 26 years old and has already been featured in the 30 under 30 list from Forbes. He can also be proud of winning the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2019 (which means $400K and a year-long mentorship from Net-A-Porter teams).
He does what he wants
One thing that really struck me when I did my research on Rogers, is how much personality shows in his work. The way his designs are made, it feels like they have their own personality. The designer wants to tells us a story through his garments.
As he told Marie Claire recently, he likes the freedom of choosing what to wear according to how you feel:
I like the idea of wearing your best clothes on Sunday one day, then wearing a flawless cotton shirt and jeans for a sports match […] My way of making modern formal wear that is also practical is a sensibility that comes from my education in Louisiana.
All his collections have a festive touch, and you can tell the designer’s aim is for whoever wears them to stand out. He explained that his inspiration in ballgowns come from his intent to make his designs look like they were actually made by human hands, which is quite unique in the era of mass-produced fashion.
So far, CJR garments are sold as womenswear. However, singer Lil Nas X has been spotted wearing this very unique outfit:
But, who is he?
Born and raised in Louisiana. His family encouraged him to go into an artistic career very early on, which led him to study fine arts. He grew up passionate about painters like Paul Gauguin, but also about anime culture (this might be why his designs look so dramatic and unique).
He experimented a lot with materials before getting into fashion: he would design outfits for the comic book characters he created.
The young man is a graduate from the Savannah College of Art and Design. His studio is based in SoHo, an upgrade he recently made after years of working from his Brooklyn apartment. Quite the designer success story right there.
“There’s so much more room to play and dream big.”Christopher John Rogers to Vogue
In the days of diversity and tolerance, CJR is the right face to represent a large group of individuals. A queer, Black man certainly has a lot to share, and his image breaks loads of stereotypes about identity.