The fashion industry has given birth to another talented and creative designer with a promising future. Growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at 10 years old, Christopher John Rogers found fascination in fashion design after drawing costumes for the superhero characters in his comic books. “I was really into anime, manga, and all that stuff,” said Rogers to The Fader. “I was making a comic book and one of my friends, Catherine, was like, ‘Why do your characters always seem to wear the same thing?’” The question gave Rogers a different perspective and inspired him to dig deeper in the fashion world. “I told her, ‘I don’t know’ but I started exploring dress and what that meant in terms of fashion outside of costume.”
Cautiously, a little doubtful but loaded with passion, Rogers spent the subsequent years daydreaming to have a career in this very competitive industry. “I’m from Louisiana, black and gay, and I come from a very spiritual family,” Rogers says. “I was always kind of shamed for being myself. I can be quite feminine. I like pink and green and expressing myself, so I’ve always kind of felt like I had to suppress myself,” he continued.
Rogers grew to become a proud man of what he is and represents, and at age 14 he was already spending his free time watching interviews of well-known designers like Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, and always inquiring into the history of fashion. He also taught himself how to sew after spending hours watching tailoring tutorials and putting into good practice what he learned. After graduating from high school, Rogers enrolled at Savannah College of Art and Design, where he perfected his technique, discovered his muses and began his journey toward success.
Debuting in style with an eponymous line at New York Fashion Week, Rogers presented an acquainted collection, deaconess and deserted Californian beach inspired, with touches of mid-century couture. His color palette combined the use of suits in saffron yellow, bayou blue, impact orange and a dreamy peachy pink. The fantastic Spring collection has unexpected prints and color combination, maxi hats, Swarovski crystals and a lot of southern inspiration. “I grew up Southern Baptist and my grandmother was the head of our church and, girl, I love a monochromatic look. I love committing to a color. I love dressing up,” he says. “In our culture there’s this emphasis on comfort — It should be easy! — but like, for me, there’s nothing wrong with effortful dressing.”
Maintaining a clear position of his aesthetic and what he wants to reflect in his creations, the designer assures the whole point is feeling like your very true self. “It’s not about a girl wearing a suit or a guy wearing a heel, it’s about you feeling yourself and feeling the f**king fantasy and the f**king look,” he continued. “That’s what it’s about. You know what I mean? It’s about queerness in terms of you fully embodying the nuances of yourself when dressing up.”
Juggling between his full-time job as a designer at Diane von Fürstenberg and making a name of his own, the 25-year-old already has an impressive list of celebrities and influential personalities to his credit. A-listers like rapper Cardi B, singer SZA and actress Tracee Ellis Ross have worn pieces by Christopher John Rogers that were humbly assembled on his kitchen table in Bushwick with the help of his roommates. Another great highlight of the short and fruitful career of Rogers was receiving an Instagram direct message from the one and only Michelle Obama’s stylist, Meredith Koop. “I immediately threw my phone across the room,” he told The Cut. “I’ve been a fan of [Meredith’s] work for a long time, and I was ecstatic that she voiced interest in getting our pieces on Michelle.”
Rogers designed a custom iridescent cyan tailored suit with Swarovski buttons that served as the final look of Ms. Obama Becoming book tour in Nashville, Tennessee. “It means the world to me and my team that one of the most outspoken and inspiring women chose to wear our work, and to close out her book tour,” Rogers said. “Her being a highly progressive woman of color makes it that much more special. I think it’s definitely another milestone in my very short career … And it just underlines the fact that we mean business.” The designer also added that he and his family were filled with joy. “I started dancing and yelling and my parents did the same. Everyone in my family is so proud.”
Currently based in New York City, the designer told Teen Vogue that his dream is to have his own studio design and dress Tilda Swinton, Cate Blanchett, Lupita Nyong’o, Elizabeth Warren, and our very own Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
We will definitely keep an eye on Christopher John Rogers. It is very likely that in a short period of time we will see much more of his art in red carpets, fashion editorials, street style, and music videos.