Perhaps within the final instance of L.A.’s tight-knit design scene, Flemons and Autumn Randolph—one half of trend collective No Sesso—have been classmates at Fairfax High School. I used to be solely made conscious of this after interviewing every of them for this text, however the connection in itself represents the familial feeling that appears to pervade the densely populated metropolis.
Just south of Flemons’s Echo Park studio, in a storefront nestled in Downtown L.A.’s trend district, lie the remnants of massive concepts in progress. Colored feathers and diamanté trim litter the ground. Images of Black trend icons and particular visible references are meticulously pinned on a board hung in between standing costume types and ethereal white curtains. Pierre Davis and Randolph, together with their assistant, Kelsey, are laborious at work enhancing and re-editing seems to be for what’s shaping as much as be their newest assortment. “When runway season is close, we live here 22 hours out of the day, go home to shower and come back. We definitely spent a lot of time here,” Randolph says. When I ask them if it’s in anticipation of New York Fashion Week, Davis coyly tells me, “Maybe—we’re not sure yet.” In 2014, Davis, then a 26-year-old South Carolina native, landed in L.A. after a short interval in Seattle. Armed with the concept of an inclusive trend label, she began designing items below the moniker No Sesso—a Latin phrase for no intercourse/no gender—for years earlier than coming to widespread prominence and previous to Randolph becoming a member of. “It first started off as more of an art concept. There were gallery shows, and all the clothes were installed on other objects, like wood or just hanging, but not really on a body,” says Davis.
The two girls circled one another on the L.A. nightlife scene—Davis as a longtime designer and artist and Randolph as a stylist and dancer who would pull Davis’s creations. The relationship slowly developed into a proper partnership, with the 2 now the first minds behind No Sesso. “We just think that clothing should be for whoever wants to wear it,” says Davis. Although it was acquainted to these within the L.A. trend group, No Sesso appeared like a darkish horse when the model debuted at NYFW in 2019.
For those that’ve by no means witnessed a No Sesso present, it’s in contrast to something you’re more likely to witness on a trend week schedule. The fashions—most of them Black or individuals of shade—will not be pattern dimension nor 6 ft tall, and that’s exactly what has fueled its buzz, particularly amongst trend individuals of shade. “When everyone put the black square on their Instagram last year and started working with models of color a little bit more, that was always in our DNA since the very beginning. And I think people recognize it; they see that’s just something that we’ve been doing forever. It’s very important for us to represent our community and show faces with skin tones that look like us. We just made that platform available for people to recognize and see it,” says Davis.