Imperial Legacy brings I ❤️ NY gift shop to NYFW

Imperial Legacy showcased two new collections at NYFW, but neither impressed.

Joey Hung, Beauty & Style Editor


It was giving Dixie Cups. Desigual. Fifth grade “About Me” collage. Imperial Legacy, founded by brother and sister Marcus and Faith Smith in 2008, presented two new collections on Sept. 10 at the rooftop of South Park Hotel, where guests sipped glasses of rosé and enjoyed small bites while checking out the new collection. However, it was the outfits and little blunders— models disappearing into the crowd, changing into their co-models’ pieces or forgetting to change at all — that added up to one big disaster. 

Imperial Legacy screams I LOVE NY gift shop on Fifth Avenue — subpar quality, tacky color schemes, one pattern printed on everything. Their first collection of the night, Scripted, was distinguished from previous collections they’ve done by its use of a darker color palette. Imperial Legacy is known for its bright and bold colors, so this collection was a new choice for the brand. The collection is relatively simple, featuring cursive Cs and Ls printed on gaiters, wallets, dresses, sling bags, etc. Unfortunately, it gave the impression of a failed attempt to make the print iconic.

The Smiths went back to their infamous neon pinks, greens and blues for their second collection of the night, Rembrandt. Marcus Smith wore part of his collection, dressed in a cyan, blue, yellow and hot pink T-shirt. Placed squarely in the middle of it were the brand’s Cs and Ls, with artwork from Rembrandt. This collection touted more variety than Scripted’s: each piece resembled a collage of bright color schemes with varying patterns and textures resulting in similarly mixed results. They might have titled their collection Rembrandt, but the mismatched prints and disproportionality were much more evocative of Picasso. 

With context, the clothes were sentimental, but still didn’t woo. The Rembrandt collection was dedicated to their mother and aunt who both passed away 10 years ago. 

“My mom got to see one fashion show. I told her I’d make it to New York and now we’re here.” Marcus Smith said.

Scripted is dedicated to the younger generation who have forgotten history and never learned cursive.

“I went to a convention one time, and one of the speakers was upset because he had a child who couldn’t read cursive.” Marcus Smith added, “So we decided to dedicate a whole line to it.”

The models completely derailed the presentation. They looked as if they had never worn pieces with such bold colors. As a result, they were swallowed up by the outfits, instead of embracing them for their loudness. Influencers, press and other guests weren’t looking at the clothes — they were just looking to have a good time at a free rooftop event. It was perhaps due to the models’ lack of confidence that the collection didn’t exhibit its full potential.

“This brand is my creative outlet,” Marcus Smith said. As an outlet, it’s acceptable, but as a fashion brand at NYFW, the quality, cuts and patterns were simply uninspiring. With models paling in their pieces, Imperial Legacy’s potential was lost. 

Contact Joey Hung at [email protected].