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As a scrum of well-wishers dispersed an hour after Ludovic de Saint Sernin’s show ended on Sunday night, the Parisian designer turned to a slight woman watching from the sidelines. “My mom,” he said, embracing Laurence de Saint Sernin.
Ludovic de Saint Sernin, at 33, is seven years into building an ambitious brand that has become a touchstone for the LGBTQ+ community and others who value its proud dark-night seductiveness. This latest collection, he said afterwards, “felt like a reintroduction of myself” after a brief stint at Ann Demeulemeester ended abruptly last year.
Laurence de Saint Sernin appears not so much surprised as relieved to see her son arrive at this juncture. She knew her child would be a fashion designer when he was “two-and-a-half or three,” she said. “He was always drawing women with long dresses,” she said, “and very few clothes”.
LDSS, as its fans know it, is the latest European label to make a guest appearance at New York Fashion Week, a semi-tradition that began when Marni showed up under the Manhattan Bridge as fashion made a return from the pandemic. It was a one-off rather than a relocation. The brand will be back home showing in Paris next season, which De Saint Sernin had to keep reminding people about since he felt so at home in America. And he was warmly received at New York Fashion Week, where a Paris-based designer’s presence draws particular buzz.
The US — mainly New York and Los Angeles — is his biggest market, he said, worth about 30 per cent of revenue. Sixteen per cent of his Instagram followers are located in the US, versus 8 per cent in France, where people, he says, are more “shy” than Americans. His clothes, which include accoutrements appropriate for a dungeon as well as an after-hours club, are not for shy people.