“I try to stray away from being trendy, I try to be timeless….timeless in a piece that you can put up right now and pull out a year from now, and you’ll still get compliments.”
Freshman Economics major Karon Smith has found a strong AUC following behind his Chicago-based store, Raggs Boutique after pieces from the boutique made their way down the catwalk at this year’s Homecoming Fashion Show.
So what is Raggs Boutique?
“It’s my baby […] It’s a facet of my passion […] I provide men’s clothing, men’s street wear, specifically for that male (or female) who wants to TRULY be different and who wants not only a garment that reflects them, but one that gives their look a thought of art and not just clothing on their body. I provide men’s clothing, men’s street wear, specifically.”
A handful of the designs showcased at this year’s Spelhouse Homecoming Fashion Show were pieces from Raggs Boutique, including the genius cheetah print studded snapbacks. This is an amazing accomplishment for anyone, let alone the fact that he’s only a freshman!
“…I was really ecstatic about [it] because me, being a freshman, to be making the business moves that I have is truly an experience. Some people don’t do this until their junior or senior year. So for me to be doing it as a freshman was awesome.”
I asked Smith how he felt about being showcased in the fashion show, to which he replied, “They reached out to me…‘Hey, we like your pieces, can we put them in the show?’ […] For me to be in this business and to be assured that I’m on the right path of what people want was definitely like ‘oh yes, I’m on the right track!’”
Smith is definitely on the right track, garnering attention from designers around the country who want their pieces to be sold in Raggs Boutique, like the edgy new labels, Appetight and DeadHeartNYC.
The garments are one-of-a-kind, with Smith supplying only a small quantity of each design.
“My target client is the individual who wants to go out and look different and not wear the shirt that 30,000 other guys outside are wearing,” he said. “I pride myself on being able to have a specific piece that you can only shop with me and find.”
Raggs Boutique aims to provide a unique shopping experience, where the buyer feels a strong sense of individuality. Smith is a strong supporter of creativity, aiming to stray away from the trends that flood the market today.
“The whole reasoning behind what I’m trying to do is bring back is creativity. Instead of being trendy, try to be creative. Step outside the box of ‘Diamond Supply is cool, everybody thinks it’s cool, let me wear that, and now I’m cool.’ But rather, make your own ‘cool.’ Be an individual,” said Smith.
Smith has plans to open a Raggs Boutique here in Atlanta and eventually wants to grow large enough to compete with (and buy out) stores like Macy’s and Neiman Marcus.
Support this budding AUC talent and stop by Hubert Hall on Morehouse’s campus to check out some of Smith’s merchandise! You can also follow him on Instagram and Twitter at @karonisraggs to stay up-to-date with new inventory. And for business inquiries, contact Karon at firstname.lastname@example.org.