Long Islanders may remember A’kai Littlejohn of Hauppauge, who at age 13 was a contestant on Lifetime TV’s "Project Runway Junior." On Saturday, the young fashion designer — now 16 and a junior at Hauppauge High School — will have his first solo fashion show during New York Fashion Week in Manhattan.
“I feel my ability to create has definitely developed a lot,” Littlejohn says of his time since his appearance on the elimination-style fashion competition in 2017. The 33 looks he’s featuring in Saturday’s show, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Hotel 50 Bowery, include clothes to make women “the center of attention in the room,” he says.
“A lot of the pieces are timeless, classic silhouettes with a modern twist,” Littlejohn says. A little black dress, for instance, might include an interesting drape or cutouts, he says. And while his past three collections were essentially all white, his 2020 spring and summer collection, which the show debuts, introduces three new colors, Littlejohn says. He declines to describe his fashions further, saying he wants the show to be a “surprise.” The looks will be for sale this spring on akailittlejohn.com.
The teen, who says he still wears his signature bow ties and flat caps, says he’s calm about the 30-minute solo event. He’s appeared in other fashion showcases during past fashion weeks, but having a solo event allows him to “do exactly what I want,” he says. “Being nervous is a waste of time in my opinion. It’s more productive to stay chill.”