Raul Lopez makes clothes for the future, where the patriarchy has crumbled and AI bots’ styles are the most coveted thing in fashion. Lopez began his career as one of the founding members of Hood By Air, but left to start his own brand, previously labeled Luar Zepol. After a two-year hiatus, Lopez returned to fashion in 2017 recharged and launched Luar.
Dystopia and unabashed femininity run rampant throughout Luar’s collections. Never shedding its street wear or club sensibility, Luar encompasses all things futuristic and is most inspired by technology. The brand is for the progressive minded, for those who understand that gender is constructed and that labels are something of the past and limiting. No, skirts and dresses are not just for women. They’re for everyone. Lopez’s personal philosophy, one engrained in all his projects, is that fashion and music go hand in hand, one cannot exist without the other. How else do you create an encompassing culture and community? It’s easy to see the kind of space that Lopez occupies when you look at his collections.
Lopez uses his lines to express his opinions and tell stories through his garments. In his first few Luar Zepol collections, it was an exploration of the designer’s identity and upbringing. With Luar, Lopez is using his platform to express his opinions and critique what’s happening around him. 2018 was the designer’s first venture into a full women’s ready to wear collection and, as he explained it, “was focused on the type of woman who is in touch with her hyper-masculine side, one on a power trip and one who is looking for revenge on any man that has ever tried to make her feel ashamed.” He adds, “She is complex — she loves a night out on Dyckman Street [in New York’s Inwood area], but also lives for an elegant and classy moment.” In both his women and men’s lines, Lopez sent out models in deconstructed business people and bankers’attire: ties sewn together to form skirts, deconstructed blazers, and men’s shirts reformed to create something totally new. Trump-esque hair pieces attached to models and Wu Tang Clan’s lyrics “Cash Rules Everything Around me” sprinkled throughout the collection.