July 19, 2024

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NYFW Rising Stars Raul Lopez and Willy Chavarria on Expanding the Definition of American Fashion

NYFW Rising Stars Raul Lopez and Willy Chavarria on Expanding the Definition of American Fashion

RL:  We occur from comparable backgrounds—my family members was also incredibly political, [especially about] about how men and women perceived people or how we carried ourselves. I often say that my collections are a reflection of myself and my stories. I constantly want to be respectful, but I check out to do a little something that will shake points up. 

WC: Often it will get to be a lot with the “story.” In particular when white persons question about it, I’m constantly like, what about the garments? I don’t know if you get that, Raul.

RL: Yeah, all the time. I’m always like let us emphasis on the outfits, and allow the clothing convey to the story. Willy, you arrive from a company track record. I come from an era where by that was what was expected and what was correct, so I want to shake it up. The identify “Luar” [Raul spelled backwards] was a way of fooling men and women, building them assume it was a thing French, but then I wander in and they gag. I did not make it “Raul Lopez” for a motive, it is like an change moi. 

That goes again to this idea of assimilation, and what you did is subvert that thought. Our community is usually represented in the media, specifically in style, by whiteness and wealth. Have you ever felt othered in these manner areas? And how does it really feel to now have the attention of those identical men and women?

WC: Unquestionably othered.

RL: Effectively, yeah [laughs]. I constantly felt variety of like an outsider. Even when I was accomplishing HBA [Hood By Air] and then started out doing my individual factor, it took a truly lengthy time for me to get in this article. I am a person who gets alongside with any person, I’m awesome, I like to communicate to folks, and it took a long time for me to get out of my head and recognize that… you are not for anyone, and as a lot as I want to be neat with every person, not every person is likely to want to be my close friend. Heading into all of these white areas, I generally felt like the kid seeking to get in, even however I was ideal there. But what benefited me is the way I dressed. I usually dressed myself up, so individuals would be like he appears awesome, he looks neat. If I didn’t belong, at least I glance like I can match in. It has been my coping mechanism ever because I was in school, for currently being in these areas that I wasn’t permitted in.

WC: It is funny that you say that, since, as queer men and women, we do this a ton. You have to be the fiercest detail in the space, and then everything’s ok.

RL: Precisely.

WC: I hear that, way too. Even when you’re on the within, you are nevertheless a minimal bit on the outside mainly because you really don’t get invited to every little thing, or you’re the only brown person someplace. It’s usually obvious. Thank god there are persons like us that are not just executing manner for brown individuals and individuals of color, but moving points forward. We give to our local community, and the local community feeds off it and receives larger, more powerful, and then feeds us back again.