Raúl López is the founder of one of New York’s most talked-about brands, LUAR, who closed New York Fashion Week for the first time on February 2023, occupying a slot previously reserved for the likes of Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford.
LUAR is the reversed namesake label of Brooklyn-based designer Raul Lopez, former cofounder of Hood By Air. Of Dominican descent, Lopez began to design at the age of 12 and growing up was inspired by the fluidity of the downtown New York scene. The philosophy of LUAR lies in the intersection of New York City and the Dominican Republic, promoting the constant curiosity of tomorrow. LUAR has been worn and supported by the likes of Dua Lipa, Shawn Mendes, Bella Hadid, Christina Aguilera, Future, Kylie Jenner, Lourdes Leon, Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, Solange Knowles, Tyga, Theophilus London, and more. In 2023, Raul won the CFDA/Vogue best accessories designer and was finalist for the 2023 LVMH fashion prize.
LUAR is one of our generation’s true fashion disruptors. By breaking industry rules and boundaries and re-writing the norms to reflect what society really needed – accessibility – the brand has proven the systems in place simply do not serve the communities that matter most. In doing so and through LUAR´s incredible creativity and mission, the brand strives to have people worldwide feel included, seen and celebrated. The brand’s focus on affordability, accessibility and creating platforms that singularly enable everyone to have a seat at the fashion table on their own terms and on their own dime.
“I always say, keep it cute and keep it mute. I don’t care how you identify. I don’t care what race you are. If you wanna be family, come through, we got you. You can come, as long as you respect. I just want everyone to be loved.”
“I couldn’t go to fashion school because it was [seen as] “gay.” It was a different era. But I think that by me not going, it juiced me up to hustle harder. I was sneaking into Parsons and the FIT library and standing outside, acting like I left my ID at home. Then, boom, go in and start scanning books and getting references. I still go three times a week. And even in high school, I remember being in history class with those big textbooks and I would rip out the looks that they were wearing. It was my way of starting my own thing. The shoulder pads in my collections are a representation of me holding the weight on my shoulders. That’s why they got so exaggerated,” Lopez says.
“You’re never going to accommodate everyone, ever. You need to understand that you’re a gem and people can’t buy every gem. Be the center of attention. That’s how you’re going to be somebody. Luar is a celebration of community. No matter where you come from, who you are, or how famous you might be… when you wear Luar, you’re part of the same, glamorous family.” – Raúl López