Raul Lopez: A Fashion Journey from Brooklyn to New York Fashion Week

Raul Lopez

New York Fashion Week (NYFW) is a grand spectacle in the world of fashion, showcasing the latest trends and designs from some of the most influential designers. One such New York designer who has made waves in the fashion industry is Raul Lopez, the creative mind behind Luar. On the podcast episode, we revisit a captivating conversation with him, shedding light on his inspiring journey from the streets of Brooklyn to the pinnacle of NYFW.

The Evolution of Luar

Raul Lopez’s journey into the world of fashion began with his brand, Luar, which is his name spelled backward. What initially started as a way to create an alter ego and maintain anonymity as a gay individual eventually evolved into a successful fashion label. Luar’s early days were marked by its transformation from “Luar Zepol” to give it a French flair, a move aimed at gaining attention in the fashion industry. Raul’s ability to reinvent himself and his brand reflects the core essence of fashion as a form of self-expression.

Growing Up in Williamsburg

Lopez’s upbringing in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, was far from glamorous. In an era marked by poverty and urban challenges, Williamsburg was not considered a desirable place to live. However, Raul fondly recalls his childhood there, finding beauty in the midst of adversity. The neighborhood’s grit and character left an indelible mark on him, shaping his unique perspective on fashion and life. His experiences growing up in Williamsburg continue to influence his work, with elements of his childhood evident in his designs.

The Power of Resilience

Raul’s journey to success was not without its obstacles. He vividly remembers the hardships his family faced, from frequent robberies to being ostracized by their neighbors. Despite the adversities, Raul’s family persevered, instilling in him a sense of resilience and determination. These early struggles served as the building blocks of his character and propelled him toward a future in fashion.

Staying True to His Roots

One remarkable aspect of Raul Lopez’s story is his unwavering connection to his roots. Despite achieving immense success, he remains in the same apartment where he grew up in Williamsburg. This decision is a testament to his humility and the importance of staying connected to one’s origins. Raul’s story resonates with many aspiring designers, reminding them that success should not distance them from their beginnings.

A Safe Haven at Harvey Milk School

Raul’s journey as a designer was greatly influenced by his association with the Harvey Milk School, a unique educational institution designed specifically for LGBTQ+ students. While he didn’t attend the school formally, he fondly recalls sneaking in to use their Photoshop class, a resource that played a crucial role in his early design work. The school provided a safe space for queer children, many of whom were facing displacement from their homes. Raul’s experiences at the Harvey Milk School and in LGBTQ+ spaces like Christopher Street shaped his identity and his artistic expression.

The Journey to Design

Lopez’s passion for design was evident from a young age. He resisted pressure to pursue other career paths and chose to follow his creative instincts. His love for designing, whether it was creating unconventional clothing from duct tape or experimenting with neoprene, was a driving force in his life. Raul’s early experiences with design served as a foundation for his future career in fashion.

The Ana Bag: A Symbol of Heritage

One of the most iconic creations from Luar is the Ana bag, named after Raul’s mother, grandmothers, sister, and other influential women in his life, all named Anna. The bag pays homage to his family’s heritage, combining elements from different eras and styles. Its design reflects the mod era of his grandmother and the ’80s and ’90s influences from his mother. The Ana bag is not just a fashion accessory; it’s a symbol of heritage and a testament to the role of strong women in Raul’s life.

Closing New York Fashion Week

As the conversation onn the podcast unfolds, it’s revealed that Raul Lopez is set to close New York Fashion Week, a significant accomplishment for any designer. The anticipation and excitement in the lead-up to the event are palpable. Raul expresses his nervousness and desire to make everyone proud. His dedication to his craft and the pressure he feels to deliver an exceptional show highlight the passion that drives him.


Raul Lopez’s journey from the streets of Williamsburg to becoming a prominent figure in the fashion industry is nothing short of remarkable. His story is a testament to the power of resilience, self-expression, and staying true to one’s roots. The upcoming NYFW show is a culmination of his hard work and dedication, and it promises to be a defining moment in his career.

As we revisit this insightful conversation with him, we gain a deeper understanding of the man behind the brand Luar. His ability to draw inspiration from his experiences and infuse them into his designs is a testament to the transformative power of fashion. Raul Lopez is a New York designer who not only creates beautiful clothing but also tells a compelling story through his pieces. As we eagerly await his NYFW show, we celebrate his journey and the impact he has made on the fashion world.

Raul Lopez’s success serves as an inspiration for aspiring designers, reminding them that with passion, resilience, and a commitment to their roots, they can achieve greatness in the world of fashion.

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