Rajo Laurel is one of the first designers I went to. A few of my prized dresses are his handiwork and I can say they have seen my through quite a few occassions. I think it just reflects back to the designer himself. Rajo is reliable. His passion for this craft has also gotten past the ups and downs of his career. He’s done so much: fashion shows, collaborations, growing a brand. I would be amiss if I didn’t recognize how he’s a staple in the industry. But I also can’t believe that this 2018, Rajo is celebrating his 25th anniversary in the business.
Despite the number of years Rajo has been around, he still does approach fashion design with the same wonder he had when he first started. Take, for example, his latest spring/summer 2018 collection. Entitled “Hockney,” the collection is inspired by the works of artist David Hockney. He talks about how a Hockney painting left an impression on his as a child, “it was both odd and exhilarating at the same time.” The fascination would last until he saw a Hockney exhibit recently and he would think of big California pool parties. He’d play a reinvention on the preppy look, jumping off Hockney’s interpretation of California.
From the warm streets of the Golden State, Rajo travels back to his roots. This year, he is the featured designer for the upcoming Red Charity Gala. We’ll see what Rajo has got up his sleeve but I’m sure it will show just how much Rajo has grown and learned from his experience.
Taking a break from that though, I had a chance to poke around Rajo’s atelier once more. If you’re an avid follower, you’ll recognize his desk set-up full of colored pencils. You’ll also spot his signature black shirt and glasses. But I feel like there are things we don’t know about Rajo yet. Like the wildest thing he did at 25 years old. How he timed himself to know just exactly how long it takes him to get ready. Rajo will make you laugh and he’ll draw you into his world effortlessly.
I’m so glad was able to catch Rajo in this fun Conversations With… Visiting friends always comes with perks, right? What’s great also is how I get to share with you their world. I also get a bit of a license to bug them and ask them questions I normally would. Just kidding. (Or am I?)
For our next Conversations With, I’m wondering who you’d want to see. I’ve got a few lined up for you but I’m continously shooting. I’m also on the look out for the newbies who are making waves in their respective fields. Is there someone in particular you have in mind? Let me know in the comments section below.