José Raúl: Bold & Fabulous
By Iris Edén Santiago
Special to The Star
In the blink of an eye, José Raúl has gone from a promising young fashion designer to a powerful respected artist who local socialites and international celebrities have on speed dial.
It would appear to have happened overnight because time flies. But it wasn’t instant or easy. Born in the municipality of San Lorenzo, José Raúl has worked hard for 15 years to be at the top of the fashion industry. He has made a name for himself by being at the cutting edge of fashion. New developments are always taking place in his atelier, where clients can find modern looks, avant-garde silhouettes and straightforward risky business.
And boy does he love a risk! Not many designers would open a fashion event with a naked male model. He did. Guests at “Taboo,” his most recent collection for San Juan Moda, were shocked and a little speechless when a handsome stud paraded down the catwalk wearing a black leather open jacket and an embroidered wrestling-style mask. Nothing waist down.
And people loved it. In 2022 fashion shows around the globe are spectacles to be experienced. Fashion is the main course, sure, but theatricals make it unforgettable. Fashion is a business, it’s entertainment, it’s a reflection of the times. And this talented designer, who loves a challenge, knows very well how to play the game and engage an audience.
He has a unique perspective on fashion. His style is grandiose, daring and undeniably captivating. Among the celebrities he has worked with are Gloria Trevi, Manuel Medrano, Manny Manuel, Wilkins, Jean Carlos Canela, Alex DJ and Luisito Carrión.
José Raúl designs for confident people who are comfortable in their own skin. He gets you as soon as he welcomes you in his impeccable Loíza Street atelier, and builds upon your personality. Men and women dressed by him both make an entrance and leave a mark. Because you don’t go to him to blend into a crowd.
José Raúl designs edgy garments with a classic touch, and creates classic silhouettes with intriguing twists. And that is a gift. One thing is guaranteed, he doesn’t do cookie cutter, hates boring and is constantly reinventing his own design process while looking for new shapes in haute couture.
His “Taboo” collection was in-your-face glamorous. He went with red, black, gold and metallic fabrics that gave clothes a festive vibe. Men in shining blouses, women in embroidered polka dots in red and black, lots of transparency, capes, fringes, coats and pussy bows.