For Ozcar G. Lopez, everything began when he was quite young. “I was fascinated by Italian cinema and the glamorous styles of Hollywood’s silver screen actresses,” he says. “I remember when I was little, instead of playing with other kids I befriended the neighborhood seamstresses. I wanted them to teach me all their tips and tricks.”
Becoming the winning contestant on the first season of “Project Runway: Under the Gunn” was a great leap forward in the young designer’s burgeoning career. “Just imagine arriving from a place like Cuba and getting the opportunity to participate and represent the Latino community in one of the most celebrated fashion competitions in the United States,” he says. “It gave me great joy and a great sense of pride.”
It also allowed him the freedom to explore his passion for the art of fashion. “I feel a strong pull toward opulence because it offers infinite possibilities for developing creativity,” he says.
His creative partnership with singer-songwriter Lena Burke began several years back. At the time, they were both working hard to forge their career paths. “Lena has a singular spirit. She is highly professional but is brimming with joy. With her you always feel comfortable and everything just flows harmoniously,” he says of his close friend, who is also one of the lucky women who get to model his elaborate designs at events and on the red carpet.
“Ozcar has been a part of some very important moments in my life and in my career,” says Burke.
“I still remember the wonderful designs he provided for my audition for the movie La Mala, which I starred in, and for the video for “Que Seria de Mi,” which I recorded in Valparaiso,” she recalls. “But above all I remember that form-fitting, aubergine dress I wore the day I won the Latin Grammy.”
The sultry singer, who describes this point in her career as one of “magic and maturity,” considers it essential to have “a sense of style that is distinctive and identifies you as an artist.”
Burke muses, “I have a cross between the gypsy and rocker look because of all the accessories I like to wear, but at the same time I feel I can also identify with the romance and glamour of haute couture.”
For both Ozcar and Lena, the future is full of possibilities. “I want to stay true to myself as an artist who makes people feel special,” says the designer. “I would love not only to have my collections sold at specialty boutiques, but also to create a space where I could personally attend to the clientele that is looking for something truly unique.”
On her end, Burke’s days are tightly scheduled with a slew of projects, performing what she refers to as “the music I’m passionate about.”
“I want to keep recording, acting and writing for myself and for other musicians. I also hope to hold special concerts and galas and, of course, to continue being fortunate enough to wear my dear Ozcar’s exquisite designs.”