Raul Lopez Loves a Party

Raul Lopez loves a party.

Anyone who’s a fan of the Dominican designer behind Luar knows his Fashion Week parties are often the hardest to get into—not due to any arbitrary industry exclusivity, but simply because they’re where everyone wants to be. (Just ask Beyoncé.) Lopez considers himself a welcoming host, whether it’s for a Fashion Week function or a more intimate gathering with friends at home, which makes his latest collaboration a perfect fit for many parties to come.

In collaboration with Guatemalan rum brand Zacapa, Lopez has designed a new edition of his best-selling Ana bag, incorporating signature Luar elements (like classic smooth leather) with Central American–inspired detailing (petate weaving) for a first-of-its-kind hosting kit. Inside the special-edition bag, one finds party essentials like an adorned bottle of Zacapa XO (a specially blended varietal aged 10 to 25 years), along with stylish bar accessories like a custom shaker, cocktail spoon, linen napkins, coasters, glassware, and a specially designed decanter. Like so many of Lopez’s creations—and especially his best-selling bag—the hosting kit is inspired by the women who have influenced him throughout his life.

a man sitting on the floor

Ari Weiss

“It’s all inspired by my mom, both my grandmothers, and my sister—they’re all named Ana, of course,” he tells Harper’s Bazaar in an exclusive interview. “I love how Zacapa works with over 700 Guatemalan women, who create the special petate weaving on each and every bottle—it’s so amazing to me to be able to bring these two worlds together and mash it into one. It’s important for me to work on something that supports and uplifts voices from marginalized groups. It also made so much sense to me to make this really iconic heirloom that can be handed from generation to generation.”

Even though Lopez is Dominican-American and Zacapa is a Guatemalan brand, the designer felt an organic connection between their two universes when conceptualizing the kit.

“I’m so inspired by Latina heritage across the board. How the petate weavers are handing down [this tradition] from generation to generation. I feel like my bag does that, and my family does that, and Latina women do that,” he says. “I always like to draw inspiration from the past nostalgia of growing up going to the Dominican Republic from New York.”

a black and silver speaker

Zacapa

a black gaming console

Zacapa

And as for what makes a Luar party? Lopez describes his signature fetes as high-energy with a healthy dash of chaos.

“I grew up in a home where the door was always open, and my parties always feel like a family reunion. You have the music, you turn up, the DJs are my friends. The people there are from my community, but you’re also welcome even if you’re not, and it’s the same thing with my home,“ he says. “The vibe is crazy—it’s almost like my shows. I want to immerse everyone in my world, and when you come to a Luar party, you’re getting a party.”

Ultimately, Lopez has only one rule for his functions.

“I love to host. I love a party, I love a dinner, I love a little soirée—but I also like a safe space,” he says. “Everybody looks forward to a Luar party, because there isn’t any drama. I hate drama. Do your thing, meet new people, mingle—but leave the drama at the door.”

A limited quantity of the complete Zacapa y Luar Collaboration Collection will be available online exclusively through ReserveBar beginning May 1, 2024.

Headshot of Bianca Betancourt

Bianca Betancourt is the culture editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com, where she covers all things film, TV, music, and more. When she’s not writing, she loves impulsively baking a batch of cookies, re-listening to the same early-2000s pop playlist, and stalking Mariah Carey’s Twitter feed.