Rusty Lopez Holiday 2010/Summer 2011 Collections

Stylish sole-mates
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte

The 100-piece Rusty Lopez (RL) shoe collection rolled out like scenes from Hollywood movies. Or, it could be that the soundtracks played reminded us viewers from which films they belong to. From the romantic French ditties to the discotheque-era unto the steamy leather get-ups; the segments played out like snippets culled from a number of flicks.
“We created a new line of stylish shoes, without veering away from the standards that the brand has always been known for – quality footwear at affordable prices! We still have our classic and basic styles that are very popular,” apprised Lolito Lopez, the visionary who started it all.
The catwalk was green-lighted with the 'Women of Strength' collection with leather-clad models in bondage and Bushido hairpieces, sporting suede booties and multi-strapped gladiator shoes as “Slave to the Vibe” blared from the speakers. You could almost feel Sharon Stone's character in “Sliver” peeking through the ramp aperture, leaving the viewers clueless as to who's the culprit in the whodunit schlock.
However, the dominatrix in flaming red corset and garter belt resurrected model-actress Iman's character from “Exit to Eden.”
The collection focuses on the strength and power of women. Studded stilettos and high-cut sandals called out to women who want to show off and party; who are hardworking and have a sense of power at work and play. These gals are smart and intelligent yet at the same time elegant and classy.
The revolving ball signaled the resurgence of Studio 54 as the classic duet of Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer – “Enough is Enough” – ushered in models in micro-minis and afro hairstyles that was all the rage in the late '70s.
It was in 1977, too, that RL, a clothing retail outfit, took over the shoe affairs of sister company Centropell to become the company it is today. And so, the “Untamed Woman' collection brought us back to the years of the company's infancy unto the era of the elevator shoes, hoop earrings and metallic bangles. As the highlight of the RL Spring/Summer 2011 collection, the range had a cultural and ethnic feel to it. Predominantly in hues of brown, beige, camel and tan, the designs are great for women who are sociable and want to have fun, Also for those who are approachable, trendy and the life of the party; who are equally stylish and loves being with different people.
Models in blunt-cut bob wigs paraded in black sequined gossamer frocks and corsets like dolled-up Japanese dolls who sashayed before the crowd in patent pumps, sling backs, ballet flats and ankle stirrup sandals.
Male models in boat shoes, loafers and topsiders got into a JFK act; aptly presenting the 'Men of Mystery' collection. The working shoes, paired well with S-caps, duo-toned shirts, waistcoats and ascots slung over jackets, making for a powerful and elegant look created for men who are successful albeit with a hint of mystery; the type that women desire. Other options in the collection include formal lace-ups, monk straps and boots.
The “Men of Ive League' collection, on the other hand, called to mind the music of Gershwin in the 1951 Oscar Best Picture “An American in Paris” and the swagger of Hollywood's most dashing bachelor.
The collection featured comfortable topsiders, summer sandals and sporty footwear for relaxed, powerful, successful and popular men. Guys in sportswear paired well with preppy schoolgirl attire. Checkered shorts went well with slippers and sandals. Travel girl chic complemented guys in layered about-town casuals with sweaters and/or bags slung over the ensemble. The collection showcased comfort to emphasize men who are comfortable with their kind of life in their kind of world.
The ruching and pleat detailing echoed the elegance of the velvet platforms in the 'Women of Intrigue” collection as purses, pillbox hats, pearl strands, gloves and the unmistakable swan's bouffant coiffure, brought back the high glamor of the not-so-distant past.
Through the years, RL has provided the market with quality and affordable footwear by steering its designs towards the casual. formal, athletic, outdoor and corporate style ranges. Lolito Lopez and wife Lily effectively positioned RL as the brand name that rivaled the best of what the local shoe industry had to offer.
RL is expanding its product line by introducing more hip footwear in addition to its wide selection of classic shoes. To be in step with the times, the couple's 23-year-old daughter Nicole is infusing the words 'fun' and 'frills' to the brand's new lines. Thus, apart from the basic black shoes, pumps and gray step-ins, RL now has styles and colors that are chic and current; reaching out to young fashionistas. “We are proud to be part of this year's Phil. Fashion Week. Now that we have enhanced our line with styles and designs that are chic, classy and current, we can say that the brand is in step with the times and is walking in a new, exciting direction,” enthused Nicole, who now sits as merchandising officer for the RL Group of Companies.
After over 3 decades in the industry, RL has finally joined other fashion-forward consumer brands, as it presented its Holiday 2010 and Summer 2011 collections, during the recently-concluded Philippine Fashion Week at the SM Mall of Asia. While RL continues to embrace its basic, traditional styles, it also takes on another challenge – that of evolving into a brand with a younger, more fashion-forward vibe.
To date, RL has 130 boutiques and 200 outlet stores nationwide carrying not only the shoe lines but also bags, accessories and apparel.


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