Rusty F. Lopez, the former designer behind iconic Filipino shoe brand, has passed away

Published June 27, 2022, 2:49 PM

by John Legaspi

Last June 19, the Philippine fashion industry mourned the passing of noted fashion designer Rustico Lopez. Known to many as Rusty, the late design legend’s demise was made official through tribute posts shared online by his friends and family members.

Rustico Lopez

Rusty Lopez was famous for designing couture pieces during the ‘80s, with his fame and talent reaching the US. “I did not make much money but my name became known,” he told Tatler Asia about his five-year stay in New York. According to the magazine, he opened a shop in 1969 in Ermita district in Manila, which was later on noticed by the late socialite and patroness of the arts Conchita Sunico.

With his brand, Rusty was among the first to introduce ready-to-wear clothing in the Philippines. Its success led him to also release a line of shoes and other accessories as well. Hence, the creation of Rusty Lopez, one of the famous homegrown shoe brands today.

While reports stated that the designer sold his rights to the brand in 2002, Lolito Lopez, the current leader of the brand Rusty Lopez, said that it was in the ‘80s when they fully acquired the label.

“Rusty Lopez was a legendary haute couture designer during the ‘70s,” Lolito told Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “During that time, we met and discussed about handling the development of shoes for Rusty Lopez. But in the ‘80s binenta na nila iyong brand and the inventories of ready-to-wear pieces to us. Since 1984, we do it our own way.”

Nevertheless, Lolito acknowledges the influence of the great fashion designer in the success of the brand Rusty Lopez.

“He’s a part of our growth and development,” Lolito said. “I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the family.”

No official announcement has been released yet regarding the cause of the designer’s death. According to a social media post, his memorial service was held in Loyola Chapel in Sucat, Parañaque City.

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