Is imitation really the sincerest form of flattery? Just ask Victor Lopez, the 21-year old designer behind Indigo Studios’ modern day bootlegs. Lopez’s Reaper Sk8 sneakers are only the latest in his lineup of hip hop and pop culture-infused designs, often branded with the very artists who inspire him. Below, the LA native talks bootleg culture, sonic inspiration, and why fashion needs to loosen up.
Where are you from, and where are you now?
I’m from Los Angeles, and I still reside here.
What is your first memory with streetwear?
When one of my cousin’s homies, Ben Negose, introduced me to Supreme when I was in middle school. I asked him what kind of hoodie he was wearing—I was unaware it was a box logo—and he showed me what the brand was about, and how hypebeasts wore that type of thing. I was fairly young, so this was new to me. Then I got into the sneaker scene from just doing more research into this whole wave of streetwear.
If you had to compress your personal style into one outfit, what would it be?
It would be an oversized tee or hoodie, some jeans, and a pair of Jordan 1s or Nike SBs from my collection.
When did you first feel inspired to create your own designs?
I felt inspired back in high school, but never took action because I felt like my designs weren't good enough. I used to be in an IB art class my junior and senior year—I didn’t really design much, but I knew how to draw, so I would just draw people's faces or cartoons. Once, my teacher assigned a project to make an art piece based on our favorite artist, and the first person I thought of was KAWS. That’s when I felt the most inspired. And it wasn’t until this year that I finally pulled the trigger, and I sold over one hundred tees on my first drop.
Describe your design aesthetic in one sentence, if you can.
Where do you feel the most inspired?
In my room after listening to a specific album of an artist. There are specific albums I always go back to: Kanye West’s Graduation, Flume (self titled), The Neighbourhood’s I Love You, Wiped Out!, xx by The xx, Neon Indian’s Era Extraña. The list goes on and on.
Which living designer do you most admire?
Raf Simons, Rick Owens, and Kanye West.
What’s your biggest creative or career milestone so far?
I think designing the Reaper SK8s has been my biggest milestone so far, but there will be something that’ll pass that in time.
How do you want people to feel when wearing your designs?
To be open minded. I want people to remember that nothing in this world is original anymore, just re-innovated. I think people get too caught up with trying to be too original and not get inspired from other artists.
What would you most like to change about the current fashion industry?
I think just being more open minded would make a big difference.