Luis De Javier Wants You Feeling Like a 'PUTA'

Luis De Javier Wants You Feeling Like a 'PUTA'

By Justin MoranApr 29, 2024

If you stumbled upon Manhattan’s Ella Funt neo-bistro this past week, you would’ve seen tables of VIPs with the word “PUTA” (translation: “WHORE”) printed boldly across their outfits in emergency yellow and red. Amanda Lepore, Patti Wilson, Steven Klein, Aweng Chuol, Raul Lopez, Uglyworldwide, Richie Shazam, LSDXOXO and more of New York’s wildest fashion set were dining to celebrate the launch of Luis De Javier’s first-ever streetwear collection with shopping platform Emcee Studios.

Only the 27-year-old Spanish-born designer could pull together a guest list of this caliber; I sat next to Aquaria, who was tired from prepping for an early morning flight to Chile the next day, and across from Kevin Aviance and Lolo Zouaï. We all nibbled on scallops and beef tartare in-between sips of cocktails with names like “PUTA Drop,” before the dinner turned into an after party with Fashion DJing and even more special guests filling in: Alton Mason, Anna Bloda and Fashion Faguette.

Photography: Rommel Demano/BFA

The “PUTA” collection is a shift in strategy for De Javier, whose first stateside runway show was sponsored by Pornhub and saw Julia Fox close the NYFW catwalk with giant denim bull horns protruding from her chest. (There were so many latex looks that lube ended up making the floors too slippery to strut down without caution.) Then, his LAFW breakout saw De Javier collaborate with mentor Riccardo Tisci for yet another push to make his provocative sensibility covetable in high-fashion editorial.

As the first of four collections with Emcee, “PUTA” promotes something more wearable and versatile from De Javier. There are 16 gender-neutral pieces in total, including a balaclava hoodie, shoulder pad tank and short shorts. His own version of the it-bag, called “The Faguette,” continues to enforce De Javier’s message of queer expression and empowerment. “While designing for my celebrity clientele and showcasing my creations on the runway has always been my dream, it's equally important to me that my brand resonates with a wider, more diverse audience,” the designer says.

Below, PAPER and Luis De Javier dive more into what it means to be a “PUTA” and why he left London for Barcelona to stay creative.

Photography: Pablo De Pastors

How'd you land on the word "PUTA" for this drop's core message and theme?

I chose to stamp my first streetwear with this word so that it would have a sense of rebellious empowerment and defiance against societal norms. It's a provocative statement that challenges and confronts the stigma attached to sexuality and identity, turning what is often meant as an insult into a symbol of strength and ownership of oneself. Being a "PUTA" is about owning your power, your sexuality and your individuality. It's a call to reject the shame imposed by societal standards and to celebrate your individual self.

Was it challenging to bring the radical Luis De Javier design ethos to something more wearable?

It felt completely right for us as a brand. It was an exciting opportunity we were eager to explore and have fun with. Our partnership with Emcee Studios supported production and focused on sales, allowing us to have a sustainable business model through the process.

Photography: Joel Palmer

How do you stay inspired and creative, while still meeting today's nonstop demands for output in fashion?

I had to leave my crazy life in London and move back to Barcelona. When having so many projects lined up and wanting each of them to be better than the other, I had to find a place where I could be in control of all my surroundings to focus on what I needed to focus on. Before making the move to Barcelona I would literally think to myself, How are you going to do all of this? I had such a creative block, so I had to put myself first in order to get all my creative juices flowing again. My team's support is crucial too; they handle the operational details, allowing me to focus on creativity and fostering an environment where new ideas can flourish.

The guests you invited to the "PUTA" launch were very telling of the community you're cultivating. Who are some of the personalities that influence you?

The guests at our dinner and party, including Amanda Lepore, Patti Wilson and Steven Klein, epitomize the vibrant community we're cultivating. Their creativity and boldness not only inspire our brand's identity, but also provide invaluable support in shaping the direction and spirit of our work.

Photography: Joel Palmer

Photos courtesy of Luis De Javier/emcee