in the heat of fashion

This sexy Puerto Rican designer creates pop culture’s most daring fashions

If you’ve seen an eye-popping gown on a RuPaul Drag Race queen or female musician like Cardi B., Toni Braxton, or Kelly Rowland, chances are that it might’ve been designed by gay, Puerto Rican fashion designer Rey Ortiz.

Ortiz — a former contestant on Project Runway: Under The Gunn — has designed the gown for Megan Thee Stallion’s 2022 Oscar performance; a sassy, peppermint striped confection for Todrick Hall on Celebrity Big Brother; a half-nude U.S. flag look for Lizzo, a quilted teddy bear gown for Cardi B; a campy, pink-sparkling gown for Paris Hilton; and numerous gowns for Drag Race competitors.

While his Instagram is full of his fantastic fashion creations, it also has pics of his labridoodle Chavito and himself looking hunky and fashionable around Los Angeles, where he currently lives. We asked him about his inspirations and stunning works.

You have put together some of the most daring designs in pop fashion. Where do you get your ideas and influences?

My ideas come from fabric choices, but always trying to use them in challenging new ways. Also, the subject matter or occasion makes each one of them a new opportunity to showcase fun fashions.

I try to always bring something new to the table. I always say that I shouldn’t make it if people have seen it or at least a better variation of it. I must add that sometimes that bites me in the ass — I tend to complicate things for myself, even though the results feel more rewarding as a consequence.

What was one of your favorite creations and how long did it take you to finish it?

My creations take some time, especially Cardi B’s grammys look. I had to lead a team of people that had great technical abilities that I don’t possess.

What role does sexuality play in your work? What sort of positive cultural change do you hope your work will facilitate?

Sexuality is part of my vision. I tend to emphasize peoples assets. From “the industry traditional smaller and thin silhouettes” to voluptuous and big ones that say “fuck you” to beauty standards, social media trolls and/or sad haters that feel powerful behind a keyboard. To all of those, I say “f-u” back.

Here are some pics featuring the talented designer and his works.

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