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Meet Luis Angel Zepeda of LAZ

Today we’d like to introduce you to Luis Angel Zepeda.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Luis Angel. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
It was winter in Manhattan, and I was in the backseat of a taxi, freezing and intoxicated.

All of a sudden it hit me: I needed to stop buying clothes and start making my own. This all began in 2015 as I set new morals and rules for my lifestyle to discover the most authentic version of myself. The idea to make my own clothes was a way to disassociate myself, as a consumer, from the fast-fashion industry and to truly express myself as well as reconnect with the Earth.

I wanted to be fully aware of the entire process behind the clothes on my body and to make sure that it was all vegan and accurately represented my individual style. In the beginning, the clothes were designed to be purely functional and to essentially be uniforms for daily life. By having a singular outfit, this would also help save time in the morning when deciding what to wear.

I started off by cutting up some clothes I already had and copying the patterns onto found fabric. I started with purely white clothes because I had this idea of white as neutral and pure. Eventually, I had to rethink my preconceived notions of “white” and realized it was not the color that represented me. White was bleached, synthetic and toxic. I started buying fabrics in the Fashion District and was after natural textiles. I discovered hemp and linen and soon after bamboo fibers.

Over the years as I’ve refined my skills and have had more time to create, I have added more elements to the garments I design, and now they are not fundamentally functional, although that remains a staple. My current goal with my clothing is to be as sustainable and ethical as possible while still highlighting my style which I’ve coined, Eco Hoe. I aim to use purely natural textiles and fibers, so the garments are biodegradable at the end of their lives.

When using synthetic textiles or blends, I try and use found, recycled or repurposed textiles. A major part of the clothing is the labor involved. As consumers in this era, we are so removed from where the goods we consume come from, and there is no exception for fashion. When we put on clothes or buy them, we aren’t normally thinking of where the fabric came from, who harvested the materials, who cut the fabric, who sewed the garment, what are the conditions it was made in, were the laborers paid a fair price?

Now that I make all my clothes, even my underwear, I am fully aware of how much labor goes into the garments. I’m also fully aware of the materials, from the thread to the fabric; this awareness has given me a new relationship with my clothes that is extremely intimate and personal. I have a lot more respect for my clothes than I ever have and care for them greatly to ensure that they last as long as possible. Now, LAZ is a collection of designs that are reflections of me at my best.

Has it been a smooth road?
My ideas for what the clothes mean to me is continuously shifting and transforming.

The biggest challenge now is how I want to share it with the public. Because so much of the clothing is about making it myself, I am conflicted with the idea of just selling them to consumers and having the garments become another commodity.

I am currently exploring ways for the labor and materials to be completely transparent to potential clients as well as making the clothes accessible to everyone.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the LAZ story. Tell us more about the business.
LAZ is a 100% plant-based, ethical and sustainable design haus. In a world of fast-fashion and detachment from our wardrobe, LAZ integrates compassion and sustainability into every creation. The materials used are natural and gentle on your body as well as the planet.

LAZ makes being ecologically aware sexy, fashionable, and fun. Being an Eco Hoe™ means you are conscious of the environment and passionate about healing our mother Earth all while emulating a plant-based snack. LAZ encapsulates the essence of an Eco Hoe™. ¡Buen provecho!

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I envision LAZ to be a staple for all individuals seeking alternatives to fast-fashion and who are passionate about the Earth and a sustainable future. When you think of vegan fashion, you’ll think of LAZ. It will be more accessible but always unique and one of a kind artistry.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Lester Guijarro, Keith Oshiro, Sarah Sherman, Renee Monroy, Jasmine Mercedes

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