Designer Profile: Raul Osorio

Local favorite, Raul Osorio, sat down with City Pages to talk about design, inspiration, the local scene, and his roots. His masterful tailoring and keen eye for structure make him a definite stand out among local designers. Osorio is a recent transplant who grew up in the Honduras, and then lived in California before relocating to Minnesota. We couldn't be luckier to have him. 

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Photo by Joe Kramm

Raul Osorio spring menswear modeled by Wesley (Vision Management Group)

Jane Belfry: When and how did you start designing?

Raul Osorio: I learned how to sew at around 15 I sewed everyday, that was what my family did. I always watched my grandmother, she taught all of the girls in the family. It was unusual for a man to learn how to sew in the Honduras, they are very "macho". When sewing I only made pieces for myself, until a few years ago when friends of mine pushed me to do a clothing line.

JB: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

RO: Feelings. It's very emotional for me, I need to feel. I am also constantly inspired by vintage clothes and try to transform them into something modern.

JB: Who is your ideal client? Who do you picture wearing your designs?

RO: I feel like at the beginning it was men, but there is not much support for menswear in this market. My clothes are for the young--18 to mid 30s--and for a man or woman that is constantly classy. My clothes are for people that are willing to transform their looks frequently.

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One of Osario's looks on Vision model Nick P. Photo by Joe Kramm

JB: What designers do you look up to, on a local or non-local scale?

RO: Alexander McQueen, I constantly admire how far he went. He was never scared and didn't have boundaries, I don't like boundaries. Locally, Danielle Everine, definitely. She makes really well constructed clothes and I feel like we have a similar aesthetic and vision. Also, Laura Fulk. It's clear that she lives for what she does. She has a definite signature, every time you look at one of her garments you can tell it was made by her.

JB: How do you feel about the local fashion scene?

RO: I think it is strong and has gotten a lot stronger recently. I also think that we owe everything to Anna Lee, she really pushes and inspires people. I think that there is a lot of support here, but also there is not much of a point when no one wants to buy locally. Designers take a lot of time to make unqiue pieces but no one is willing to invest. I personally spend so much time on each garment that I could not just sell it for $50. I also think that stores need to be more supportive. Midwestern-based stores, like Target, need to start looking to local designers, we are the ones that are living here and know what people want and need.

JB: When will your next collection debut and what are your plans for the future?

RO: There's no set date yet for my next show. It will either be during MN Fashion week in September or the week after. It will be a collaboration with Danielle Everine and this time I will be doing womenswear.

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