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Philippines’ Legendary RTW Shoe Pioneer Rusty Lopez Has Passed Away

His legacy will live on through his eponymous brand.
Philippines’ Legendary RTW Shoe Pioneer Rusty Lopez Has Passed Away
IMAGE tatler asia
His legacy will live on through his eponymous brand.

Rusty F. Lopez, a quiet, talented, and kind man who led the fashion industry into read-to-wear shoes, has passed away last Monday, June 20. His close friends Larrie Silva, Thelma Sioson, Glenna Aquino, Therese Coronel-Santos, confirm in a heartwarming obituary. His Facebook page was also flooded with condolences and prayers from his friends, family, and people whose lives have been touched by the late shoe designer.

Rusty Lopez: Legacy

The businessman and fashion designer started out designing dresses that instantly became popular across the U.S.. In one of his last interviews, Rusty reminisces his five-year fashion sojourn in the States. "I did not make much money but my name became known," he said. 

He went back to the country later on and in November 1969, he opened his own atelier on Herran Street, Ermita. In his shop, he dressed the country's most stylish women. He also staged fashion show luncheons featuring his Summer and Holiday collections. He gave style consumers pieces that are well-made, fashionable, and easily within reach through his RTW clothes.


According to his friend Larrie Silva, Rusty had his RTW start at Syvel’s, now called Landmark Department Store, in Escolta. His designs then caught the eye of Therese Coronel-Santos, helm of Cinderella, and invited him to design for the retail brand.

Rusty's talent was anchored on his unique ability to make the trends of the '70s and '80s into chic and wearable iterations, fit for every Filipina. Now beloved by a generation of style consumers, Rusty Lopez became a pillar brand of Philippine RTW.

It was not too long until Rusty branched out into shoes and accessories. His eponymous brand, Rusty Lopez, was the go-to shoe brand of many. However, Rusty's priorities changed, and he sold his rights to the brand in 2002. His friends recalled that Rusty had always opened his home to them which he personally decorated to his liking. Every now and then, his fashion designer persona would emerge, as he made wedding gowns for his friends. He also loved tending to his garden. Indeed, Rusty's gentle and introverted personality loved and chose simple things that made him geniunely happy.

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PHOTO BY tatler asia

In a post, Thelma Sioson reveals that Rusty had been battling with cancer. His family and friends have not disclosed nor confirmed the exact cause of death as of writing.

Your legacy lives on, Rusty. Rest easy.

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