Houston hair stylist Louis Lopez built his brand on beautiful colors and edgy styles. Unsurprisingly, his latest collaboration with photographer Alida Bonifaz, who is known for her fashion-forward editorial photography skills, is a mesmerizing and colorful success.
Louis, a self-proclaimed introvert, felt an instant connection with Bonifaz and her creative team. The pair met in 2018 after running into each other in the same photography circles. They collaborated on previous avant-garde photo shoots along with Cori Aston, the team's makeup artist. "We team up to do more fashion and beauty-focused photoshoots as well, but the avant-garde shoots are where the two of them really get to stretch their creative muscles and create outside the confines of client and commercial model portfolio work," says Bonafaz. "We used to shoot the wildest hair and make up looks for competitions, but these days we've been collaborating for the pure enjoyment of it and, of course, always hoping to attract clients who might be interested in these sorts of unconventional looks."
This latest series of yarn wigs began several years ago when Lopez wanted to challenge himself to create something different. He used sheep's wool yarn to make a gorgeous albeit very expensive wig. This time, however, Lopez ordered no-frills nylon yarn from Amazon to see what he could transform it into. Inspired by his late dog's pom pom toys, Lopez says the series went in a different direction from what he originally envisioned. "I think people would be shocked to know that dog toys inspired this series of yarn wigs," says the hairstylist. "But they came out even better than I imagined."
The series of six yarn wigs only took about two weeks to make as Lopez, who works full time, creates at night as a way to let out creative energy. As he was making the wigs, he would bounce ideas off Bonifaz to get the point of view of a photographer. Once the wigs were complete, the duo began speaking with Aston about makeup, and their ideas for the photo shoot began to take shape." I enjoy seeing everything come to fruition," says Lopez. "A team member can make it even better than you imagined. It all comes together with colors, makeup and how the model is posing."
Bonifaz learned to crochet one week before the photo shoot to ensure the models had something to hold and wear in the pictures. And at the very last minute, she booked Nala, the cat, for her first modeling gig. Both Bonifaz and Lopez agree that their favorite photos are the ones including Nala. Lopez said, "It is interesting to have an animal personality in the photo."
The creative duo is already planning their next collaboration. They are trading ideas and will debut their next series of photos via Instagram, giving each of us an entrée into their innovative world. @alidabon; @louislopez07.
Despite all the conversations Louis and Cori and I have when planning these shoots, we're never entirely sure what the final images are going to look like in the end. I loved how it got to the point where it became a bit of a crazy yarn lady story.