We are so excited to share this new installment of our Journal series with you. Ryan Lopes has been a source of admiration and inspiration for us since we found his beautiful Instagram account in the Spring of 2020 - a breath of fresh air during an otherwise tumultuous time - so it is a real pleasure to include him in this intimate series.
Ryan is a freelance creative director, photographer and stylist based in Rhode Island. When we launched our Canvas Collection in Summer 2021, it felt like the perfect project and time to reach out to him. All the images he has created for us since remain personal favorites - Ryan's keen ability to create a mood and evoke feelings of comfort and nostalgia for "home" (whatever that word may mean to you) is palpably authentic and endlessly compelling.
How does choosing your bag for the day and its contents tie into your daily ritual?
It’s primarily what the outfit has to offer in that day. I do, though wear the same bag for days on end. It’s just easy, and functional. I believe that’s why I favor these styles in house, because they are that with a flare of something unique.
What are the non-functional/meaningful things that you carry with you on a daily basis? (mementos, good luck charms, personal affects, etc.)
My grandmother actually gave me a stone, that we use to play a game with, called Ourillo, in Cape Verde. The game is exactly like Mancola, but we don’t have marbles to spare traditionally. I laughed at first, but of course, she proved me to the value and protection in this stone, beyond enjoyment.
What expressive function does your bag have for you?
That it can be attentive, and it can be favorable while offering to hold those essentials. I truly think a style speaks for itself.
How does your bag (read: shape, features, size, material, etc.) inform the way you carry yourself, the activities you choose to do, the way you engage with your surroundings?
I don’t often think of this up until it’s time to switch a bag, or that I need to. When I get that chance to unpack the baggage, and often revisit the things that lived in there, it’s centering and is a key point of grounding— knowing that I have things that can retain the focus, or the reason why I may have leant in the first place.
Choosing a bag can be an act of expansion or a pairing down to essentials. Which one of these do you gravitate toward (and why)? When thinking about this, do notions about security/agency/independence come to mind? If so, how?
My thoughts lean more towards the essentials, usually, my bigger bags still don’t carry much. I believe the notions derive from me thinking of my independence and agency of need within that moment. There’s even been a lot of depth in my journey, and owning so much, having a ton of bags and in this moment it all truly feels like a state of reverse. I’m only wearing the one or two, and again, prioritizing what I need in that moment. I get it now.
What shapes, features, materials, textures, and/or functions are inspiring your creative process currently?
Chrome, the color black and space (having more of it) in general. The timelessness of chrome and it’s functionality really represents that & remains unique. I’m favoring it around home. The color black as well is such a statement and mirrors that space and boundlessness that white often represents, too. And the space, having more room to breathe and let a space occupy itself speaks highly.
How do you balance your personal creative interests/art practice (i.e. image making) with content creation for brands that primarily live on social media?
I try to mend them, and make the day I’m having apart of these projects and I believe that’s where the sense of authenticity comes from. It’s truly what is in that moment, and what thought arises that leads to a moment worth capturing and making it apart of my “work”. It’s very free. I’m still learning.
When we met in NYC, we discussed the palpably intimate quality of your photos - what do you draw upon to achieve this?
Natural light and the rawness of the lens itself. For example, I don’t specifically zoom in on my images while taking them. I’ll usually crop them later or reference the composition/angle in a different way. I learned that through my own image making and how it is viewed.
You’re based in Rhode Island, and while it is close to NY, you're opting to live outside the coastal fashion capitals of LA and NY. What are your favorite things about your community, about living and working in RI?
I think, of course it begins with the belonging and being at home. But also there’s a strong sense of support and community, both online and at home too. There are so many mediums of creatives represented here in Rhode Island, that it feels very okay to do something that is true to you and people show up for you & that as well.
All clothes are from Ryan's personal wardrobe.
He wears his Knot belt, Lade backpack, and Small Box Tote throughout.
Photographs courtesy of Ryan Lopes.