Reality Show Pressure
Mike Parker

Pressure produces diamonds. At least that has been the experience of Cuban-born, Miami-based fashion designer, Oscar Garcia-Lopez. The winner of Project Runway: Under the Gunn’s debut season, Oscar was pressed to create finished, runway-ready collections with limited time and with the myriad distractions that are part-and-parcel of the reality TV universe. Oscar not only survived, he thrived.

“I learned so much about myself and what I can produce from [Under the Gunn],” he says in a feature article in “Now I love anything that forces me outside my comfort zone.”

But overcoming the pressure from Under the Gunn was just one more example of the popular designer’s tenacity. Born in Castro’s Havana, Cuba, Oscar had little access to the resources necessary to build a successful career in fashion. Even basic items, such as sewing needles were in short supply. Oscar recalls having to sharpen the precious few he had with nail files and candle wax, while waiting for replacements brought into the country by friends or family members visiting from the U.S. or Europe.

Oscar managed to leave the island nation while touring as part of a music group, eventually finding his way to Miami, where he honed his craft working for a local designer, performing fittings and designing his own pieces for high-profile clients. In 2008, Oscar opened his own boutique, where he continues to put pressure on himself to create his flattering, sexy and fierce designs for fabulous women from around the world.


“Fashion is part of the daily air and it changes all the time, with all the events. You can even see the approaching of a revolution in clothes. You can see and feel everything in clothes.”

Diana Vreeland