Carlos Eric Lopez Honors His Family’s Legacy with Día de Muertos ‘By Latinos For Latinos’ Event
Celebrating our culture and our ancestors is fundamental to the Latino community, and what better way to do it than with an event in style? To that end, mitú has joined forces with Lexus and the creative director and photographer Carlos Eric Lopez to celebrate Día de los Muertos like never before.
Honoring one’s family is par for the course within the Latino community. Understanding where we came from can often influence the decisions we make in the future. One tradition that holds a tremendous amount of reverence for many is Día de Muertos. The yearly event offers people a way to honor those who have come before while bringing together those who have stayed.
Creative director and photographer Carlos Eric Lopez wants to bring this feeling of togetherness to his latest event. Lopez, a Mexican-American photographer and cultural curator, has teamed up with Lexus to create an event that celebrates the past and present. He tells mitú his “goal is to create a space built by Latinos, for Latinos.”
Lopez always seeks to uplift others within his community, believing that success comes for us all
The Mexican-American creative director and photographer has always been influenced by his culture and upbringing. As such, his events are an extension of who he has always been. Lopez cites that his “military father and the loving heart and resilience” of his mother have been at the core of his persona and soul.
Understanding the duality of life, Lopez aims to ensure that everyone who attends his events “feels seen.”
“From being an architect of the pivotal early 2000s ‘It Girls’ scene to celebrating Latino excellence at my annual Día de Muertos celebration, I aim to make people feel seen, heard, and most importantly, to remind them life is a celebration,” he shares.
While his career has seen many iterations of him, his work now focuses on uplifting his fellow Latinos and their achievements.
“My work now revolves around highlighting the work, talent, and achievements of fellow Latinos in everything I do. I firmly believe that if one of us doesn’t succeed, none of us truly succeed,” Lopez asserts.
He continues, “Therefore, I strive to create a space that fosters mutual support, allowing us to uplift each other. This includes amplifying those whose talents are currently burning bright, as well as fanning the flames of others so we can all light up the world together.”
Lopez ensured that Latinos carefully curated every detail of his Día de Muertos celebration
Lopez understands the importance of creating a space for Latinos to flourish and bloom. For this reason, he made sure that his Día de Muertos event was built and powered by his community.
“We Mexicans have always been a vibe, you know? When it comes to my Día de Muertos event, my goal is to create a space built by Latinos, for Latinos,” he affirms.
What does this mean? Well, every detail was tended to by a Latino.
He continues, “This includes everyone involved, from the chef and florists to the event planners, staff, and decorators — all of whom are Latino-owned or have strong ties to the Latino community.”
“I’ve teamed up with an incredible lineup of Latino talent for this year’s celebration. Collaborating with artist Daniel Valero from Mestiz, we’ve created a beautiful invite that tells the story of the Xoloitzcuintli and the butterfly,” the proud Mexican-American adds.
Lopez wanted to center the event around family and filial legacy
The price of life is death, and the cost of love is grief. Like many, Lopez understands that death is inevitable regardless of the heartbreak that may follow.
“Death was never a stranger in my family. I lost my mother at a young age, and during the pandemic, COVID swept through my family, preventing me from attending their funerals due to social distancing,” he explains.
Through death, Lopez found a new perspective — a new purpose.
The photographer tells mitú, “This time of isolation allowed me to dive deep into my ancestry. I contacted a genealogist to trace my family’s lineage back several generations. This connection to my roots became my passion as I had lost so many connections in real life.”
He adds, “Learning about my family’s history and migration from Guanajuato and Michoacán, I developed a deep appreciation for the belief that the Monarch butterfly represents our loved ones returning each year on Día de Muertos to visit us.”
His Día de Muertos event will reflect everything he’s learned about finding your path through family
“For those who know me, they know my love for celebrations. It was the perfect opportunity to create my own ofrenda (altar) and warmly welcome my family home. It’s this very celebration that will bring so many of us together at my Third Annual Día de Muertos,” he adds.
This is why his partnership with Lexus was so meaningful to him. It has inspired and allowed him to shine a light on what matters to him most: his family.
“As a family man, I was deeply inspired when I first laid eyes on the Lexus TX. It sparked a vision of having a family of my own one day, filling each seat with loved ones. Imagine the dream of looking back at the second and third rows and seeing my family legacy smiling back at me. This is the sentiment I aim to capture in my collaboration with Lexus TX,” the cultural curator asserts.
He wants those in attendance to experience something unique that “not only honors our traditions but also looks to the future, embracing the beauty of family and cultural heritage.”
The celebration has also allowed him to bring someone close to his heart to Los Angeles for the first time.
“This year’s Día de Muertos is going to be extra special. My 91-year-old abuela, Lita, will be attending for the very first time! It’s also her first visit to Los Angeles. Everyone calls her ‘Lita’ since I was a kid, I couldn’t quite say ‘abuelita,'” Lopez notes.
He continues, “I’m already planning to sneak her away for a quick 5-minute breather in the Lexus TX. Gotta see how she’s enjoying the night, you know?”
Visit lexus.com/TX to learn more about the first-ever Lexus TX.
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