WEST COAST VINTAGE STYLE
We first met Daniel Luna from his beautiful girlfriend, the very well known pin-up model Doris Mayday, whom we have featured on our site. The handsome Daniel was impeccably dressed in 1930’s-40’s vintage clothing and was quite the gentleman with his mannerisms. Daniel is a West Coast production designer and we were delighted to photograph him in some of his stylish menswear, as well as interview him about his background, style of dress and profession.
PONYBOY: Daniel, please tell our readers about your upbringing. Where were you born and raised?
DANIEL LUNA: I was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. And I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley area of Southern California. I was raised in a conservative Catholic home. My family moved, but their traditions and customs were very deeply rooted in their home country and still are to this day. I feel this greatly benefited me creatively and gave me a deep understanding and appreciation for the culture I came from, as well as the one I live in today.
PONYBOY: What was life like for you as teenager growing up in Southern California?
DANIEL LUNA: My life revolved around music when I was a teenager. I was fortunate to have music programs in my school and also ended up in bands outside of school, playing the standup or electric bass. We were lucky in my area to have so much music going on at a local level. There were a couple of all age venues that were a little harder to get to, but there would always be a back yard gig that we could skate to since our parents wouldn’t drive us. It was difficult for them to comprehend why we cared so much for this music that was “yelling at us.” To them it was just a bunch of noise. But to us, like many, it was everything. And California had an endless supply.
PONYBOY: Your manner of dress is sophisticated, like a gentleman from the 30’s-40’s. What other styles did you have growing up?
DANIEL LUNA: I’ve been into some facet of the vintage world ever since I can remember, whether it be collecting or clothing. In high school I definitely went through my punk/rude boy phase, but even then I found myself incorporating older styles into it. My style really started to evolve into what it is today by my mid-twenties. I think that’s when you start dressing for yourself. And trends and scenes don’t hold so much weight on what influences your dress. And you go more with what you love.
PONYBOY: Is your style of dress popular on the West Coast? We see it more heavily on the East Coast.
DANIEL LUNA: I definitely would agree that my style reads a little more East Coast. I’ve always gravitated more towards sweaters, coats and layers. I think it derives from all the old movies I watched growing up. I haven’t seen many other people dress this way on the West Coast, but that’s probably because they’re smart and take our sunny California weather into consideration.
PONYBOY: Where do you find your clothing? Is it mainly vintage?
DANIEL LUNA: I have a mixture of vintage, reproduction, and contemporary. It’s nice to be able to order things online or walk into a shop and pick something up in your size every once in a while. But for the most part, I still get up early and hit the flea markets, as well as frequenting vintage stores.
PONYBOY: Are there modern designers that you favor as well?
DANIEL LUNA: Yes, of course. Some of my favorite vintage inspired designers that I love are Nigel Cabourn and Dave Himel, who not only put out some of the most beautiful vintage inspired designs that I’ve seen, but match the quality of the originals as well. Some of my local favorites are Christophe Loiron and Nick Fouquet, whose designs I could pretty much live in.
PONYBOY: Your profession is production design. Did you go to school for this?
DANIEL LUNA: I went to school for interior and set design but never got a chance to finish the program. However, I soon found myself working in the field. To be honest, I’ve never felt like I am missing out by not having a diploma for what I do. I feel I’ve gained a lot more by paying close attention to everything that inspires me, whether it be nature, architecture, a film, or even a well structured piece of clothing.
PONYBOY: Tell us about your design company? Do you mainly do work for television, movies or print?
DANIEL LUNA: I mainly do production design work for fashion photography and film, although I’m always looking for that project that will take me out of my comfort zone. I’ve been lucky to be able to work on the type of shoots that attracted me to this career from the start, that being very avant-garde, high fashion imagery. That’s what I’ve been enamored with since I was a kid, before I was even aware of what it was and why I liked it. I’ve been blessed to be able to work closely with my best friend, photographer Gizelle Hernandez. We’ve been talking about this stuff since we were fifteen year old kids. And now we are actually able to collaborate on shoots. Every time we do, the outcome turns out to be beyond anything we had imagined. It’s quite unreal. And realizing how rare it is to be able to connect with someone creatively on this level makes me very excited for our upcoming projects.
PONYBOY: Your girlfriend is Doris Mayday, the famous pin-up model. What’s daily life like with the fabulous Miss Mayday?
DANIEL LUNA: How long do you have? Ha! That should be an interview all it’s own. Honestly, it’s a riot. Sometimes I look around and think, where are the cameras? I feel like I’m on a sitcom. That girl makes me laugh, smile and love harder than I ever have before. Needless to say, I’m never bored. She’s my own little piece of heaven on earth.
PONYBOY: And what plans do you have in the future, for your company, as well as with Doris?
DANIEL LUNA: Other than continuing to improve my craft and work as much as possible, I try not to put too much weight on plans. Anyone in a creative field can tell you that one phone call can throw your plans out the window and force one to have a whole new course of action. All we can do is prepare for anything and plan for the best. As far as Doris, well folks are just going to have to stick around and find out!