Raymond Dragon Leaves Porn And Returns To His Designer Roots


 

Raymond Dragon’s fashion label—founded in 1990 with only $1,500 and a collection of sample fabrics—found an initial niche in the gay community. Designing sportswear that accentuated the male physique, his fashions were often considered to be homoerotic; he was later recognized as an industry leader for having introduced stretch fabrics to men’s fashion.


Gaining popularity in a wider audience, Dragon’s line appeared in magazines such as Details , Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Detour, Out, Ocean Drive, Rolling Stone, Spy, The Advocate, and several exercise and fitness magazines. His clients have included such notables as Tom Cruise, Gregory Hines, and Aaron Neville.


Dragon’s creations have also appeared on Broadway in productions of Rent, Chicago, and Fosse. Among others, the Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham dance companies have used his clothes for costumes, as has the Royal Copenhagen Ballet and Frankfurt Ballet.  His clothing line was been discontinued  and his New York store closed, after September 11th. 


“After September 11, there was a pretty permanent drop in business,” he explains. The trendsetter was then faced with a career decision: go corporate with his style skills, or hone another set of talents altogether. He chose the latter.


“To sell my soul for fashion? I couldn’t do it,” he says. Instead, he embraced what may seem like a surprising alternative: directing, producing and starring in porn.


Even though Dragon has been a major success in the porn biz—and was inducted into adult entertainment’s GAYVN Hall of Fame in 2007— he feels the time is right to jump back into the retail scene. “There’s a huge hole in the swimsuit market right now,” he says, adding that his new line will soon include men’s underwear and dancewear (Dragon does ballet, along with Bikram yoga and regular gym workouts, to stay in shape).

Though he hasn’t yet found a local retailer in New York, his suits are being carried at shops in both San Francisco and L.A., as well as online. And the porn? His popular porn site is still going strong; as far as returning to the studio, he’ll wait and see. “I don’t know if making films is my passion,” he says. “But I do believe the universe kind of pushes you in a direction sometimes.”

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