What is gay sexuality? What is socializing in queer spaces? and what is the meaning of partying in a post-Covid circumstance, where we are still locking in and out while needing to rage on harder. With pride around the corner and what is sure to be #SlutGirlSummer we chatted with Eric Alán whose gogo dancing persona Rico Starr led to an iconic and vivaciously vulgar clothing line which bridges the gogo attire with the streets.
Who is Rico Starr?
I would have to say Rico Starr is an over the top version of myself. A world class traveler, into fashion, all things nightlife, glitter, fun, music and extravagance!
Is he a top, bottom or vers?
Definitely vers! Everyone knows very guys have twice the fun…Rico Starr even has a shirt for that!
What would be your ideal dream Starr to rock Rico Starr?
My tagg line is that EVERYBODY IS A STARR. There is no one type or aesthetic that my line is directed to or at or trying to attract. In fact, my website is full of photos with actual customers in their own Rico Starr gear.
What is your background in production and how did you see yourself utilizing it as a means of expression?
My segue into singing and recording my own music was being chosen out of a crowd in a dance club to audition for a slot as a backup dancer to another recording artist at the time. Doing that for about a year or so, I met music producers and just started working on projects and before you know it that lead to my own songs, music videos, tv spots, press, live shows, etc.
As far as expression, I just wasn’t afraid of putting who and what I am out there. The themes and imagery of my music are very authentic to me as a person. It’s flashy, gay, unashamed, proud, sexy and fun! I don’t think it ever occurred to me to try to fit into or be anything else than what I was/am. This was my art so intrinsically a visual and audible extension of myself.
Did you feel like dancing came naturally what was your gateway until performing and did you use it to incorporate and direct your musical career?
Since I was very young, music and dancing has ALWAYS been a HUGE part of my life. My mother incessantly played Donna Summer’s ‘On The Radio’ album which I still never get tired of listening too. My late aunt and I would dance in her laundry room for hours. She introduced me to Latin sounds like salsa and merengue and was so eager to listen to new things at the time like Madonna and Gloria Estefan.
Gogo dancing came after my stint as a recording artist. And yes, it did come very naturally. Music ALWAYS takes me to a place of joy. Every time I dance, people come up to me and remark at how much fun they have seeing and sharing the joy I have when I’m dancing.
Beyond stage outfits how did you feel your designs extended into the dancing in the music?
Dancing generally takes place in a dark room filled with flashing lights. The clothes I design are made specifically for that. I mean, as gay men the shirts come off pretty quick, but even at bars, there is dim lighting and at least a disco ball, right? The materials in my shirts are all used with that in mind. From foil to glitter and rhinestones, it’s all meant to catch the light and shine!
Do you feel that what you had made for a gogo dancing as a custom extension to how you view your own sexuality and personal sexual habits?
As far as gogo dancing, the point is to be as sexy as fuck right? But beyond that I have always felt that there is nothing sexier than confidence. So with that said, unless I was dancing for an event that was sponsored by a particular underwear or clothing brand, I always aimed to wear something that made me feel confident. And yes, that absolutely included leather, jocks, briefs and anything in between. My favorite gogo dancing gigs have been for various Madonna events. I got to reimagine and create her outfits but from a gogo dancer perspective.
The brand is super all-in, where the K crew and G crew can somewhere say high high hello, what would you say is the best layering technique of drugs for a night out?
Well. I’m not one to dose and tell but I personally find that a little bit of everything makes for a phenomenal night out dancing under those flashing lights and glittering disco ball!
Where do you see the brand going in the near future?
Rico Starr is about to put out summer gear and it’s first swimsuit. While you can already find the shirts in Chi Chi Larue’s Circus of Books in West Hollywood, CA, I would like to see Rico Starr expand to other brick and mortar stores across the country and maybe even internationally!
How do you feel gay men have interacted with their sexuality as the pandemic hit, are we coming back to cruise culture for a sense of adventure?
From what I have seen and heard I would have to agree that cruise culture is on the rise again. Apparently the Rambles here in Central Park is quite the happening place! Again, so I’ve heard… It’s kinda like what Richard Attenborugh said in Jurassic Park but I would tweak it a bit. “Gays find a way.”