The story of how Luci & Dona came to be begins in Ponce, Puerto Rico where Josean's love for fashion design started when he was 16. He began experimenting with sewing after buying a sewing machine for his mother. Self taught in his early years, by age 24 he was making dresses for many beauty pageants across the island of Puerto Rico.
Josean studied Elementary Teaching at the University of Puerto Rico, Ponce. To further his passion, he took a fashion design course at Sor Isolina Ferre Centers in Ponce.
In 2011 Josean relocated from Puerto Rico to Rochester, New York to further pursue his career. Within that year he met his future husband, Mikey Vargas-Rodriguez, and together they both explored ways to turn Josean's passion into a business.
Our business launched under the name "J.Vargas" in early 2012. We began as an accessories business, primarily selling Bow Ties and Skinny Ties that quickly became popular. In 2013 Advocate magazine, a national LGBT publication, named Josean as one of their "40 Under 40" for 2013. In that same year J.Vargas expanded to include custom made apparel for clients.
J.Vargas quickly expanded in the following years. We presented full runway collections at Peppermint Sewn Seeds Fashion Showcase from 2013 to 2017. Since 2014 we have annually showcased a full runway collection at Fashion Week of Rochester.
Our business pivoted in 2017 to creating fashions for drag performers. We saw success and excitement in serving a vast diversity of clients and knew we had to pivot our brand. This led to a name change that launched In November of 2018 as Luci & Dona. Why the name Luci & Dona? Simply enough, it's our drag names! Mikey is known as "Lucida Brite" and Josean is known as "Donatella Mirage".
Our most notable client list includes Rochester area drag queens Aggy Dune, Wednesday Westwood, DeeDee Dubois, Ambrosia Salad, Eva Flow and from RuPaul's Drag Race Darienne Lake, Mrs. Kasha Davis, and Ginger Minj.