D.N.I stands for “Nacional de Identidad document“and is a Peruvian sustainable fashion brand based in Paris, created in early 2019 by the twin brothers Paulo and Roberto Ruiz Muñoz. Born in Lima, Paulo and Roberto are 27 years old, 15 of whom lived in Paris.
They grew up near Trujillo in the Casa Grande district, an old ranch of German architecture, where most of the population then worked for the local sugar factory. Their childhood was free and happy, passed between family, friends, games and carefree moments. At 13 they moved to Paris with their mother to join their father, who had already been living there for 5 years.
They have two very interesting collections: “La bodega de mi barrio” for the autumn-winter 201920 e “A tí Perú” for summer 2020. In an exclusive interview, they told us about their life and the philosophy of the sustainable fashion brand.
Paulo and Roberto Ruiz Muñoz, © Jérémy Cardoso
© Jérémy Cardoso
“I don’t think we would have had the opportunity to become a designer if we had stayed in Peru”, Roberto explains. “In Peru there are very good designers but in the district from which we come, creative careers are inconceivable. Paris has played an essential role. Here we discovered fashion and learned to look at things from other points of view. Art in general and all the exhibitions that Paris has offered us have been fundamental. Our country of origin and Paris have been complementary in our creative process. Peru has given us the key elements to define the identity of our brand, through memories and Anecdotes. Paris has contributed to our training and taught us to love art, becoming essential in our path “.
SS 2020, © Jérémy Cardoso
“Fashion is certainly not the first thing I thought of”, Paulo urges him. “I have always seen it as a world far from ours. Initially I wanted to study architecture. I remember that as children we did nothing but build little cars, houses, everything. Gradually we became aware of the connection between architecture, design, l art and fashion. We believe that fashion is nothing but architecture applied to the body, which takes shape and becomes alive “.
SS 2020, © Jérémy Cardoso
What inspired the brand and its mission? What importance did the designers’ roots have in defining the D.N.I style?
“Peru, to be precise our hometown, our family and friends because they are part of all our memories. The old photos that we managed to find became the basis of our work. We wanted to talk about our country, giving life of a strong and honest brand that could generate new ideas, differentiating ourselves in the current fashion scene. So we created a small but united team that truly believes in the values we represent “, explains Roberto.
“We design each collection as if it were a small story that marked our life, telling our experiences. The first collection “A tí Perú” is an ode to our childhood memories and is inspired in particular by the “chicha” culture, the colors of the aguayo fabric, the crochet of our grandmothers, typical symbols such as the llama and the vicuña and a collection of Peruvian stamps “adds Paulo. “In the second collection “La bodega de mi barrio” we continued to explore our origins, immersing ourselves in the memories of our childhood marked by advertising, mass consumer products and the atmosphere that was breathed in the cellar of our neighborhood. “” Speaking of fashion, we were very impressed by the work that Martin Margiela played during his period of activity, from the beginning until he decided to retire. His global creative vision still remains an absolute avant-garde reference “.
D.N.I is a brand strongly based on sustainability, which becomes a crucial aspect in the way Roberto and Paulo work.
“We reuse fabrics to avoid contributing to overproduction. We buy high quality fabrics from various luxury stocks to make all our garments. Our jewels are handmade with recycled materials such as wood, used coins and chains. The best way to produce sustainably is to produce less but with quality, respecting the working and living conditions of people who work in the textile industry. For this reason we produce our collections partly in Portugal according to European standards and partly in Paris for promoting local trade, while our knitwear is handmade in Peru by weavers who work hard to achieve economic independence. It is important for us to think about the future and the environment, respecting everyone who contributes to our project. “
What do Roberto and Paulo aspire to for the future of the brand?
“We would like to offer our garments through concept stores in Peru, because it is our country and inspires all our collections. We are also working on a high-impact event to present our creations in Lima. We would like to participate in international competitions and further develop the our retail sales channel to consolidate ourselves internationally. “
And the biggest desire?
“To create a multidisciplinary space in the Casa Grande district where we grew up, to offer art exhibitions, design workshops, sewing courses and so on. A real introduction to art and fashion for our people. It is the our dream. “