Malu and Dieter
Artisan Organization: Malu and Dieter
"We are Malu & Dieter. We consider ourselves creative and dreamy. Malu, my wife, is an administrator by profession; she practically organizes the company and has an exquisite taste for decoration. I am a born creative and graphic designer, and I am in charge of the development and design of the products.
"We all go through hard times that make you grow as a person. I come from a very simple family of 5 siblings from the middle class of the city. I remember that at one point my parents did not have money to pay for the studies of all my siblings, and I was the one who was given the opportunity at that time because I was the oldest. It was a very hard time for my siblings. In the end, each one was studying as much as my parents could afford, but it was a great effort for my parents. My mother worked at night to help the family, and we all helped her because she cooked and did very well. They were hard times. Now I help my parents, and in some way I try to help my brothers in what I can; we were all able to get ahead. My parents were my influence on Peruvian crafts. At home you always saw an altarpiece or a chipped mate or a backstrap loom, which always caught my attention because of the colors; and I also thought about the great effort and dedication that they required.
"Together with my wife, we created a project that put us on the map of ecological products, with clothes made with organic cotton. Our motivation and inspiration came from the heart, and we made an eco-friendly brand where we were a kind of vanguard of the ancestral culture of Peru. We dream of being able to bring the Andean culture to the world through design and fashion. We are moved by the amount of artistic expressions that one can find in the ancestral cultures of Peru and Latin America; it is a constant discovery. It never ceases to surprise me, and as a designer I am in a constant search for means that allow me to express my art in the best way. We have found a way to do it in clothing; we have ventured into screen printing for t-shirts, socks, caps and other garments.
"The biggest challenge we have faced without a doubt is to create a clothing brand that will become among the top ten of the public's favorite brands. It was an effort from nothing that was faced together with my wife, brothers and friends. For me, the greatest school was the street. As a designer I could stick with a drawing board, but curiosity led me to get to know how things are done. I was not content with just looking; so I would develop jewelry, sewing, drawing, stamping and embroidery. I incorporated these aspects into my life, for the simple emotion of capturing what is in one's mind.
"Obviously, when you do something avant-garde, you need the approval of the people who in the end are the ones who decide with their purchase. It is the end user that aligns you towards mastery. The socks, for example, are an avant-garde version of the typical alpaca leg warmers that one can buy in all artisan markets. This and the other products that we endeavor to make have hours of design and analysis, where one must respect the essence of our culture.
"What we like the most is the adaptation process that one has to do so that the source of inspiration ends up in a design for a garment. It is a process that takes a lot of analysis so that it works in the garment and at the same time respects the essence of the source. We are inspired by pre-Columbian art, in expressions such as the sculpture of Chavon, the Tocapus Incas, the colorful hallucinations of the Paracas designs, the Huari iconography, the Cusquenos waist looms, the Mapuche looms, and the geoglyphs along the Andean American coastline from Colombia to Chile." "