Ruiz Musi is a line designed by Gerardo Ruiz Musi, born within the disordered and prismatic metropolis of Mexico City, a labyrinthian spaces full of otherness which later on would serve as an important inspiration to his forth coming artistic pieces. His incontrovertible devotedness for the beautiful had been discovered during the early stages of childhood. Amalgams in physical properties such as edifices, jewelry, furniture, clothes, nature, or even the smallest phenomenon- all emerged into one figment, creating an overall, everyday authentic mise-en-scène and ceaselessly becoming indispensable to his creational process.
He breathes and works simultaneously in Paris and Mexico.
Each piece by Ruiz Musi is individual, unique, and has been carefully hand crafted by Mexican artisans within the heart of Mexico City.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do? I am a Mexican-born fashion designer, who is based in Paris. I recently launched my own brand of accessories, which carries my last name. I began taking art classes and other creative practices at a young age. My grandfather of my mother’s side was an architect and my grandmother was a painter. Based on that, I was introduced to the world of aesthetics and creation at a time I can’t even remember. On my father’s side, there are only engineers. It’s an interesting fact and actually has heavily impacted my work, too. I guess I developed some sort of fetish for the industrial sphere. My brand’s trademark, for instance, is metallic and bold industrial pieces that are consecutively repeated in the metal ware of my products. Aside being present within my brand, the industrial aesthetic has made its way to my work as an artist as well.
How did your interest in art or fashion begin? As mentioned beforehand, my grandmother was a painter and she was the one who kind of encouraged me to pursue fashion design. At least she was the one who made sure I was enrolled in my first class at seven years old. That’s when everything started. I consider this the point of of my future path.
If you had to explain your work or brand to a stranger, what would you say? RUIZ MUSI is a luxury brand of leather goods. All of our products are carefully handmade by local artisans in Mexico. These artisans master the marroquineria technics. A French marroquiner, who came to Mexico and eventually fell in love with the country, founded an atelier where he taught his techniques to a group of diverse people. This very atelier used to produce leather goods for Cartier back in the 90s. Unfortunately he passed away, but his legacy still reflects in the hands of artisans who make the creation of my bags possible.
In terms of design, I think the bags would be best described as functional and aesthetically pleasing.
What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like? I like to combine different types of leather. I love to play with textures and colors. My process is something I haven’t understood yet. I doubt I ever will. At the end, the result is an orgy of small thoughts, daily life experiences, dreams, mundanity, and this vague intention of being more strict and rationalizing ideas.
What artists or designers are you interested in right now? I just discovered the work of the artist David Altmejd, and I’m completely blown away! I am also revisiting the work of Zoltan Kemeny, who I discovered a few years ago. He was a Hungarian sculptor based in Paris around the 30s. He mainly used brass and created such beautiful textures.
I also came across the work of Hed Mayner, a young fashion designer who concentrates on menswear.
What’s your favorite thing about your city? Paris is a city that permits its people to indulge in loneliness. And this in the most positive sense. You can be alone in a café, reading a book, watching people, or having lunch by yourself. No one thinks you are a freak or a loser. And, of course, Paris’ neverending beautiful face—perhaps repetitive at times, but never tiresome.
What are your thoughts about the fashion scene in Paris? It is most probably—in all humility—the fanciest place.
What is your snack of choice when working in your studio? I don’t go crazy over sweet things. Salty food is much more tempting. I usually have potato chips with lemon and salsa Valentina, which is a hot sauce that I bring back from Mexico every time.
What are you really excited about right now? I’m very excited about the future of the brand. There is a lot to come. It’s like–perhaps even quite literally—anticipating your baby’s first steps.
If you hadn’t become a designer what do you think you’d be doing? I would have loved to become an archeologist. I remember being obsessed with ancient civilizations when I was younger. My dream was to discover a big treasure that once belonged to one of our ancestors. Imagine growing up in a country like Mexico, which is so rich in ancient cultures. It offers such a vastness of material for archeologists to work with and a lot of material for a little kid, like me, to dream and fantasize about.
What are you listening to right now? I usually listen to my iPod in shuffle mode. It brings quite a nice and nonlinear state of mind. I guess it goes along perfectly with someone as dispersed as me. It can go from an organic and elaborated danzón, from Arturo Marquéz to a Ketamine-ish dubstep, like Burial or Bran Van 3000, passing by a more depressed mood like Blonde Red Head or Husky Rescue which are two of my favorite bands when I am working. Then there is also classic rock, of course. Like Frank Zappa and Led Zeppelin. I can say my music collection is quite fulfilling. My father is a music lover by nature, so I grew up listening to all kinds of things. My good friend Mercedes Nasta, former lead singer of the Mexican band Disco Ruido, just launched her solo project. She uses classic latin sounds, like cumbia or huapango, but re-interprets it in her own special way. It’s quite modern and great for an afternoon walk during which you watch people and imagine everybody dancing.
Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your work? It’s been really fulfilling to see the positive responds by people, considering the brand’s mere beginning.