PRESERVATION OF HERITAGE THROUGH FASHION: DEYI LIVING

Deyi Living featured in Schön Magazine

DEYI LIVING TAKES AN ALTERNATE APPROACH TO INNOVATIVING EXCITING STYLES; BY TAKING INSPIRATION FROM ANCIENT CHINA. WE GOT THE CHANCE TO SIT DOWN WITH ONE OF THE FOUNDERS, PAULINA FERRIERES, TO DISCUSS THE IMPORTANCE OF THE PRESERVATION OF ANCIENT CHINESE CULTURE AND ARTISANAL TECHNIQUES.

Words By Shannon Rice

Fashion is often regarded as a celebration of the new, of innovation and of culture. Breaking ground can be defined by embodying the latest trends or by creating new silhouettes, never been seen before. While often taking inspiration from recent decades and revitalising trends, not often is fashion channeled through the lens of ancient eras. Yet Deyi Living takes an alternate approach to innovative exciting styles; by taking inspiration from Ancient China. We got the chance to sit down with one of the founders, Paulina Ferrieres, to talk about the importance of preservation of ancient Chinese culture and artisanal techniques.

“What was the inspiration behind starting your brand?”

We wanted to establish the genesis of our incredible brand and what laid the framework for the collections we are releasing today. “We were (Paulina and designer Adriana) greatly inspired by Chinese culture. We wanted to make the customer aware of the need to preserve the environment and the culture of indigenous communities. Their thorough investigation into indiginous Chinese artisans began in April of 2018. The founders began meeting with incredible individuals throughout China, observing and studying the ancient techniques passed through generations and not widely practised. They explained to us how “Chinese people believe in destiny. In Chinese philosophy if you meet someone and you have a great connection and things come naturally, that means you met them and worked with them in a past life.” Through this understanding, Paulina and her fellow founders found themselves in a very unique situation, whereby they wanted to create a platform for fashion where stories could be told through the lens of ancient times.

Once their time researching in China came to a close, everything began to move very quickly. Within the year, DEYI had designed and launched their first collection at Madrid Fashion Week in 2019. “The collection is called YuanFen, which means destiny to natural affiliation. We wanted to pay tribute to the people we met in China. Each look reflects a specific person that we met there.” She went on to discuss how these indgenous communities live in true harmony with nature, and they wanted to capture that essence.

Yuanfen Lookbook

Like Staiy, DEYI believes in the true power of storytelling. “Storytelling is at the core of our brand. We want to bring humans back into the brand and into all of our products. We want to share our values and make people aware that we need to preserve these crafts.” Paulina stresses the importance of this preservation and how this mission truly translates into their collection. When thinking of preservation in regards to sustainability, DEYI is taking a unique approach to translate this into their garments. The uniqueness is found in using ancient techniques that coincide with the environment and are harmonious with nature.

“Sustainability is key to our project. It truly is the reason we decided to collaborate. Many people are becoming more aware of the issues and I feel there is an increase in awareness among young consumers. Our goal is to limit impact and preserve traditional crafts.”

Their sustainability initiatives flow throughout their entire supply chain. They use zero plastics in their packaging, instead opting for traditional Chinese anime paper. With regard to the clothing production, Paulina makes an interesting point “if your jeans don’t fade, that means they were made with chemicals.” DEYI prides themselves in using natural dyes and even traditional indigo dye that is important to the chinese culture. One of the techniques that we found most interesting was the use of egg whites. “The egg-whites give fabric a glaze, almost. It gives certain fabrics the look and feel of leather.” Innovation at its peak?

Asking Paulina about her take on the idea and connotations of the “Made in China” label, which typically attracts controversial opinions in sustainable fashion.

Deyi Living featured in Kaltblut Magazine

“Our project was built on the opposition of this idea. In traditional Chinese culture, garments get passed down from generation to generation. We found women wearing coats worn and made by their grandmothers and great grandmothers. We want to teach people how to take care of and appreciate their clothes and add meaning to their garments. There is an emotional attachment between the item and our clients. So, we are doing the exact opposite of Made in China. We want to put forward the soul and spirit of the garment. They are intended to be life partners.”

DEYI Living featured in PAP Magazine

Emotion and consumer attachment to their garments has sadly been neglected, with the rise of fast fashion globally. DEYI poetically explains the importance of the process and the care that goes into beautiful craftsmanship and ethically-made clothing. They want to share this message with the fashion community, to show that it is possible to make beautiful clothes while paying homage to your ancestors.

Paulinas final message was to share DEYI’s vision for the future. Paulina wants our readers to know, “I truly believe in the future of slow fashion. I want people to know and appreciate these indigenous cultures and inspire younger generations to learn about their ancestors and explore their culture, heritage and art. I believe in the power of my brand and I believe it will make people aware of these issues.”

Shop Our DEYI LIVING Inspired Pieces

STUDIO JUX

Evora – trousers – deep indigo

KOMODO

KUNG FU PET WRAP COAT Indigo

SILVIA GIOVANARDI

Hemp and Organic Silk Eco Printed KIMONO T-SHIRT

KOLO BERLIN

Pants Nur