Denise Ruiz

About ME

I am a mother, an artist, and a writer. I am a Chicago born and raised Boricua on the fault lines of brick, steel and bloodlines traced back to tobacco fields in el campo and city dwelling diaspora. I’m a hybrid of culture and history, a conscious woman of contradiction and complexity, a critical global thinker and maker. A life learner who continues to unlearn.

 Madre de Perla Designs was born in 2013 out of the grief that encompassed me through the death of my mother within the same year. Originally, a poet and community activist, I found myself unable to describe that grief through written word.  So, one day, I merged my love of thrifting with fashion and began to channel the pain through my hands giving birth to the first collection of redesigned vintage purses and wallets. It became my catharsis and assisted in my journey through loss.

Inspired by my own lineage of Indo-Afro-Caribbean & Latino/x culture and history, as well as the urban aesthetics of the diaspora in major cities across the U.S., I have continued to create, grow, learn and evolve a business that honors the uniqueness and one of a kind spirit of our mother/lands, while simultaneously lessening the carbon footprint through eco-fashion practices.

MDP Designs is rich in intent, legacy, symbolism and storytelling. One walks away with more than a product; one walks away with a purpose.