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Q&A with: Dimitri Mussard Makes A living Out Of Making Young Fashion Brands Big in Brazil

Made in Paris, based in São Paulo. Dimitri Mussard relocated to London at a young age, to pursue a career in trading commodities. That was until the Frenchman decided to turn the page in the year 2007, using the banker salary plus bonus he had earnt, to travel around the world for one and a half year. This ultimately led to him founding Acaju do Brasil, a São Paulo-based showroom.
The latest name to join Acaju do Brasils brand portfolio, is none other than D1 Milano. We came through the night of the D1 Milano x Acaju do Brasil launch event, for a sit-down with Dimitri, who told us more about the struggles of starting a business in Brazil (as a foreigner).

So, what inspired you to make a permanent move to São Paulo?
When I travelled around the world for one and a half year, with nothing but a backpack, my first stop was Brazil. The country remained in my heart and upon returning to Paris, my Brazilian neighbor said he had an apartment available for me in São Paulo; I immediately took off. What I like most about Brazil is the people. Another reason to love Brazil is its unique landscape. And the women, they’re beautiful.

In 2010 you founded Acaju do Brasil. How did the concept come about?
When I quit my job in banking in 2007, it was in times of financial crisis in the West. At the same time, Brazil was booming, so I saw many opportunities there. I noticed an entire segment of products missing here: either it was luxury or an affordable local product – nothing in between. If guys around my age wanted to buy something, they were often forced to go abroad. Cause even online shopping from here can be a struggle, as products may not get past customs.

How do you select the brands you work with?
I’m interested in brands that aren’t that known. I don’t care about names, I care about well-made products. I normally come across these brands by travelling around, markets and department stores. That is how we got in touch with D1 Milano also. I always like to meet the people behind the brand first, so the D1 team came over to São Paulo, we had some ice cream downstairs and I asked them for some samples. We liked the product since it’s clean and nobody knows it yet in Brazil.