STYLE ARTISAN: At Home with Denise Perez in Los Angeles

Digital Advertising enthusiast Denise Perez welcomes us into her Los Angeles abode she shares with Art Derecho and their adorable hefty-but-funloving pitbull, Friday, on a Saturday afternoon. We met Denise a little less than a year ago, around the same time when she first moved to Los Angeles. 

LESLIE: How long have you been living in Los Angeles and what prompted you to move from the Bay? 

DENISE: This summer marks my one year anniversary of living in LA… I survived! I love the Bay and where I’m from (E$$J, what’s goooood?), but I’ve always been the type to love the Bay more from a distance. I had to travel a lot for ice hockey when I was younger and ever since then I knew that the moment I had the chance, I was gonna dip on outta there.


How did you get your nickname, DWNTWN DEADPREZ? 

Hmm… Art randomly gave me the nickname “DeadPrez” cause of my initials DP, but honestly, I have no idea why the name stuck. Clearly it has nothing to do with the deadprezs in my wallet - or lack thereof… And as for the downtown part, I guess small girl, big city complex? 

  Photography © Diane Abapo / SUSPEND Magazine

Photography © Diane Abapo / SUSPEND Magazine

What is your most prized possession in your closet?

All of Art’s Jackets. If he ever took away my rights to his jackets, I’d be so sad.


What’s your daily beauty regimen?

I’d lie if I said this was an every day thing, although I really, really try… but here’s what my regimen is at the moment (it always changes):

Mornings, I like to cleanse with a gentle facial cleanser and then rinse it off with ICE COLD water. I read that Kate Moss did that every morning to get the blood flow in her face going, so I was like, fuck it, I’m down. Currently, my cleanser rotation includes Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea, Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Cleanser, Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, and Caudalie Foaming Cleanser. I should’ve shown you my medicine cabinet - it looks like a beauty store shelf. 

Then shortly after, I spritz myself with the Caudalie Beauty Elixir. Super hydrating for your face and it smells amazing! 

Evenings, I’ve been trying out the Clarisonic brush, which is kind of harsh for my skin, so I use it about every other day. I like doing face masks and sheet masks every other day or so.

And lately, since I’ve been more mindful and conscious of natural beauty products, what I try to always do is peep, my homegirl’s beauty blog. She’s always in the know about natural, cruelty-free, “good for your skin” type of shit.


What’s a typical weekend like for you in Los Angeles?

On the weekends, I like to pretend to do grown man thangssss. Coffee runs with Art and my dog, Friday, are a must. I’m probably whipping something up in the kitchen, attempting to do laundry, or road-tripping to and from the Bay. I look forward to going to the Farmer’s Market every Sunday. And that’s about as eventful as it gets. 

Your style blurs the line between masculine and feminine – has it always been that way? 

Yes and no. I definitely went through a tomboy phase during my pre-teens, especially when I was a “jock”, and then I slowly grew out of it in high school. I went through a phase of dressing super-super girly – high heels, tight dresses, cute, frilly shit. Then I fell back into dressing comfortable, practical, and more in tune with my mood. And now that Art and I live together, I have unlimited access to all of his clothes. He’s coined my style as “Little bro swag”… because I steal all of his clothes. I save so much more $$$ that way.


Easiest way to dress up a pair of sneakers?

Throw on a pair of socks.


Whose closet would you want to raid (regardless of location) and why?

It’s a toss-up between Art’s closest and North West’s closet… because they just get me.

Are there any designers or brands that have been on your radar recently?

It’s a struggle to cop, but custom pieces of Artie by Art apparel and home goods and Paradox Barbershop’s merch. I’m kind of done being loyal to expensive brands…Sorry, not sorry. 


Are you currently working on any creative projects?

Everyone always has their own definition of creativity. To me, creativity means dealing with roadblocks by piecing together solutions… by being able to use what’s presented in front of you to make things efficient. So, technically, every day is its own creative project, and I’m always working on that. 

 Photography © Diane Abapo / SUSPEND Magazine

Photography © Diane Abapo / SUSPEND Magazine

Last book you read?

First chapter of Rosemary’s Baby. It’s been collecting dust in my apartment, so I cracked it open this summer. I need to finish it.


Last trip you went on?

I’m drawing blanks because it’s been so long. A REAL vacation is on my to-do list this year. Let’s go!


Dream collaboration (with anything or anyone)?

David Gelb, the director of Chef’s Table, and Francis Mallman, Argentine Celebrity Chef or Grant Achatz, Founder and Chef of Alinea.

 Photography © Diane Abapo / SUSPEND Magazine

Photography © Diane Abapo / SUSPEND Magazine

Photography by Diane Abapo

Production Styling & Interview by Leslie Corpuz

Follow Denise Perez on Instagram at @dwntwn_deadprez



Leslie Corpuz Leslie is the Fashion Editor at SUSPEND Magazine.