Marketers talk a lot about DNA, usually referring to the values and systems that guide their operations and product development. But Brazilian clothing brand Amaro chose to harness the DNA of actual human beings to create its latest collection.
Working with ad agency Soko and geneticist Juliana Saquete, the brand collected genetic samples from the saliva of 19 women. That material was subsequently analyzed to determine global ancestry, preferences for day or night, and various other traits.
Amaro's designers then translated those results into colors, fabrics and patterns, producing 57 items of clothing. It documented the process in this short film, directed by Nina Torres and produced by The Kumite:
Because the items were designed by humans, cultural cues, beliefs and biases naturally came into play. For example, British ancestry and an aptitude for mathematics inspired a plaid outfit criss-crossed by geometric lines; a preference for daytime hours translated to bright hues splashed across light materials; and African heritage generated rich, warm color palettes.
So, the project's a fusion of science and style, and the subjects in the clip seem pleased with the results. Offered various choices, some of them even correctly identify the fashions they inspired. "I just had contact with my ancestors through this outfit," one of them poignantly says.
Indeed, the project reinterprets notions of "you are what you wear," or the idea of clothes "making" a man or woman, on a particularly deep (in fact, cellular) level.
"Fashion usually finds inspiration looking for information that is seen outside, in the world," says Saquete. "This is the first time I see a brand interested in mapping data that comes from the inside to create relevant products."
If nothing else, the collection feels like a more relatable use of DNA than some recent marketing efforts along similar lines. Such initiatives include converting data from Ubisoft's Rainbow Six Siege video game into synthetic genetic material and mixing it into InBev's Fusion energy drink. (Also from Brazil—Otimo!) Then there's Massive Attack's re-released Mezzanine album, encoded into DNA and shipped in a can of black spray paint.
Amaro's items are priced between $25 and $75, available at its physical stores and through its website and app.