Derrick Cruz practices at the intersection of storytelling, craftsmanship, and technology. He authors concepts, forges objects and brands, and nurtures their impact through modern and primitive means in an effort to spark a sense of wonder, self-awareness and context in those that engage with his work.
Cruz has received several international honors and have exhibited at The New York Museum of Art and Design and The Santa Monica Museum of Art among others. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Art Forum, Forbes, Financial Times, V, W, Purple, Rolling Stone and more.
Cruz was born in Brooklyn, raised in Puerto Rico and currently lives and works in Manhattan.
The Betroth luxury brand unites visionary creators, master-craftsmen, and responsible practices to re-imagine the ring as a modern symbol of love. Betroth also provides an ethical platform of mastery and trust to those hoping to create or possess magnificent jewelry. Collaborators include Roman & Williams, Alexandre Plokhov and Kenzo Minami.
My Creatives and Entrepreneurship course is focused on integrating students’ personal practice with their professional goals. Responding to the diversity of business models both conventional and alternative, this course aids students in researching and creating a professional context for their ideas and innovations.
Inspired by a pantheon of fringe thinkers and risk-takers the Occulter artist’s collective and retail project represented a certain beauty found in darkness and an intellect driven by science and wonder. Occulter members created challenging works in a variety of mediums, organized highly attended group exhibitions and displayed and sold works at Occulter’s brick-and-mortar store in the Lower East Side. It also featured a selection of branded and curated goods. Occulter’s online presence garnered a passionate international following evidenced by social media engagement and retail conversions. The JCReport placed Occulter second to Comme des Garçons Black in its Top Five Small Shops.
Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons (BSPS) is a luxury jewelry and objects brand known for its esoteric aesthetic and integrated approach to storytelling through materials and packaging. It is critically acclaimed for influencing a new approach to fashion jewelry branding. BSPS has been featured in dozens of international publications and sold in high profile retail outlets such as Barney’s New York and Tomorrowland in Tokyo. In 2013, The New York Times commissioned BSPS to interpret its iconic “T” for the Sunday Style Magazine. BSPS holds the GenArt International Styles Vision Award for accessories design.
As art director I managed a team of designers in the ideation and execution of many technically challenging products. Among these was the full redesign and build-out of four sites, highly targeted interactive micro-sites, illustration for ad campaigns, concepting of marketing vehicles, designing UX, information architecture, and art directing photo shoots. Finally, I produced HTML, CSS, and animation for each product and promotion.
East Carolina University | BFA - Fine & Studio Arts
School of Visual Arts | CE - Fine & Studio Arts
North Carolina School of the Arts | Classical Guitar
husband, father, fluent in Spanish, autodidact, Lego Master, audiophile, skeptical futurist, Carl Sagan, Joseph Campbell, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Joseph Beuys, Norman Bel Geddes, Vaughn Oliver, Peter Seville, Star Wars, Batman