One of our favorite knitwear purveyors, German label Merz B. Schwanen, is driven by a passion for traditional fabrication processes. The collection is comprised of cotton workwear basics patterned after garments from the early decades of the 20th century. Founder and designer Peter Plotnicki is what you might call a workwear aficionado and has a deep love for making clothes "the old way". His production facility is over 100 years old, acquired from it's original owner Baltazar Merz (from whom he also acquired the brands namesake) and is nestled in the Swabian Alps. The machinery and fabrication methods remain virtually the same as it did when it first opened way back then, using circular knitting machines that date back to the 1920's. The result of Peter's fascination with apparel history and commitment to maintaining a tried-and-true approach to garment production is a collection of basics that are timeless and crafted with the highest quality.
This kind of honest craftsmanship and true dedication to timeless design is something we've always been extremely inspired by. We recently asked a few friends, who are themselves designers, artists and makers in varying ways, to try on some of our favorites from the Merz B Schwanen collection and share their personal creative approach and how basics play a role in their everyday life.
Photos by Andrew JS
Lucien Pellegrin, Artist/Co-Creator, Love City Love
"My work explores the beauty and hypocrisy that is human culture. My travels, relationship to skateboarding, and unusual upbringing has played a huge roll in shaping me as an artist and person. I enjoy exploring clothing and how we treat ourselves and others based on an appearance, on a costume...different costumes receive different treatment."
Megumi Arai, Photographer
"My work keeps me curious and always searching. Art celebrates being lost, the unknown and the full spectrum of human emotion. What else in this world nourishes that?"
Ellis Latham-Brown, Graphic Designer/Founder of Danger Club
"I have always had a desire to create. Whether it’s words, pictures, attitudes, a holistic approach is crucial to guide the process. To always create things from the same root with authenticity, merit, and relevancy. I'm inspired by lo-fi methods, cultural institutions, political movements, the list goes on. Basically anything that adds conflict to life. My design philosophy to clothing is parallel. This is why I wear uncomplicated, classic clothing. It only further reflects my artistic intent and credibility."
Andy Whitcomb, Furniture Designer/Co-Founder of Brackish
"As a designer I strive for timeless simplicity in everything I do. Whether I’m designing a custom dining table or selecting pieces for my wardrobe, my focus is always on how it will look and function 5, 10, or 20 years from now."
Cameron Campbell, Chief Intangibles And Strategy Officer, Proef
"I prefer to take a collaborative approach to my work, knowing that breakthroughs are born of multiple perspectives. My style is fairly much the same. I see fashion as a landscape in which to play and layer unique pieces–preferably Belgian and Japanese–with simple basics - a girl cannot do without enough light black or navy t-shirts or sweaters in her wardrobe."
Akin Olugbade, Technology Designer
"You can't create useful technology unless you know who you're building it for. Seattle boasts an incredible sense of creative community, and the people within keep me both focused and inspired. I value simplicity and I think that reflects in my wardrobe and my work. My favorite pieces are practical, beautiful, and versatile - adorning well, but as a compliment, not supplement, to my personality."
Find out more about Merz B. Schwanen here.