As shown in our home page, the Merz was born out of a need and want to combine fashion, fun, and friendliness, all centered on being a more sustainable choice than fast fashion brands currently dominating the high street.
But where did the name come from?
Not to be confused with a pharmaceutical company or English X Factor singer, The Merz actually dates back 100 years to the Dadiast artistic movement in Paris, and especially the German artist Kurt Schwitters.
What was Dadaism?
Dadaism was an early 20th-century European avant-garde art movement that flourished in Zurich, Paris and New York. Developed as a reaction to the atrocities and hostilities of World War I, the movement rejected logic and reason in art – infact, many called it “anti-art” and was also birthed from Marcel Duchamps infamous latrine sculpture.
The Dadaist artistic creations were often collages, photomontages, assemblages of readymades and manufactured objects. The Dadaist movement existed in tandem with many other early 20th-century revolutionary art movements like modernism, cubism, self-expressionism, and surrealism.
So, where did “Merz” come from?
Kurt Schwitters, a German artist working within the Dadaist movement created the word himself to describe his works. “Merz” was an abbreviation of the word “Kommerz” – the German word for Commerce, and at the time it didn’t actually mean anything which was precisely why he chose it to describe his works.
Kurt Schwitters works were assemblage collages consisting of found objects that were essentially curated into something that challenged the status quo of the world and the end result was an “aesthetically pleasing” piece. His materials were often the “waste” of civilisation. So this could be bus tickets, postcards, fragments of newspapers, wire, artist periodicals, receipts and other bits and bobs that were thrown away.
His artistic pieces had a sense of chance, randomness, spontaneity and freedom, yet each composite piece was considered and was chosen by colour and material.
And the link with vintage fashion is?
Our founder Molly completed her degree in Art History and English in 2018. Thus choosing an artistic and creative term that was in tune with vintage fashion and encompasses the values of the company was paramount.
And, The Merz does just that!
Like Kurt Scwhitters art, vintage clothes are found and curated, beautiful second-hand pieces that are part of fast fashion and societies “waste” are given a new life and positioned within a new guise and frame of mind. Each collection is an assemblage of pre-loved objects that are ready to be celebrated once again.
Not to mention, the ties with commerce are also very apt, with commerce meaning the activity of buying and selling.
So, it was only natural to combine the two.
Plus, the Dadaist movement was one of rebellion against the norm – a feeling that resonates with us all in this strange modern world.
The Merz plans to rebel in its own way, will you join us?