Launched in 2016 by founder and designer Terry Shin, Black Merle is a brand that tackles anti-fashion like none other. Black Merle is a noun defined as a dark-coated dog with irregular streaks and specks. Through their apocalyptic, neo-maximalist theme of “more is more” as stated by Shin himself they succeeded in releasing fashion from the shackles of its definition.
With an emphasis on usability, recreation and deconstruction they are a new take on anti-fashion with a military-like theme never seen before. What I mean is, although the titans of anti-fashion Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo defined what anti-fashion is today, Terry Shin took said definition and dare I say…elevated it with Black Merle.
A Vancouver and Seoul based brand that prides itself on its ability to customize and its emphasis on blackness, though these two attributes may narrow their variety in the eyes of some, they have been able to break the preconceived notion everyone had of them with their newer collections. Previously, with their FW 17 collection, “Incarnate”, I could liken them more to Takahiro Miyashita The Soloist, Undercover and Raf Simons with a focus on military and tactical wear. This is not to say that they did not properly execute this collection, their clothes were literal pieces of art. I am only stating the relation to the ethos of this collection with other brands. I particularly loved his first collection more as he incorporated the most black pieces into it.
However, with their newer garments of F/W 19 and F/W 20 they were able to embody the values they stood by. Displaying out of the world clothing that cannot be likened to any designer past or present. Seeing the relative fame they have garnered in the past two years, Black Merle has just begun and there is no sign of them stopping. Terry Shin has his hand on the pulse of the industry and is unwilling to let go.