BEHIND THE SEAMS: Mercer Market
“I started with quality and I’ll die with quality.” This phrase is not often uttered in the fashion industry, let alone upheld. The designer of Mercer Market, Sloane Angell, has dedicated his brand to creating fashionable, quality essentials. The humble Angell has quite the resume - stints at FIT and the Masters program at Parsons, freelancing for Tom Ford, women’s footwear at Marc Jacobs, and even a fit model at Hugo Boss are just a few of the occupations that comprise the young Mercer Market designer’s past. “It looks really well thought out, but it was a lot of luck and being in the right place at the right time,” Angell tells us. But after an hour with Angell, we feel there was a lot of hard work and creativity thrown in there as well.
Travelling to Peru, Angell meticulously studied the process of growing cotton to perfect the t-shirt. “Continuously, with a lot of the things that I do and a lot of the things I’m interested in, is perfecting a simple task. I’ve applied that mindset in my clothing.” Angell spent his time in Peru meeting the farmers, working with the dye houses, sewers, and the mills to ensure that every precaution was taken to create the finest quality cotton, something that is often overlooked. “I was really able to see the cotton from seed to finished material and really worked out what I thought was perfect,” he said. Even after all of the extensive schooling and work experiences he has had, he still found the basic fascination. “The process was eye opening. You are thrown into a pigeonholed view of what the whole process is and usually you are just completing one task that is thrown into the machine that goes to the next that goes to the next and you don’t see where the actual clothes come from. They are almost lost in the whole business now a days, its secondary to the marketing and the branding. It’s nice to get it back to where it started.” After learning the process and returning from Peru, Angell headed to the West Coast for, what else? A girl. “I ended up meeting a girl when I was on a work trip in Australia and we hit it off and fell in love in Australia.” Angell tells us they made it work long distance but ended up settling on Los Angeles to avoid the winters and begin the road toward Mercer Market.
Mercer Market has not only found their stride in the essentials for every man, but with providing a unique aesthetic by collaborating with artists in each of their collections. “That was really the intention in the beginning. I wanted to have another vision involved in each collection whether they were a designer and they wanted to create a couple pieces, or they were an artist and we could portray their work on the clothing, or a textile designer, someone who could influence the clothes other than my eye.” The upcoming collection’s collaboration is with African photographer and visual artist, Ike Ude. By incorporating his works on select articles of clothing, not only do you have a quality garment, but a piece of art. Mercer Market, the name is an homage to his NYC roots and collaborative ethos, has had some exciting moments with collaborations and even custom work. Yet, Angell still gets excited by the little things. “The most excitement I always get is seeing people wearing it, whether you’re on stage in front of thousands of people or you’re jumping to the gym, I’ve seen both and both are equally inspiring.” With rock stars and celebrities clamoring to get their hands on some of the custom pieces - think Jared Leto in a pony hair kilt, to the guy jetting down Sunset Blvd. - there is a little something for everyone. Through all of the creativity, Angell describes his own style as pretty laid back. “It’s become more relaxed, but usually I’m in a button down and my favorite pair of jeans.” A uniform he tells me become quite the topic of conversation during his time at Tom Ford. “I wanted people to focus on my work and not my appearance, but it became kind of joke in the office. I found myself not really thinking so much about what I’m wearing but what other people are wearing.”
All in all, Mercer Market and Angell have caught our attention and continue to impress us. In such a competitive industry, we commend the commitment to quality, hand-sewn garments that Angell has made his mission and we see some big things coming for the talented designer. But what we really wanted to know: will he play 21 questions? Check it out.
Beach or mountains?
Tequila or whiskey?
The Life Aquatic.
Rigatoni with vodka sauce.
What is your dream of happiness?
I’m pretty close right now, surrounded by family and friends.
24 hours to live, what do you do?
Favorite place you've visited?
Favorite non-alcoholic drink?
What's one of the scariest things you've ever done?
Move out of my house.
Sushi or tacos?
If you could have any super power what would it be?
Introvert or extrovert?
Flowers or chocolate?
The first thing you notice about someone?
Big city or small town?
Words to live by?
“The sun also rises.”
Dogs or cats?
Lyft or Uber?
If you weren't a designer, what would your dream job be?
By Mischa Teichgraeber