Paris! If ever there was a city that champions the beauty of ‘old stuff’, it’s the French capital.
Our Merci Paris x Universal Re-Works pop-up is now open! Timed to coincide with Paris Menswear Fashion Week, the pop-up will run for two weeks and take place at the Merci store on Boulevard Beaumarchais.
Following on from the success of previous collaborative projects at the iconic Parisian store, this time around, the focus is firmly on Universal Re-Works initiative, Universal Works' umbrella term for any activity that aims to prolong the life-cycle of a garment.
The pop-up features a capsule collection of items; a curated selection of upcycled pieces that embody the UW Reworks ethos. Speaking about the driving force behind the project, UW founder David Keyte explained:
“Whether we like it, or not, the clothes we wear send out a message to the world. It’s an unspoken language of all the things we like and the attitudes we portray. The Universal Works x Merci collab is a truly unique and original moment to show the people of Paris (and beyond) what the brand is about.
I’ve been collecting vintage textiles for years, especially during my trips to India. I’ve always loved the possibility of re-using these incredible old pieces of fabric. By re-using the cloth to make or enhance an existing garment, we’re able to breathe new life into something old. Seeing beauty in the imperfect is what inspired me.”
By taking a novel approach, we have Re-Worked and reimagined some classic, recognisable UW shapes alongside customized "found" pieces, which will be on show and available for sale at Merci. Expect to find vintage Military liners lovingly emblazoned with Peace, Love and Soul. Customised vintage German work jackets. UW shirts, shorts and overshirts which have all been specially overdyed to give an entirely new flavour. There are cotton twill stalwarts with upcycled patches and artisan stitching, overdyed navy archive stock and topped off with a small selection of the very covetable (and collectible) Kantha products.
There is a lovable warmth to every garment – an inbuilt sense of care and attention. By showcasing these Re-Works pieces in Merci, amongst the eclectic, wholesome selection of other goods, it sends out a powerful signal about the principles of Universal Works. Pausing for thought, looking around us and considering how to create excitement from items already in existence is definitely a solid move that helps reduce negative environmental impact.
David Keyte added, “I wanted to show the versatility and wearability, as well as the uniqueness of what we do at Universal Works, while expressing and reflecting the different sides of Paris. Classic and artistic, subtle and loud, historic and modern”.
Why not take a stroll down the tree-lined Boulevard Beaumarchais in the last week of June to see the Universal Re-Works wonders for yourself?
Just like the entrance to Merci, it’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it situation. We suggest you take it slowly and hang a left when you see a bright red vintage Fiat 500 parked in a small, cobbled courtyard. Push open the doors to the mecca of le Marais and feast your eyes on the Universal Re-Works garments inside. C’est bon!