Merz b. Schwanen
Working man’s apparel from the twenties, thirties, and forties was his inspiration: For vintage fashion aficionado Peter Plotnicki the original is the one most important. Authentic manufacturing processes and workmanship with all their subtle details are key.
With the help of a traditional knitwear manufacturer based in the Swabian Jura, he revived the old way of crafting clothes. Driven by his passion for traditional fabrication processes this team created a collection of t-shirts and button border shirts (“henleys”) solely made by circular knitting machines like they were used from the roaring well into to the golden fifties.
Those machines were invented in 1798 and in 1836 they were introduced to the Swabian Jura. Circular knitting machines produced cotton products which were much more comfortable than the linen underwear common at that time – German knitwear was born!
Peter Plotnicki is a true admirer of authentic products and does not bend to short-lived trends. This collection is a monument to his beliefs: All tops are based on authentic clothing ranging from the first decades of the twentieth century to the army shirts of the sixties – sometimes slightly modified, sometimes copied from the original piece down to the last seam.
Peter Plotnicki sets great store by the label “Made in Germany”. Not only the trimming’s cotton fabrics, buttons, hangtags, and packaging are German-made, even the woven tags are designed with an intricate eye for detail and are made by use of a hand-made punch card on historical jacquard looms.
It is not surprising that the collection’s name was chosen without compromise as well. Merz b. Schwanen is a brand with a long and proud family tradition. In 1911 Balthasar Merz founded his clothing manufactory; the profession was carried through several generations of his family, but the company was closed down eventually. The descendants of Balthasar Merz allowed Peter Plotnicki to use the brand name in order to carry on the family’s tradition and history.
The collection comprises button border shirts, t-shirts, longsleeves, embroided shirts in different designs, and authentic 7/8-sleeve work shirts. The materials are as authentic as the designs themselves: All clothes are made primarily of pure cotton, but also of original fabrics like cotton-wool- and cotton-rayon mix. All fabrics are available in several weaves and styles, like knitwear, plush, fleece, and mesh. Available colors range from natural ecru cotton, white, washed-out blue and red to gray heather and slate-colored. One of the many unique characteristics of the Merz b. Schwanen collection is the irregular weaving pattern without a side seam the authentic circular knitting machines produce. Merz b. Schwanen, made in Germany therefore stands for high quality traditional products - without compromises!