Dancer, entrepreneur, and fitness specialist Bonnie Crotzer is a true multi-hyphenate, blazing her own unique path in NYC. We love the motion and joy she brings to her Merlette pieces so we are delighted she found the time in her busy schedule to chat with us about movement, style and business.
Photographed by Ana Lui Photography and Beautiful Nomad
1. How does your practice as a dancer influence your style?
"I guess if I am to identify with anything, it would be dance. Think I came into this world as a mover, so in a way, dance influences everything I do. From my space, to how my daily rituals come together, to my career — it is all a dance. So when I wear something, I want to feel free to move, I want to feel how my skin interacts with fabric, in other words I love comfort and clean natural fibers, like cotton, linen, and soft wools/cashmeres. I also glean over pieces made with thought, love and quality. As a kid my mom used to tease me that I always like the most expensive thing in the store. An eye and lust for quality, I guess. I appreciate artistry, and isn’t it wonderful that we get to wear other people’s artwork to clothe our bodies? And the experience of putting on a piece of clothing and it being like you stepped into a whole other dimension. Yes to that. So fun."
2. Can you share more about the work you do with The Floss?
"The Floss is my way of supporting folks in their experience with their bodies. At the Floss, we learn how to stretch in a different way, a way that is active, safe and changes the connective tissue (aka fascia). Post class, many students say they feel like they have had a workout + massage in one. For years fascia has been discarded by anatomists, but now is finally being regarded as a very important system in the body because it is one thing that touches everything else! So I teach people how to “floss” it, to clean up the hardened, tight, plastic-like tissue from the inside out. Those knots that we can never seem to beat, this work gets down and dirty with the depths of the myofascia. You could think of Fascia Flossing like an internal exfoliation, like a renewal of your connective tissue to energize you, to feel spacious and open."
3. What draws you to Merlette?
"Wow wow wow. Can I just say my Merlette dresses are the very most fun dresses I have ever worn? And I have worn some great pieces during my dance career. I literally feel like I am wearing a dance on my body. Like the dress has a life of its own. At least I feel like there should be a sound track playing on the street so I can prance about. The brilliance of how the Merlette dresses move! The detailing is so precious too. And not in a cutesy way, but in a queenlike way."
Photographed by Kate McMahon
4. What are your favorite pieces from Merlette?
"Speaking of queens, the ESSAOUIRA feels queenly to me. The SOLIMAN is like her younger sister. It's hard not to constantly spin around when wearing these two dresses. Even with all that fabric (which I love), there is a sexiness to them; completely covered but peeks the curiosity about what is underneath. Out of all my wardrobe, I get the most looks + compliments when wearing the ESSAOUIRA or SOLIMAN. They are unexpected, and I love that uniqueness."
5. As a female entrepreneur, do you seek out other like-minded brands like Merlette?
"Absolutely, as a former cofounder to an activewear brand, I know what it takes to work in the apparel space, and it is not easy. Small brands need allies and to support each other, especially when you value what other brands are doing. 'Shop Small' is not just a catch phrase to me. Having personal loyalty and connection to small brands is an absolute must in the economy we are living in, this is where art and love are still expressed through product. High-fiving the Merlette Team, you are doing wondrous things that celebrate the body with beauty, comfort and the experience between skin and fabric."