Merlette x Kurozome Rewear

We are proud to announce that we are partnering with Kurozome Rewear, a black dye house in Kyoto, to upcycle 16 styles from our archives as part of a 5th anniversary celebration with Isetan in Japan. Merlette x Kurozome was born out of a desire to give new life to archive pieces and was inspired by the “Black Dye Project” that Kurozome Rewear had previously done with Isetan.

Merlette Founder and Creative Director Marina Cortbawi says of the technique, “I have been using black dying to upcycle pieces in my personal wardrobe and interesting vintage pieces for years. I love seeing how the black over-dye takes to each fabric and design detail. This opportunity, to give new life to some of my favorite Merlette styles, felt in line with our sustainability ethos as we’re always working to minimize our impact on the environment and have each piece we develop live in the closets of our customers for years to come."

Mr. Arakawa, President and CEO of Kurozome Rewear says, “We believe that the harmony of [Merlette’s] design with our technique creates a new value to the clothes. Black dying is a 100-year-old technique where each item is processed individually, hand-dyed repeatedly, and laid in the sun between each soak to set."

It was originally used for traditional Japanese formal wear to achieve the deepest black, and Kurozome has been offering this to customers for over 40 years, with a marked uptick in interest in the past several years as the fashion industry and consumers alike have become more aware of sustainability efforts to reuse existing apparel. 

They have also developed their own dyeing technique called SHINKURO, which makes existing blacks darker, called ‘deep black” processing, and can transform colors, prints, and whites into a deep smoky gray or a rich black, with hints of the previous fabric coming through.

“We always approach our collaborative partnerships with a lot of freedom for the artists, artisans, and creatives we work with,” says Cortbawi. “The Rewear technique, whilst not new in Japan, is a wonderful way to increase the longevity of garments and create special capsules from our archives, to ensure every piece we produce someday finds a customer that will love it.”

Merlette x Kurozome’s US capsule will be available through from April 13, 2022 and features 25 limited-edition pieces, 16 styles ranging from Merlette Collections No. 5 through 9. For those customers in Japan, they can both shop the collection at Isetan Shinjuku and Tokyo, as well as bring in already beloved Merlette styles for the same black dye treatment.

 Photographs taken by Shana Trajanoska and courtesy of Kurozome rewear


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