London-based independent designer, Cléo Ferin Mercury, inherited her love for silk scarves from her Parisian grandmother. Her early adopted appreciation of attention to detail, quality and design translated over to her first 'narrative-based' collection of scarves, launched in 2010. Since then, Cléo Ferin Mercury, the brand, has grown to produce two collections a year; exhibiting at Fashion Week and gaining stockists and fans the world over.
CFM's range of scarves, pocket squares, and detachable collars blend impeccable quality and playful whimsy; providing a touch of luxury in a contemporary way. This is perhaps best seen in the super fun Animal Scarf Collection. Inspired by the extravagant fur stoles of old school Hollywood glamour, Mercury wanted to reinvent this in a modern and, of course, animal friendly way, and so the Animal Scarf was born. Initially available in fox and jaguar designs, they proved so popular that the line-up has been expanded to include tigers, cats, pandas, and wolves. The tongue-in-cheek double sided scarves are soft, sumptuous and voluminous, offering up a slice of tactile indulgence with a completely clear conscience.
Drawing all manner of kitsch subject matter as pick 'n' mix, Americana, flamingos, pin-ups, pop culture icons and tropical fruit, Mercury doesn't miss a beat when it comes to injecting new life into a tried and tested classic. And with a 70s revival in full swing, that classic silk scarf is having a moment. Tie it under your collar for a cute pussy bow, wrap it once around the neck for louche rock star cool, twist it up into a turban, wear it as a hair tie, style it into a halterneck top... The possibilities are almost endless if you get a bit creative, and this versatility isn't lost on Mercury, whose website features a seriously comprehensive scarf styling guide (nearly 30 different variations!) complete with beautifully stylised illustrations to walk you through the process.
The silk scarf market isn't an easy one to stand out in. It's abundant with artists, textile designers, print designers, high end brands, graduates, independent labels, and many more. But by injecting a sense of humour and storytelling into her designs, and by being unafraid to branch out beyond the confines of the classic 90 x 90 square, Mercury has broken the mould to set her brand apart from the crowd.
The warmth of the designs extends to the brand itself - always friendly and always a pleasure to deal with when it comes to press releases and loans. With their fusion of light-hearted design, high quality finishes and a genuinely affable, charming persona both online and off, it's easy to see why the brand continues to grow as a favourite amongst those who like their style with an offbeat twist.