Meryll Rogge is rethinking classic fashion from a remote Belgian barn

Meryll Rogge is rethinking classic fashion from a remote Belgian barn

‘The brand is open to everything, everybody, and to interpretation,’ says founder Meryll Rogge, of her democratic approach to design

‘It’s basically in my parents garden,’ laughs Meryll Rogge of the barn-come-studio south-west of Ghent, she’s been operating her fledgling label from since that start of the Covid-19 pandemic in spring 2020. ‘This space was empty, so they kindly allowed me to live and work here.’ 

It’s fitting that Rogge has evolved her brand – which launched in Paris in February 2020, just before the world went into lockdown –  from an unconventional, domestic setting. Her designs, which focus on reinterpreting classic silhouettes and patterns, like tuxedo trousers and springtime daisy prints have a democratic design leaning and focus on ‘seeing the beauty in very mundane elements.’ Rogge explains, ‘My 75 year old godmother pops by and loves all the pieces.’

Meryll Rogge A/W 2021 silk slip dress

Rogge’s label may only be a year old, but the designer is a fashion industry veteran. After graduating from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp in 2008, she moved to New York, where she spent seven years working for Marc Jacobs. ‘We referred to his shows as being on Broadway because they were such a spectacle,’ Rogge explains. ‘I still get starstruck when I see Marc.’ Rogge then moved back to Antwerp, where she headed up womenswear for Dries Van Noten. ‘He really thinks about his customer,’ Rogge says. ‘...making women feel beautiful and comfortable.’

The designer is captivated by a mundane sense of beauty, and the power of timeless vintage clothes which never lose their sense of style. ‘Pieces which evoke a sense of nostalgia, in a familiar and reassuring way,’ she says. Her brand’s A/W 2021 collection reinterprets classic pieces that will remain in your wardrobe forever, like tuxedo trousers cut to resemble tracksuit bottoms, a parka with a subtly A-line shape and ruffled shoulder details and a slip dress embroidered with pretty florals. ‘We’ve used the most banal daisy prints you’ve ever seen!’ enthuses Rogge. ‘I love the idea of incorporating really recognisable elements.’

When Rogge launched her debut collection in Paris last year, she had over 70 appointments from retail buyers and press. However, she attributes to early success to the time afforded to her over the past year. ‘In the sense, we’ve been able to work here in our little closed environment without too many distractions,’ she says. ‘And so we’ve been able to grow, in an almost hidden way.’ §

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