The ‘Merchant’ of style goes fashion-forward
Local creative Kevaun Merchant, who goes by the moniker ‘Merchii Don’, has been known to turn heads at events with his sensational looks. We recently spoke with the influencer and content creator about the inspiration behind his fashion.
“I would define fashion as an expression and depiction of self, whatever mood or feeling you’re in. So if I am sad or happy, my clothes will reflect that. It also depends on the ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘why’,” he said, adding, “But it’s as if I am a canvas and the clothes are my painting used to create a picture of myself, painting what I want others to see and understand about me.”
Delivering fits in a myriad of colours and styles, his most popular look was a green-and-orange combination, unveiled at Sunrise Breakfast Party last April. “I wore these big orange pants and a green T-shirt. If I got a dollar for every compliment I received that day, I would’ve earned more money than [what] I paid to go to the party,” he said.
Surprisingly enough, his jump into fashion didn’t happen straight away. Merchant will admit to having an eye and knack for the art form: “I’d put pieces together, and they would not only work, they would stand out, too. Growing up, my mother always dressed me up, so I guess it came from her.”
By the time he walked through the gates of high school, people wanted to wear whatever he wore. This he never saw as being fashion-forward in the least bit. It was merely viewed as his preference; he sees it, he likes it, he gets it, and he dons it.
His primary line of work doesn’t include fashion per se, but he makes an exception, dressing up to go to work every day. This is because it is a requirement for his life as a fashion influencer and content creator outside of his nine-to-five.
“It’s important to know what your style is. Right now, my style is very vintage and classy meets street. And that’s what works for me. That’s what brands see, and what gives me the opportunity to work with them,” he said.
Speaking of brands, Merchant confessed that he doesn’t subscribe to any labels; most of his outfits are tailor-made. Here’s his creative process. When he gets an invitation to go somewhere, the creative takes his idea to Pinterest and develops it there before going to his designer, and together they materialise the outfit. “Levac Designs is my designer, and Yakeem Reid is like my stylist bestie,” he added.
Otherwise, he does online shopping with ASOS and boohooMAN. If there is a style emergency and he has to source locally, Merchant goes to Fierce by Dre for casual wear, or Enigma for formal occasions. “I like to step out of the box and be different. So, no labels, just vibes,” he added.
Currently in abundance in his closet that can be worn anywhere are flannel shirts, oversized shirts, cargo pants, all things denim, and white trainers.
His advice to other men looking to find their style is to start out by wearing what feels comfortable and explore more from there. “If you want to elevate your style, you can start simple. Get comfortable outside of your comfort zone. If you’ve never worn plaid, tailored pants, go ahead and wear it. If you’ve never worn a coloured sweatshirt, do that as well.”
He believes that every man should have at least a black, blue or any dark-toned blazer, because a blazer can enhance a look. “If you have a pair of jeans and a T-shirt and you put on a blazer, it gives you a semi-formal look.” Flannel and fitted shirts are also great. And he encourages others to be unique in expressing their style.
Merchii Don This or That Fashion Choices
Black or colour?
Pattern and print or solids?
Solids all the way.
Tailored pants or ripped jeans?
Hat or cap?
Love a baseball cap.
Online or in-store shopping?
Hate shopping in-store; online it is.
Vintage or modern?
Vintage all the way.
Classic or trendy?
I’m going to say classic.
Formal or casual - formal?
I love to see my suits.
Long-sleeve or short-sleeve?
Summer or winter?