A new Michelangelo of leather. Capable of sublimate it, sculpt it, as if it was a moving piece of marble. His name is Robert Mercier, already a leather artisan for Vuitton and Hermès. “I have the fixation of creating pieces with experimental techniques – he explains to connaissancedesarts.com, after having narrated his work via podcast -. I see my work as performance art”. He says he is an artistic artisan who receives specific commissions.
In 2021 Robert Mercier crafted the Balmain dress worn by Zendaya at Mostra del Cinema di Venezia. He was able to shape the leather and make a unique piece with a “wet” effect. But, he says, he wasn’t given the proper space: in this case ad in others, he states, the creative side of things is of fundamental importance, when joined with the craftsmanship capability of working the raw material. His words pass on the request for more consideration for the work done by artisans, as they are always dealing with precarious conditions and risks. But in reality, they are people that make items, in his case author pieces, that give value to entire collections.
Art for haute couture
Mercier only uses French leather for his creations that are exclusively haute couture. There are all sort of tools and matrixes in his laboratory, as he shoes 5 skulls that represent the five continents, made with crocodile, python, and other exotic leather. Mercier also worked for Celine and now works for Schiapparelli, for which he created a corset and coordinated handbag for the Spring-Summer 2021 Corset et sac collection (with the corset showing the abdominal muscles area). For this Fall-Winter season, again for Schiapparelli, he made a bustier called Corps blanc made with while leather and gold buttons. We don’t know if it will be worn by Chiara Ferragni during the San Remo Festival yet.