five minutes with mercy brewer, lonely lingerie’s 56 year old muse
“Forget stereotypes, if someone looks good in your gear, shine a light on them.”
New Zealand label Lonely have long been champions of diverse presentations of beauty. Across their campaigns and the Lonely Girl project they've celebrated real women with real bodies. For years they've dwelled in unfused, unmade up worlds where their friends serve as muses as frequently as the stars that love their designs. Recent campaigns — usually shot and styled by their pals Harry Were and Zara Mirkin — are reflective of their natural approach to brand identity. Lena Dunham, Jemima Kirke, Petra Collins and Paloma Elsesser are as likely to appear as their hometown pals and staff.
Now for their autumn/winter 17 presentation, they've called on 56 year old model Mercy Brewer. The Scottish born former punk modelled with Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell in the late 80s and early 90s before moving to New Zealand. She's a long way from the London squats she once lived in, but her attitude has hardly faded. On meeting her through the Kiwi fashion scene the Lonely team instantly recognised a shared outlook, and realised that collaborating with Mercy would be a fitting way for them explore ideas around age and beauty.
Together they've stated that they hope the new photo series educates and excites women about their bodies, and "encourage them that ageing isn't something to fear rather something to embrace." We caught up with Mercy to learn more about our favourite new Lonely Girl.
I know you were a fan of Lonely before this campaign, how did you discover the brand?
I noticed these intriguing bra straps worn to be seen on fashion stylists, makeup artists and hairdressers at fashion week, I loved them and made inquiries. To be blunt it's very sexy and extremely cool. There are some things I covet and Lonely lingerie is definitely one of them. They love women and that shows in their intelligent design and inclusive marketing.
What do you hope your presence here represents?
Recognition that older women can kick ass when the opportunity arises.
You've modelled for much of your adult life, how have you observed the industry change?
At the end of the day it's less meat, thinner gravy... for all. There has always been diversity that's either applauded or scorned. Essentially nothing's changed, the discussion has just gotten louder as more people stand up to be counted.
We are seeing more older women and models being championed as brand muses though.
Evidently, and some fabulous older men and women are out here. Then again, what else is left that is new? Hopefully it's fickle fashions final frontier and not just a fad. Fancy all those F words without a single 'fuck'.
With that in mind, what would you like to see more genuine representation around?
Forget stereotypes, if someone looks good in your gear, shine a light on them.
Finally, has your own relationship with your appearance changed?
Well I'm not one for swimming upstream, I just accept it for what it is, it does the job.
Text Wendy Syfret
Photography Harry Were