Carry on Cléo

Carry on Cléo

Parisienne designer Cléo Ferin Mercury specialises in silk scarves with a difference: think bold colours, kitsch prints and lashings of personality

What’s your earliest design memory? I loved certain clothes as a child and was obsessed with red patent shoes, tartan print and Liberty dresses. I would beg my Aunties for them as birthday gifts.

Where do you work best? I come from Paris but London is definitely where I work best – it’s such an inspiring city

Do you have a big team? No, there are only three of us. My business partner Chris is our graphic designer, Kirsty looks after our wholesale orders (and knows every possible way there is to tie a square scarf) while I design the scarves and make lunch for everyone.

What’s on your studio playlist? I have a real passion for girl groups and singers of the 60s like the Shangri-Las and Françoise Hardy – so cool.

What makes a good day at the office? I love receiving the first printed batch of a new collection; seeing that the colours look good and the designs actually work.

What gave you the push to start up Cléo Ferin Mercury? I finished my studies in 2009 and did a few fashion internships in London, but it was really hard to find work so I thought, why not try and do something I’ve always dreamed of? So I started up spontaneously in 2010, right in the middle of a recession.

What are the rules when it comes to styling statement accessories?
Our signature scarves are bold and bright: lots of confetti, donuts and macaroons. When I’m wearing one of our scarves I tend not wear too many other prints as I want it to stand out.

Any tips for tying the perfect scarf? Firstly, always start with a nicely ironed scarf. Then you can wear it in your hair as a turban, rolled and tied around the waist as a belt or knotted as a necklace. We include little ‘How To Wear It’ illustrations in every one of our orders.

What’s new for S/S 15 – can you give us any sneak previews? It’s all nautical-inspired. I have been fixated with drawing ropes and looking at old sailor tattoos.

What sets Cléo Ferin Mercury apart from other labels? I started designing scarves because I thought there was a lack of playful design on the market. We strive to come up with fun new motifs each season whilst still maintaining all the quality hallmarks of a traditional square cut silk scarf, complete with hand-rolled edges. 

Scarves from above: Blue Tiger Scarf, £115, White Tiger Scarf, £115, Magician Scarf, £160,Orange Tiger Scarf, £115, Elephant Scarf, £160

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  • Photography: Amanda Carr