As a young girl, Hanh Merriman was drawn to nature and fashion, both of which surrounded her in the rural Vietnamese region where she grew up. The lush green landscapes and towering, vegetation-covered islands captured her imagination, and her mother’s sewing skills piqued her interest. Hanh’s community had little access to new, ready-to-wear clothing, so she went from imagining designs to asking her mother for the tools to make her own.
She didn’t know why she loved the materials so deeply, but understood that it was a part of her. More recently, her eloquent style blog has led to an eponymous fall collection, HANH. There are a variety of clean, minimalist pieces, from jackets to jumpsuits, that can be worn by themselves or layered on cooler days. Some items may even be worn multiple ways, such as the Fansipan Top, which can feature the pleats in the front or the back.
Merriman’s young determination led her to where she is today, curating fine clothing while serving the community. Style, although prominent in her life, was not her only passion.
“My parents instilled in me the importance of giving back to the community, to help others when possible,” Merriman says. “They wanted me to be a doctor, which I dutifully pursued for some time. But I came to a point where I needed to be honest with how I wanted to direct my life, so I stopped those studies and moved to the U.S.”
Vietnam is her main source of inspiration for the new line. Mostly its rich landscapes and vegetation: “the different hues, textures, shapes, silhouettes, and proportions always fascinated me,” she says.
Hanh’s purpose, however, goes beyond fashion; she wants to give back to the place where her passion sparked. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, which provides Vietnamese children and their families with care and support.
“I heard about their exceptional work that has transformed lives in Vietnam,” says Merriman. “The organization has literally saved so many kids in both rural and urban areas.”
The collection is here, and people are loving it. Merriman says that seeing the designs on many different women has been one of the most meaningful parts of the process. They’re different ages and sizes and have unique personal styles. “I love how everyone wears my ideas,” she says, “and it will continue to inspire me.”
Click here to shop the Fansipan Top, seen above.