KUZYK Community | Bob Melet, Melet Mercantile

Dec 19, 2020 | Elizabeth Kuzyk

KUZYK Community x Bob Melet of Melet Mercantile

I remember stumbling into Bob’s showroom (The Outpost) in Montauk early summer maybe 8 years ago, and being in complete awe. Who had built this space? I felt instantly connected, as if it were my mood boards in real life. In 3 dimensions. Bob curates a world that is meant to inspire and ignite creativity.

We became friends, as he has with so many designers, filmmakers, photographers, and creative directors who rely on his expert eye. He’s helped us to tap into our imaginations and expand our views on what we can bring into the world.

Our conversation, on a sunny day in LA in December, below:

Do you remember how we met?

You washed up on shore one summer in one of your coats. You were a mystery. Still are.

Why did you move from NYC to LA?

New opportunity.

What’s the era that inspires you the most, that you love shopping for?

Deeply identify with Edward Sheriff Curtis. Who photographed the American West and Native American people. He was commissioned by JP Morgan and Teddy Roosevelt to commit a whole chunk of his life to this project. I felt I deeply connected to him and his travels.

I also identify with The Golden Age. There is a big dreamer in me that came from that era.

At the end of the day, I am a hippie. Born in the summer of love. To have been mature at that time would have been a lot of fun.

What place in the world, in your opinion, has the best vintage?

Paris Flea Market, to this day, is the most special place to buy. Most diverse of amazing things. And everything I have bought there I revere over most things.

How do you define style? Who in your opinion really has it (past, present-anyone)

Style is the rarest of rare commodities. You either got it or you don’t and it doesn’t matter how much money you have.

Camilla Nickerson, Robert Rabensteiner, Doug Bihlmaier, Annabelle Dexter Jones.

What was the first item you collected?

When I was 14, I collected mid century modern furniture designed by the teachers of Cranbrook. Charles &Ray Eames, Florence Knoll, Bertoia

I opened my first antique shop at 21 with this collection.

What film has had the biggest impact on you?

Godfather 1 and 2

How do you help people use their imagination?

By creating complete conceptual spaces. Utilizing imagery. 2 dimensional wall vignettes and mind saturation within the concept. I have created 16 of those every 12 weeks for 17 years. These conceptual realities are researched and made not using the internet. Done by finding it, which means a single concept can take years before its matured.

What’s the best find you’ve ever had?

It's more the people than the things.

Three words to describe yourself?

Traveled. Curious. Inspired.

Three words to describe me?

Curious. Focused. Courageous.

What do you think your superpower is?

Very intuitive nature of understanding people and the ability to manifest ideas.

What do you think my superpower is?

Wisdom

What parts of yourself do you see in me?

Definitely curiosity. Insatiable curiosity to see, learn and be a part of more.

When you see something that you pull for me, how do you define what makes it very ‘KUZYK’?

I think I know you, your sensibility, your style and what you connect to. When I buy things, a heavy part of the decision making is what muse of mine will connect to it and you fall under the category of muse.

About Melet Mercantile:

Founded in 2003, Melet Mercantile was born from the notion that New York City needed a resource where designers, art directors, editors, stylists or anyone in search of something different and inspiring could discover the most rare and unique things in the world in the heart Soho. It has since grown to include a seasonal outpost in Montauk, NY, and evolved as a creative services studio & art gallery to support the diverse needs of our clients. In September 2019, Melet expanded to Los Angeles, CA layered with a new concept and vision.