NEW YORK—For centuries men and women have employed the magic of the merkin for a wide range of reasons. Sometimes for cover, others for pleasure, often just for the hell of it. A spirited, coiffed hairpiece for the crotch, merkins are now making their way onto the catwalks of NYC for upcoming Fashion Week. Traditionally made of various types of fur, beaver pelt, and linen, this season will see designers from Michael Kors to Vera Wang using sustainable, industrial hemp in their pubic toupee creations.
Pat Summerfield of Merkintells, LTD, in Hollywood says her business has remained steady over the last 40 years, but she sees changes afoot. “Beaver pelts are way too rare these days and linen has always been considered too itchy to wear under clothes,” says the Sunset Boulevard shop proprietor. “So the switch to environmentally conscious hemp is long overdue. Who knew that a wig for your puss could save the world?”
Satisfied customer and longtime merkin maven Sheila Banks says, “I just love the way my new hemp merkin feels. I wear it all day, just for fun,” she says. “I love having the option, ya know, of one night being smooth and shiny, and the next being full blaring seventies bush.”
-By Rocco D’Eugenio