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California Cool with Atelier Dorè


If you were here on Friday, it’s likely you saw the story we published at Heidi Merrick’sperfectly interesting (and very beautiful) Silver Lake home. Seriously, dream house. Today we’re back with Heidi’s downtown Los Angeles store that has both nods to her home and an abundance of individuality as an extension of her modern and elegant brand. Ok, we’ll let Heidi take it from here.

Can you describe your brand in a few words?
Oh goodness. A California lifestyle collection steeped in silouette and craftsmanship? I’d add cool in there somewhere because I like the concept of being cool.

Who is the Heidi Merrick woman?
The woman who plays on the beach and puts on a gown in the same day. The one who likes to be both cool and elegant but doesn’t take herself too seriously. Who’s playful and bold enough to look lovely and not need to apologize. She’s a woman who loves to know where and how the clothes she wears are made.

Where was the brand born, and what was the catalyst?
I made my wedding dress with my mother, on the day of my wedding a few people told me I was “wasting my life” if I wasn’t “making dresses.” Ha.

How is the interior design of your store an extension of the brand? I love how even the surfboards are sort of a modern interpretation, it seems very in line with your contemporary California style.
I think it feels like extension of my design studio but hopefully cleaner and more livable. There are definite references to my house, the bed, the surfboards. Downtown, at the time, felt generally urban to me and I thought a little more of an authentic California-as-a-whole vibe would be a positive addition. Growing up in a surf shop made me love the feel of surfboards around, these boards are such a satisfying mix of siloutte and sexy.

[Editor’s note: The surf shop Heidi grew up in was Channel Islands, founded in 1969 by her dad Al Merrick. Al is both a surfer and one of most prominent surfboard shapers / makers in the world. Cool is in their blood.]

Where do you draw inspiration?
Life and more directly nature. Also, people and insecurities, I’d like to help heal woman of their troubled thoughts about not feeling beautiful. Feeling put together and elegant does wonders on the psyche. I often work from the place of, “What would make me feel beautiful right now?”

You’ve been running your brand from LA way before LA became a fashion city. How did you make that decision?
Los Angeles is the place where I found love and life and it’s just the type of place where you can make your vision happen in your own way without having to please an establishment. I don’t think it ever mattered to me what was considered a fashion city and what wasn’t.

If your next store could be anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Ibiza? Paris? Biarritz? Santa Barbara? Napa? Those to start.

Heidi Merrick & Jenny Murray Host Surf Shack Book Signing With Nina Freudenberger

Come join us at our flagship store in Downtown Los Angeles and celebrate the publication of Surf Shack by Nina Freudenberger!

Nina will be signing copies of her book from 4-7 on June 8th. We’ll be sipping champagne while discussing all things beach related with the author herself.

And what better location to have a beach chat than in local designer
Heidi Merrick’s LA store? Browse our new suit collection and check out the latest color in our surfboard installation!

Summer is here and we’re so ready.
Oh, and did we mention champagne champagne champagne?

RSVP here or by emailing
Last minute walk-ins will be warmly welcomed too! No ticket or admission fee required.


CLEVER LA – Designer Heidi Merrick Might Just Be The Coolest Mom We Know

I met designer Heidi Merrick before I knew what she did for a living—though it came as no surprise. She and her husband and 1-year-old daughter were waiting with me in an airport terminal, all of them dressed in nautical stripes and perfectly worn denim (but not in an annoyingly matchy kind of way). Since that time Heidi has continued to gain notoriety as a woman who makes clothes other women dream of wearing—particularly if that dream also includes some fresh waves, barefoot picnics in floaty dresses, and other activities that embody the California fantasy. That’s who Merrick always has been, and it’s completely reflected in her feminine but impossibly chic collection.

Also since our meeting, Heidi has added to the family—both with the birth of her son, Alfie, and the addition of her first brick-and-mortar store in Los Angeles. As a result her life is more full than ever before, which makes her all the more admirable. That said, Heidi is refreshingly transparent (one of the best things about her), so she’s the perfect person to share advice on how she balances it all, what parenthood has taught her, and how she keeps home a sacred sanctuary.

When I first met you it was as a mama—before I knew you as a designer. How has motherhood changed for you since then?

When you met me I was a new mom flying with a rambunctious toddler who kept wanting to crawl on the lap of the pretty girl next to me. Really it’s every mom’s nightmare!  Well, you being that pretty girl was a good and healthy start to having kids; it helped me realize that a large portion of the world is kind to children, understanding and helpful. Motherhood has changed me because now it’s who I am and I’m a mother first before anything else.

Now with two little ones, how do you balance work with home life?

There’s loads of life at home: life you’re invested in and life that is moving beyond anything you’ve ever experienced. Work fades to the background a little bit now. I used to dream about patterns and dresses. I’d keep a pad by my bed and sketch in the morning—it was all very romantic. This time of life just isn’t like that. I have a much more efficient way of dealing with decisions and design and that serves me better. I don’t conscientiously balance it—I follow my heart and go where I’m needed most.

What do you wish someone would have told you about motherhood or what do you think isn’t shared enough about the experience?

There’s a weird thing that happens with motherhood, and with marriage too, this sudden realization of the permanence of the situation combined with an absolute lack of privacy. Something in you has to change or die. It’s truly a process. The same thing happens when you have kids.  You are never the same again, but you are changed for the better.

When we talked to Ariel Gordon about her ideal Mother’s Day gift, she mentioned time with her husband since he’s “the low many on the totem pole.” How do you make your time with your husband count?

Hm, I need to work on it. Our new thing is reading books we both like at the same time and discussing them together while we read. Ha! Sounds so lame expressing it, but other parents know that it’s pure luxury.

Your daughter Hiver is becoming a little fashionista herself! What’s it like to see her own personality and style evolve? And does she give you critiques and advice?

I think she thinks I’m chic. Just kidding. I do try to impress her though. She’s not sartorially focused, she likes people. She’s from heaven. I do let her wear what she wants out of her closet because I know that arguing with a child about their outfits is silly.  My trick is to throw it away in the middle of the night so they don’t know.

You’ve got a gorgeous home in Silver Lake. How do you actively make your house a sanctuary away from work?

The best thing to do in the world is putter around at home and make it pretty.  I plant things, have fires, make the family eat outside, and I let the kids hang all manner of things in the trees.

What advice would you give other new or expecting moms, who still want to keep their careers?

I’ve heard my own mom say to other mothers, “You can count on your kids growing up and leaving, and if you don’t work or maintain a life of your own, what will you do when your kids leave?” Personally, I feel that I really benefitted from watching my mom succeed. She was great at most things: running a business, cooking, entertaining, and she was incredibly supportive of my dad. All those things are engrained in me now. I think your hopes for your children are best given to them by being your fullest self.

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By: Victoria Clark and Valerie McPhail
Photos: Pura Soul Photography and Katie Durko

Whether or not you are familiar with the surf industry, chances are that you’ve still heard, or at least seen, the last name Merrick mentioned or written somewhere – as it is the last name of Channel Island’s founding brothers Al and Terry. Founded in 1969, Channel Islands has grown to become the premier surfboard manufacturing company, building some of the best-in-class surfboards for the most notable riders (including Tom Curren, Dane Reynolds, Bethany Hamilton, Kalani Robb, and many more).

However, and though the family is synonymous with surf royalty, it is Al’s daughter Heidi, who has, in her own right, built a name for herself within the fashion and design world. Incorporating key design pointers from her parents, her father being a craftsman/shaper and her mother a greatly gifted seamstress, Heidi has created a brand that infuses unique designs with clean and refined silhouettes, all the while staying true to her seaside aesthetic. Now, having just opened her new DTLA store and expanding her line, which is now sold at major stores worldwide, Heidi has become a major player in the fashion and design world.

Heidi recently sat down with us to discuss the inspiration and ethos behind her namesake brand and aside from being wildly talented, she was also incredibly welcoming and fun. Two things we can certainly appreciate!

Before creating your brand, you moved to New York. Can you speak more on​ ​this experience? How did it influence the vision of your brand?
New York was very good to me. I think it still has such a strong voice in aesthetic. I moved to NYC the day after I turned 18. My parents flew with me to drop me off. My only memory of my dad in NY was him standing in front of a cab to return to the airport saying, “You don’t have to do this, Sweetie, you can come home with us.” But I was enthralled with the city and the culture, the life there was so romantic to me. Everyday felt like poetry, good and bad. I needed that, to love California the way I do now. I needed it also, to love people and bring diversity to my eye.

I read that the crafts and trades of your mother and father Al Merrick hold​ ​the foundation of your brand: can you please further explain their influence​ ​on the development of your brand, as something more than just a surfer​ ​label?
Seeing parents work hard, I think may be the best education. My folks put there hearts out to world and I was able to watch them. I know how many times it takes to get a design even acceptable. I know how devastating a conceived failure can be. There are so many similarities to the process, it never ends for me.

What does “Made in America” clothing mean to you?
To me, it is the height of sustainability to produce where you design. Local business, community, lifestyle all flourishes within domestic production. It’s not just made in America, it’s have a functioning fashion house that gives me total control of the brand and quality.

Where do the values of transparency of production and “brand​ ​responsibility” stand within your brand?
At any point customers can drop by the studio and see us making the clothes. We cut and sew in house. As I write this there are 3 sewing machines going around me and it makes me happy to be in the heart of the process like that. I try to be purposeful in letting the consumer know about our process but it is not the point of my collection- the point is beautiful clothes.

How does minimalist fashion relate to the surfer community?
Goodness, I don’t know. Fun story, my brother once said to me that there was no way to know it was my collection, I needed to put a label on the outside of the clothes. Sigh, wink. That’s a hilarious byproduct of growing up with surf brands, logos everywhere. I’ll tell you what though, I’ve been trying to make clothes that you can recognize by the silhouette and simplicity since then because obviously there is great value in knowing the brand. I definitely got that from the surf community.

And to your own personal style?
I’m a uniform type. I wear the same silhouette for days in a row. It just makes sense for me. It’s not boring, I think I wear cool stuff- I just don’t labor over it everyday. I don’t think fashion should own you, you should own it. I don’t know…

What does the new opening of your store in LA personally signify for the​ ​development of your brand?
The store is below and a few doors over from my studio so it’s easy for me to be in both places. It sort of hearkens back to days where you knew your dress maker and had a relationship with them. I love knowing my customers and having a small and honest business. My days feel more complete and so does the brand. It has given me incredible freedom.

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Kassidi Batt wears the Prism Dress 
Abigail Spencer wears the Fluir Bodysuit & Leo Trouser Bethany Joy Lenz wears the Alga Top & the Leather Gaucho
Meta Golding wears the Olivera Gown 
Worn left to right-Leo Trouser in blue, Olivera Gown in ivory, Buckwheat top in ballet with Yucca Skirt and the Fermat dress in geo print.

Lastnight we celebrated the launch of Maya Brenner Jewelry in our DTLA H. Merrick flagship store. The party was hosted by the beautiful Abigail Spencer and had a great turn out of wonderful people. Thank You to all who attended last night–we look forward to seeing more of you in the store to shop our new collections and some Maya Brenner jewels!


You’re invited!

Come join us at our new flagship store in DTLA and enjoy complimentary champagne, snacks, and a personal shopping experience with Heidi Merrick herself!  Everything in the store will be 20% off exclusively for our party goers–we’d love to see you there this Saturday from 1-3pm!


See ya Saturday babes!