September is fashion’s biggest month with top designers debuting looks in NY, London, Paris and Milan. While these fashion capitals reign supreme, for Findings #7 I decided to keep my focus local, highlighting one of LA’s iconic designers, Heidi Merrick. Her namesake brand is the epitome of West Coast Chic – modern silhouettes with a refined femininity and a heavy dose of ‘je ne sais quoi’ that makes each and every piece more lust-worthy than the last. On any given day you can find Heidi running between her flagship store and nearby studio as she oversees both design and production in-house (sustainability at its finest, amiright?!?). As the daughter of two mavericks in the surf industry, she learned the importance of fine craftsmanship and building a business from the ground up in an honest and transparent way – all of which inform her lifestyle and her brand. Fueled by mutual respect (and a flute, or two, of the bubbly stuff) Heidi and I got to play dress-up as we dished about everything from her time spent with the Chef du Cave at Veuve Clicquot, her apple farm in Carpinteria and snowboarding together in New Zealand (hey, girls can dream!). Heidi’s taste is flawless, her sense of humor is feisty and besides being one of my fave fashion icons…she’s just so. damn. cool. I’m sure you’ll be as obsessed as I am! Here’s to Heidi and her California state of mind. | photos by annie mcelwain |

Heidi came to the styling session wearing her super-versatile Leo Trousers paired with a hand-me-down knit top from her mom. We quickly found that she has a meticulous eye for choosing the perfect accessories to compliment her signature look. She opted for our gold long dog tag to accentuate her crew neck sweater and then honed in on a super-sleek, gold geometric ring stack that elicited the words "so chic" too many times to count...and she didn't stop there. She fell in love with our large oval signet ring and layered it with our gold linked princess diamond bezel ring, gold linked tiny bezel diamond ring, and our gold linked graduated bezel diamond ring to create an epic ring story that won't soon be forgotten!

After oogling all of the Heidi Merrick goodness she brought, we decided at least one wardrobe change was in order! She put on a cream outfit consisting of her Tux Top, Kaolin Trouser and Vulcan Coat that literally left us speechless. She somehow managed to up the chic quotient with the addition of a few more killer ring stories. The clean lines and monochromatic backdrop called for pieces that would do anything but blend in! For a few shots she chose our gold bezel diamond double finger ring then switched to our bezel diamond bar rings, pave and pear diamond wide band ring ring and gold medium curb chain ring as a stylish alternative. On the other hand, she went with our mixed 5 diamond band ring, probably the one ZC ring that packs the most punch.

I was especially excited to see how Heidi would style my jewelry seeing that she doesn’t typically wear much in her daily life. She mentioned that she rarely wears earrings because she has a sensitivity to certain metals so I steered her towards some ear adornment that doesn't require piercings, like our gold spiked ear cuff and our gold double ear cuff. A little surprised herself, she chose two pairs of hoops, the gold dangling diamond pave huggie hoops and gold diamond stud hoops to create a look that she admitted may ‘turn her into an earrings girl’ after all! Her love/hate relationship with earrings aside, I have to admit I had a little #girlcrush on Heidi before our meet-up. But after our super fun session, I think it's kismet to have found another like-minded soul with a similar story and brand ethos. Her laid-back attitude, comfort in her own skin, sharp wit, gorgeous clothes (that jacket!!!) and not to mention her top-notch modeling skills had me and the entire office buzzing for days!

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