One-half of the design duo behind The Great dishes on her latest brand and must-do preggo styling trick
by Colleen Crivello
SHARE THE LOVE (& THE STYLE)
For some time now Meritt’s name has been synonymous with great style and denim. Basically, if at any point in the last 8 years you wore a “boyfriend jean” and not your actual boyfriend/baby-daddy/hubby’s jeans but rather a pair you bought, then you’ve found yourself transported by Meritt and her bestie/business partner’s ability to heralded trends and spearhead denim crazes.
A stellar combo of style and business acumen, Meritt grew up in Northern California before moving to LA for college. While at UCLA she met Emily Current – her self-described life long business partner and bestie – whom she instantly connected with over their shared love for vintage denim (obvi!). Since then the two have spent their entire careers styling and designing together, from their most recent trend-setting venture (and brand we love!) The Great to their ongoing baby/kids/teen collaboration with the PotteryBarn and of course their former explosive denim brand Current/Elliott.
Mother to two charming girls with one on the way, we dropped by Meritt’s idyllic LA home (filled to the brim with little treasures) to chat with her about pregnancy style, why The Great should be your go-to brand and the ahhhh-inducing way that her new husband proposed to her.
And stay tuned! As you can imagine, where there’s an Elliott, there’s a Current coming soon… @emilyandmeritt @thisisthegreat_
On working with you best friend/business partner for nearly 18 years: I couldn’t do anything without her. She’s whom I admire most in so many ways. We respect each other, vent to each other and let each other create and grow in the most amazing of ways.
On being neighbors with Emily:We literally live on the same block, virtually next door. It just sort of happened, and it’s so convenient! We carpool a lot and our three year olds have playdates everyday.
On your career start as a stylist:We started towork with upcoming photographers, musicians, actors and editors for free when we were young. From there we discovered our style and work ethic and were able to build a book to show clients.
Sexy is…Being tan. Being in an old tee shirt and jeans. Being near my husband.
On meeting the hubs and how he propose:I met my first husband, Kevin, who passed away in 2009, when we were students at UCLA. He asked me to marry him at an airport in Connecticut.
My current husband, John and I met at a restaurant in West Hollywood. He and my daughter proposed to me together at home one night. It was the sweetest thing ever.
App that most changed your life:Wunderlist. I am a pathological list maker.
You’re most inspired by:I admire my own mother. She’s the most present and supportive mother (of 5!) and an independent, fierce woman in her own right. She’s endlessly charitable and nurturing to everyone she meets and in everything she does. She’s taught me that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.
On the kind of role model you want to be to your kids:I want them to see me as someone who works hard but laughs a lot. I want them to see me be as a good and gracious person, especially when no one is looking.
A simple styling trick for pregnant moms or mamas-to-be:Pair a voluminous dress with a smaller jackets – this combo with give you a more structured feel where it counts, while celebrating your growing bump.
Wearing throughout your pregnancy:Dresses with army jackets, rolled and boyish jeans with oversized sweatshirts and tees.
Best celeb pregnancy style: Honestly, I love everyones’ style. I know what its like for your body to change daily. Its a miracle we all manage to look pulled together at all!
On launching The Great after exiting Current/Elliott:The Great is the head to toe articulation of the women we most admire. She is playful, classic and effortless. She loves things that are boyish and American with a touch of girliness- she loves things that are nostalgic and thoughtful in proportion as well as soft to the touch. The Great has been percolating in our minds for most of our lives. We’re so grateful it’s here, and even more grateful for the people who love it as much as we do.
The Great is the beginning of so many amazing things in history. It evokes possibility and the thrill of the unknown. It simply made sense as the name of the brand.
On inspiring and leading your team:I truly value the opinion of everyone that works for me.
The next big step for The Great: At this moment we’re simply trying to keep up with the demand. We are, however looking to make this a full lifestyle brand with other categories and perhaps a retail experience.
Love about your work: I love that no two days are alike. I love meeting inspired and smart people.
The first hour in the office each day is… spent sipping a latte, answering emails and making never-ending to-do lists.
Advice for other women looking to launch a brand/company:Emily and I own the company outright and have our hands in every part of the brand. Our advice would be to surround yourself with supportive, wise and honest people with similar values as you. Be laser focused in your vision and messaging but fearless and open minded in your journey.
Biggest lesson you’ve learned so far in your career: Be a good person that people can count on. It’s ok to be inspired by unlikely things. Don’t follow rules, but always follow-up. Try things anyway. Be insanely over communicative and articulate in your vision and your intentions. Laugh during the process.
Most eccentric piece in your closet:A shrunken jean jacket with holes and doodles on the sleeves. I love it.
Your kids’ style is…Super girly – dressy with high tops. Both my girls love to dress up – but both love to climb and run.
The secret to finding the perfect jean:The right pair of jeans should simply make you feel good. We love jeans in unlikely proportions and with washes that have character and wear. A good pair should either steal the show or compliment another part of your outfit that is the star. They should always, always, feel comfortable.
Every woman should own:The perfect white tee, a worn jean jacket and flat leather boot that looks better with age
Beauty tips that instantly refresh your look:Moisturizing masks, dry shampoo, and tons and tons of water.
Recent wellness discovery for pregnant women:Thanks to Emily… coconut oil everywhere from your hair to your belly!
Your morning and night skincare regime:I use a glycolic cleanser, a toner and a super thick moisturizer.
Your fitness routine while pregnant:None! Im simply too busy. Somehow though between being an active mom and a busy-body by nature, I manage to keep the heart pumping.