A Love Affair With Merge
Every now and again you come across something pretty special, for me this happened six years ago. Searching all over perth I needed the perfect date to the year 11 dance. I'd looked all over Perth even browsing the internet for the one. Unfortunately for my date, it wasn't him but an incredible dress. And this is where a little store in Subiaco named Merge enters the story. The 16-year-old me fell head over heels for a cream and gold body-con dress by Joanie Wong, and that started a love affair with Merge. Located at 388 Hay St in Subiaco, this boutique is a must featuring lots of goodies from Perth and Australian designers. I guarantee you will fall in-love there too.
We dropped past the store to chat with Julia Silk. Julia is one of the talented founders at Merge, and is also the creative force behind perth based label, Julia Silk.
Many people may not know, but Merge actually started out as a store for local designers, how did Merge come to be?
The Colonnade picked 11 of us from our fashion college graduate show and gave us a 6 month lease to sell our collections and learn about running a retail store and business. We did pretty well, even from all the mistakes we made, so when they offered us a 5 year lease we took it. The rest is history we have somehow created with a lot of hard work.
What does the name 'Merge' represent?
Definitely a team. With the 3 of us left, it’s been much easier and we all have the same direction for the store.
The store has grown into a go-to spot for local women to treat themselves to an amazing outfit what is it that separates Merge?
It’s weird answering this question, I don’t know. We just do what we do. We love keeping things exclusive and hunting new exciting labels. Plus supporting WA and Australian labels is at our heart, many of our customers have shopped with us for years due to this.
Is there a particular style or trend that you think represents Perth and our lifestyle?
The dress – Perth has always been and will always be about the dress!
Given our sweltering heat this time of the year have you got any hot tips for looking swanky rather than sweaty?
Bathers and comfy loose clothing.
Is there a particular trend at the moment that you could give advice on? For example every time I try to work the double denim I look like a Canadian hillbilly- any tips from an expert in the fashion world?
Haha this will sound boring – but keeping it simple and not following the trends is more fun to us! Interesting and cool style is achieved by the confidence of people knowing who they are. We just love helping people style outfits and choose pieces right for them. My motto is keep it simple, but that’s just me.
What would be your top three pieces or collections featured in Merge at the moment, or designers to watch out for?
2014 is shaping up to be a good year, whats in the works for Merge?
Exciting plans ahead – stay tuned. Oh ok I can giveaway one – MENSWEAR. We have been hammered to start stocking it so we are obeying to the boys just this once!
When you are out and about in Perth where would you recommend going or a favourite spot of yours?
I need a massive list for this – Perth is getting so good for everything food and bars. We are definitely catching up to over east..
Some of my fav restaurants are
CATINA – Mt Lawley – Always a winner
THE OLD CROW – Northbridge- Amazing
El COMPA – Northbridge – The real deal for Mexican
BARQUE – Freo – It’s ridiculous how good this place is
HABITATUE – Amazing
BARS – The Garden, The Classroom, The Greenhouse, Varnish Bar, The Mechanics Institute. Anywhere that serves decent wine!
Have you got your eye on any new exhibitions or events that are coming up in Perth at the moment?
The Boyfriend Shirt would like to thank Julia for taking time out to chat to us, all the best for the baby!!