At a time when many people are shuttering stores and heading to e-commerce sites to sell their collections, Los Angeles designer Heidi Merrick is making a splash with her very first retail outpost.

Merrick was surrounded by friends and press at the Oct. 27 preview of her 1,500-square-foot space, which opens on Nov. 3. It has the feel of a modern loft with big windows overlooking Ninth Street.