For creative power couple Laure Hériard Dubreuil of The Webster and her fine-artist husband Aaron Young, an old-school ranch on Point Dume is the ultimate blank canvas for a family escape
Words by KELSEY McKINNON
Photography by THE INGALLS
Walking into the Malibu home of Laure Hériard Dubreuil and artist Aaron Young, one is immediately struck by a mesmerizing black circular piece by Young that hangs over a leather Zanotta sofa. The word “California” spirals upward out of a dark abyss, blurred as if it’s shaking in an earthquake. For Hériard Dubreuil, the piece was particularly moving. She smiles and says in her thick French accent, “He hypnotized me to move to California with it.”
From left: In the living room, two pieces by Young — Tonya and Nancy, 2012, and Untitled, 2010 — look upon a chaise longue by OSCAR NIEMEYER. Hériard Dubreuil reclines on the HANS WEGNER daybed in an LHD jumpsuit, BALENCIAGA belt and BOTTEGA VENETA slides.
The couple’s path to California was a bit circuitous. Their meet-cute can be traced back to Art Basel Miami Beach 2008. Young, an internationally acclaimed artist from San Francisco whose pieces are in the permanent collections of LACMA and New York’s Museum of Modern Art, among others, was there with his gallerist Larry Gagosian; Hériard Dubreuil was preparing to launch her fashion retail empire, The Webster, in Miami that same year. (The Webster now has eight boutiques, including three in California, plus a forthcoming Toronto location.) The couple moved to a formal 19th-century row house in New York’s East Village that once belonged to Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy and bounced back and forth to Europe (Hériard Dubreuil hails from France’s famed Rémy Martin cognac family and grew up in Paris and Cognac). But when Hériard Dubreuil became pregnant with their son, Marcel (who’s now 7), Young, who is also an avid surfer, was filled with nostalgia for the West Coast.
Laure Hériard Dubreuil and Aaron Young’s blue bungalow nestled within the tropical landscape.
“I was thinking about my own childhood growing up in California and I started to drop hints,” he says. “I worked on her for five years.” As part of his campaign, the couple rented a vacation house on Malibu’s Point Dume, an intoxicatingly serene bluff-top community settled in the 1940s with sprawling ranch-style properties that come with towering eucalyptus trees, wild peacocks and parrots, celebrity neighbors (Chris Martin, Julia Roberts, Barbra Streisand) and keys to one of California’s most sought-after — and heavily guarded — surf breaks. Young finally got his wish in 2019, after the couple found out they were having a second child (their daughter, Marguerite, is now 2) and The Webster opened in Orange County and Beverly Hills and signed on to do a collaboration with Rick Caruso’s Rosewood Miramar Beach hotel in Montecito.
“When I first came to Aaron’s artist loft he had this Hans Wegner daybed that was so chic against the paint splattered on the floor. We’ve had this in all our houses”
Laure Hériard Dubreuil
Young’s Focus on the four dots in the middle of the painting for thirty seconds, close your eyes, tilt your head back, wait, 2006. Another piece by the artist: Platonic Heaven, 2005.
The pair doubled down with a house in town — a one-story midcentury “light box” in Beverly Hills that’s closer to work and school — and a weekend pad on their beloved promontory. The charming 1950s ranch is painted a vibrant robin’s-egg blue that echoes the color of the Pacific and feels at one with the neighborhood’s simple homesteads. But inside, an irreverent and sophisticated mélange of blue-chip art and modern design reflects the home’s worldly and highly cultured inhabitants.
In the master bedroom, a marble lamp sits atop a vintage nightstand.
“It’s a mix and match,” says Hériard Dubreuil, who exhibits the same effortlessly cool French-girl approach to fashion. “When I first came to Aaron’s artist loft in SoHo he had this Hans Wegner daybed with an original turquoise cushion that was so chic against the paint splattered on the floor. We’ve had this in all our houses and now it’s in Malibu in the sunroom,” she says. Vintage Milo Baughman chrome swivel chairs were plucked from the row house, as were crimson rugs and an iconic Oscar Niemeyer chaise longue. The metal dining chairs that were originally designed for the Centre Pompidou library came from Hériard Dubreuil’s first apartment in Paris, where she worked for Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. “I think the black Zanotta sofa was the first piece of furniture I ever bought,” she says. The result is a space that is instantly familiar, and proof that good taste has the ability to transcend time and place.
From left: Young, in an OLATZ shirt and MARNI pants, sits on a MILANO sofa by ZANOTTA underneath his 2020 work CALIFORNIA. A board from CATCH SURF designed by artist EVAN ROSSELL peeks out from the board room.
Hériard Dubreuil incorporated accessories from The Webster Home collection, including trippy sculptural mushroom vases from DValner Studio, and splurged on the prized Roger Capron side table in the sunroom. “That’s one piece that I always dreamt about. The yellow and blue tiles are very South of France, it’s very happy and sunny and I always fantasized about it. I’ve never had the right place for it until now,” says Hériard Dubrueil.
The airy dining room features BEAUBOURG wire chairs by MICHEL CADESTIN and GEORGES LAURENT for CENTRE POMPIDOI.
“There’s a wonderful connection to nature with all the flowers, olive trees and lemon trees in the garden and bunnies hopping around.”
Laure Hériard Dubreuil
The home’s natural light and bright white walls also provide a gallery-like setting for powerful pieces from Young’s collection. Many are works of his own he rediscovered when he was packing up his New York studio; others are from friends including Leo Fitzpatrick and Dash Snow. Young is currently working on a show that he will present at the UTA Artist Space gallery in Beverly Hills in January. “I’ve been in New York for the last 20 years, so I’m going to show some stuff from living here in L.A. and having L.A. as my muse,” he says.
The deck overlooking the majestic Santa Monica Mountains is an extension of the house.
Long, carefree days on the point are filled with beach walks and bonfires, surfing and sandcastles and trips to the local French bakery for lavender macarons with the kids. “There’s a wonderful community and a connection to nature with all the flowers, olive trees and lemon trees in the garden and bunnies hopping around,” says Hériard Dubreuil. For Young, it’s a full-circle experience: “It gives me the feeling of what I had with my own family. This was the main goal, to give a California foundation for Marcel and Marguerite that is etched in stone for their trajectory into the world.”
Featured image: Hériard Dubreuil in a Dior sweater, LHD pants and Hermès clogs; Young in a Bode shirt, Acne Studios jeans and Vans slip-ons.
This story originally appeared in the Fashionable Living 2021 issue of C Magazine.
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