Style De Vie is an incredible vintage furniture showroom that also offers custom design services. Owner JC Hryb opened his doors to Beverly Boulevard just this past summer. Inspired by industrial and vintage modern, his aesthetic is greatly influenced by postwar movements — Streamline Modern, Mid-Century Modern, and the Brutalist —with a clean modern line. He prefers "a simplified yet stylistic design…combined with natural, more raw-like materials such as natural woods and steel."
JC believes that great design starts with a blend of modern lines and natural materials, and both pushes the envelope yet always respects and takes into consideration the architectural period of the building one is working with. The goal is to avoid a disconnect between the updated modernized piece with its surroundings. As Style De Vie opens its doors to a new area of town, his goal is to offer community and customers exactly what they need —functionally and aesthetically — and finding the perfect balance of both.
Name/Title: Jean-Christophe Hryb, Owner of Style De Vie
Located at: 7926 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90048
Launch date: June 1, 2013
Inspiration for opening: The need to translate our design aesthetics into a physical space which in return inspires clients to themselves be daring in design.
Merchandise source: Vintage, upcycled pieces combining vintage and new fabrication, along with my own product and furniture designs and manufacturing.
Best selling item: Live-edge customizable dining or conference table
Favorite store (other than your own): It's so hard to pick, yet one of my favorites is 10 Corso Como Milan Italy, namely because I view it as one of the first truly lifestyle stores as we know the concept today.
How did you come to own Style de Vie?
It's a long story that began with my dad, who was an amateur photographer, shooting landscape and us kids. That is where I first got my introduction to composition and the arts. In France you have to choose your own “path” or “specialty” somewhere in your early teens, and decide if you want to go towards a scientific, language and arts career, or business. Too young to make an educated decision, I listened to dad who suggested business, as “there will always be the need for salespeople." It made sense at the time. So, a handful of years later I am in San Francisco, finishing business school, when I stumbled upon an art dealer job. This lead to a gallery director position, where my artistic side got reactivated. At the same time, I started to shoot fashion shows and urban/street photography.
A short jump forward, in Southern California, I bought my first trove of vintage graphics in France. I was representing my newly-developed line up and down the West Coast when the Fred Segal buyer suggested I get a rep and launch the line nationally…which I did and, after a couple of years of trial and error, entered the wholesale world without any experience.
Jump another couple of years ahead and I am stripping a vintage steel tanker desk (which took me a week and lots of chemical burns) that I “found” at a flea market, attracted to the streamline features and durability of the piece. It sat stripped for awhile, while all my friends kept telling me it was the coolest thing since sliced bread. So, I looked more into tanker desks, and there seemed to be a decent supply of this type vintage office furniture. I soon put together a small collection that I added to my Style de Vie graphics line on the trade show circuit. I called it Twenty Gauge after the thickness of the steel used to produce the pieces. The furniture was an instant hit and we were soon selling to every Mom and Pop (cool) store in the US — Restoration Hardware, Sundance Catalog, FAO Schwartz, Fred Segal, and ABC Carpet and Home. Our PR company did a great job and Twenty Gauge was in every home magazine across the nation and overseas —especially Japan. Next thing you know, we were being knocked off by Ikea and Pottery Barn (who created an entire division modeled after the basket locker sample we sent them). That is when one knows he made it in the industry!
The rest is history as we know it. China emerged more and more, the economy crumbled, the industry turned upside down and I decided not to compete with the giants in the industry on a wholesale level, and instead focus on our own backyard — Los Angeles and its 10 million people. I decided to re-invent the company into a design and fabrication house. After an eight year stint at retail with HD Buttercup I decided to open our own showroom to better translate our aesthetics and multi-faceted capabilities.
Any future plans for the business?
1. Keep developing relationships and ever increase our reputation and brand recognition in the numerous trade industries we design for, as well as the residential market.
2. Back to wholesale manufacturing and distributing on a national level of our re-designed niche market.
3. Actively offer consulting, product design and development for other up and coming manufacturers in the gift and home furnishings industry.
4. The creation of an additional Los Angeles-based customer, but moreover designer, haven, of a few tens of thousands of square feet (shhh....).
Many thanks to Yudi Echeverria for connecting me with Jean-Christophe for this feature!
(Image credits: Bethany Nauert)