Oly San Francisco
Fusing old world with fashion is Oly San Francisco, a new stand-alone store in Melbourne – and the second to open worldwide. Alice Blackwood drops by to look at the Oly range.
Set on the busy design hub of Church Street in Richmond, Melbourne, Oly brings something distinctive and different to the Australian furniture scene. It’s no sledge hammer though – everything you see is subtle, refined, elegant, yet playful.
There’s the essence of the seaside infused within each piece of the multi-faceted Oly collection. Here you find an interplay of themes and materials: birds (perched upon lampstands and centrepiece-style vessels), and shells (delicately clustered around mirror frames, and glossily tiled upon petite side tables); foot stools in soft animal pelts complement lushly velveted lounge chairs, mirrored tabletops offset leather upholstered seats.
Launched in 1999 by Californian artists Kate McIntyre and Brad Huntizinger, Oly is a boutique brand, classic yet contemporary in style, outstanding in its use of unconventional materials. “The Oly collection has a wonderful organic, casual yet historical aesthetic that I think Australians relate to,” says Coco Republic’s Director, Anthony Spon-Smith.
Coco Republic represents Oly in Australia, and is excited about the synergies between the two brands and their design hunter following. “[Oly] has a playfulness whilst being so well made and detailed that you just have to take it seriously. That’s unique and I think that’s something that cultured Australians recognise and value in their design,” Anthony says.
Key pieces in the Oly range are, as Anthony describes, “classics with a twist”. The Faline table collection encompasses a dining and side table set upon four horse legs.
“The Morgan chair, inspired by classic French design with contemporary mirrored finish [adds] a little sparkle to an ordinary living room,” adds Anthony. He also notes the chandelier collection – which true to word lights up the showroom space with designs wrought from shells, timber, resin and more.
“Oly’s collection is one of the best tools to allow a client to ‘choose their own style’ as so many pieces have options and distinct styling. People become instant design professionals when in the Oly showroom. [It] isn’t a brand for every street corner. It’s a discerning line…” As Anthony says, Oly’s place in Australia is quite unique – its new concept store in Melbourne is the second of its kind in the world. “Should that take off… then more Oly stores possibly will follow,” he says.
Definitely a brand worth spending some time with, you can find the Oly San Francisco store at 488 Church Street, Richmond, Melbourne.