Complete with killer photos by Richard Avedon and Irving Penn.
“My customer already has the ‘greatest hits’ bags: the Chanel, the Hermès, the Goyard,” says Bri Schulz, founder of online store Bri Holloway. She takes a seat on a circular sofa in the living room of her West Hollywood home, appointed with its own hits—a pair of 1960s Jorge Zalszupin chairs and Vik Muniz’s “Pictures of Pigment” C-print masterpiece, Jacqueline, After Picasso—and adds, “She is looking for something to distinguish herself: something else.”
Schulz was working in marketing for Barneys New York when she was seduced by the entrepreneurial bug, perceiving a hole in the market for lesser-known luxury wares—the sort of things you can’t place by religiously streaming the collections. After signing on finds like Tonya Hawkes (a minaudière line designed in Bologna, Italy, by an ex-Donna Karan VP) and Edit (a Hong Kong brand specializing in architectural apparel), she launched in September 2015, seven months after relocating from New York to Los Angeles with her longtime significant other, advertising luminary Bruce Nelson.
Prior to moving, the pair snapped up a renovated 1948 residence by noted mid-century modern architect Bernard Zimmerman, sight unseen. A marvel with graceful open planning and double-height glass sliding doors, the property neighbors the former digs of Frank Zappa and Julius Shulman.
As a starting point, Schulz and Nelson brought with them a photography collection encompassing images by Irving Penn, Richard Avedon and even NASA, and a cache of important pieces spanning Hans Wegner Papa Bear chairs to Knoll sideboards. Then, according to erudite aficionado Nelson, the task was “to bring about a freshness to the era, so the place would feel both special and contemporary—without feeling like a time capsule.”
They recruited interior designer Cheryl Rowley out of retirement for the mission, and honed in on a pair of Lina Bo Bardi chairs as a thematic springboard, sourcing vintage and custom pieces with a complementary sensibility: a brass coffee table from Blackman Cruz topped with a leather-finished granite slab sourced from Pacifica Stone; a bespoke midcentury-inspired sideboard by Thomas Hayes; and elegant oak étagères designed by Rowley.
It isn’t surprising Schulz works from home; after all, its deft, thoughtful curation mirrors her own modus operandi. To that end, she recently added a crop of new offerings to the mix, including L.A. brand The Ruse, which creates one-of-a-kind skater shoes using vintage scarves of the Pucci variety, and A.W.A.K.E., a Japanese-inspired British line that turns out romantic, ruche-happy separates.
She’s also plotting a pop-up in Brentwood for April. For Schulz, who grew up in a small rural town in Nebraska dreaming of infiltrating the fashion world, the tangible quality of that project is thrilling, if tinged with a sense of eventuality. “I was the crazy girl with Vogue magazines plastered all over her walls,” she says. “It was always clear to me.” briholloway.com.
Written by MELISSA GOLDSTEIN.
Photography by DOMINIQUE VORILLON.