We recently spent a day with our gorgeous friend and founder of design55 store, Vicki Vuleta. With a wardrobe as covetable as her art collection, she is a woman of endless inspiration for us here at L&O.
As Mara Sommer
snapped photos, we talked personal style, how design55 came to be, her top packing tips and advice on integrating modern with vintage - our favourite duo.
Vicki at design 55, wearing her own Olympia by Love & Object Bettina Bracelet in Silver, Dior Jacket, Jitrois Leather Pants, Alaia Boots. Yves Klein Monogold Table, vintage sideboard and armchairs, Fornasetti Side Table.
What is design55 and how did it come to fruition?
was born from an idea my partner Gary Langsford and I had after developing the building we live in (the showroom is on the ground floor and we live upstairs). I was in my mid 40s and my previous career as a TV producer wasn’t something I wanted to keep doing with a young daughter. I had studied interior design and had always wanted to put into practice my love of colour and design. I went on my first buying trip in 2008 and design55 just evolved, I chose pieces that weren’t readily available in New Zealand and every piece either had a story or was a design icon. The mantra is that I only purchase pieces I would have in my own home.
A selection of Vicki’s personal Foransetti collection (available at Design 55), 1940s glass vase and Love & Object Vintage Graziano Crocodile Cuff (now sold, try our vintage Lanvin Nile Cuff for a similar vibe).
How would you describe your own interiors style?
Eclectic! I love colour and texture, art is also very important in my life. We live with a mix of vintage pieces including glass from the 40s and original Fornasetti items from the 50s.
And how about personal style - does your love of design and vintage for the home flow through to your wardrobe?
Absolutely. I tend to purchase investment pieces these days, and still love finding an interesting piece of clothing on our travels. I recently purchased a vintage Chanel jacket in Monaco which I will have forever.
Vicki and her gorgeous rescue dog, Zippy, in the lift connecting the store and home, adorned with Fornasetti wallpaper (available to order from design55).
What are your top five wardrobe staples?
I’ve always had a thing for tailored jackets, so it would have to be my Dior jacket I purchased a few years ago, plus a beautiful jacket from Dadelszen
, which goes everywhere with me. Leather trousers by Jitrois, a beautiful pair of heels by Celine and my vintage Chanel bag.
What L&O pieces do you own and how do you wear them?
A corner of Vicki's home, shared with partner, Gary Langsford of Gow Langsford Gallery, featuring the infamous Alligator Chair by Campana Brothers. Vicki wears Dadelszen Blazer, her own Olympia by Love and Object Adona Earrings and Bettina Bracelet.
What do you love the most about what you do?
Travel and people. We have recently returned from the Milan Furniture Fair where it is always inspiring to be surrounded by design and art. Due to our line of work I get to travel to wonderful cities and meet really interesting like-minded people. We are lucky that we get invited to VIP parties and events at places like Design Miami and Art Basel.
A selection of the stunning art gracing VIcki & Gary's home.
When packing for a work trip, what must-have wardrobe, jewellery and beauty items do you reach for?
Always cashmere, silk and leather (my current favourites are all by Dadelszen
) - these pieces work in any city and travel well. I tend to not travel with a lot of jewellery, but my diamond ring Gary gave me doesn’t leave my finger. Sunblock, a really good eye cream and hair care by Aveda. I tend to go for natural beauty products like Trilogy, their everything balm is great.
Tell us what an ideal day off looks like:
We'll walk our rescue dog Zippy; on the weekends we spend a lot of time on Takapuna beach with him.
Watch movies - another perk of travelling is that you get to see a lot of movies on planes - and reading, I enjoy everything from a good biography to Architectural Digest.
Catching up on Architectural Digest, wearing Love & Object vintage crocodile cuff (now sold, similar here).
We share a mutual love of rare vintage and objects d'art - what are your top tips for integrating old with new in the interior design space?
I love mixing vintage items with contemporary pieces. I think the secret is buying quality, and not having any hard rules about what you can and can’t put together. Buy classic items you will have forever (our current sofa is about to be re-upholstered for the third time and is over 20 years old). Anchor it with a beautiful rug and light and just have fun.
Whether you are in the market for a special piece for the home, looking for a uniquely exquisite gift or simply want a dose of visual inspiration, head to design55, 55 Upper Queen Street - and be sure to follow their Instagram page
to be the first to know about new arrivals.