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Michele Sommerlath hits a '70s and '80s groove

August 10, 2010 |  6:00 am
Pierre-Cardin-table

Michele Sommerlath, owner of furniture store French 50s60s, is delving into a new era: the '70s and '80s.

The French-born retailer has just opened another store, called Michele Sommerlath. Located in Culver City, the new outpost conjures up images of the Studio 54 and big-hair decades. I couldn’t help but imagine someone like Halston lounging next to the fabulously curved Pierre Cardin-designed white lacquer coffee table ($5,800), above.

“A lot of people think of the '80s as a time of bad taste, but there are really quality things that come from the time. More and more, I’m finding interesting pieces from the '70s and '80s,” says Sommerlath, who carries some of the era’s big names: Karl Springer, Milo Baughman and Charles Hollis Jones, the Los Angeles designer known for his work in acrylic.

But Sommerlath isn’t leaving midcentury behind. Two months ago, she opened a larger French 50s60s on Abbot Kinney in the former Equator Books space, where she focuses on lower priced vintage furniture, lighting and accessories. “The space is for great high-quality pieces that don’t have a designer name attached to them,” says Sommerlath, who adds that consoles in the Abbot Kinney store run about $800 to $1,200, compared with $2,500 to $6,000 paid elsewhere by “people who want the designer name.”

For those of you keeping a scorecard, Sommerlath's three midcentury stores are: French50s60s, 1103 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; Le Depot, 4321 W. Jefferson Ave., Culver City; and Galerie Sommerlath, 9608 Venice Blvd., Culver City. The new store for '70s and '80s design, called Michele Sommerlath, is next door to the Galerie, at 9620 Venice Blvd.; (310) 838-0102.

-- Alexandria Abramian Mott

Corrected: An earlier version of this post cited Giancarlo Piretti chairs from the 1980s. The chairs are actually from the 1960s, though they are indeed available on Sommerlath's site.

Photo credits: Michele Sommerlath

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