The Insider: Olivier Valette
Paris-born Olivier Valette has traversed the globe, working in home and design and even in high fashion. After seven years in Washington, D.C., as co-owner of a showroom featuring the stylish furniture of French manufacturer Ligne Roset, Valette moved to South Florida this past spring, taking the helm of the brand and its 5,400-square-foot showroom in the Miami Design District. He spoke with us recently about his many adventures and his latest venture.
Memorable places you’ve worked: I’ve covered a lot of territory–from Bangladesh to South America. Taiwan was interesting, but I loved the Middle East, especially Lebanon: It’s Mediterranean and has the French culture.
Why Miami now? D.C. is a very small town. Miami is a major market that’s growing. I’ve been coming here for 20 years. It has all the advantages of the U.S. with that little bit of Latin culture. Dinner at 5:30 p.m. in D.C. was kind of difficult for me!
Urban grit vs. urban luxury: I decided not to live in Miami Beach because I was here to work, so I moved to Wynwood. I love the neighborhood. It feels like Brooklyn many years ago, with warehouses and artists. It’s really cool. I drive my white Vespa scooter to work in the luxurious Design District.
Favorite local design destination: I have a soft spot for Coral Gables. I discovered the Biltmore Hotel a while ago. It’s really beautiful and it has the best brunch in the universe!
Designs you’d love to own: I’m lucky because I have Ligne Roset’s iconic Togo sofa by Michel Ducaroy. But there’s also the Ploum sofa by the Bouroullec brothers. It’s fantastic, comfortable and stylish. I’ve ordered one for my apartment in hydro blue to go with the sea somewhat outside my window.
PHOTO COURTESY LIGNE ROSET
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