Rodeo Drive, now world-renowned, began as little more than a bridle path. Pioneering designers, hoteliers and entrepreneurs transformed it into a rival to New York’s Fifth Avenue — with sun, palm trees and Hollywood sizzle. How did it happen? Is it a street or a state of mind? How does it adapt to change? Rodeo Drive – The Podcast brings you the stories of the people who imagined the inimitable, three-block stretch in Beverly Hills, bringing showmanship and glamour to retail excellence. Tune in to hear host Bronwyn Cosgrave in conversation with fashion and design luminaries, retailers, and chroniclers including Rose Apodaca, Nicolas Bijan, Nicola Cagliata, Michael Chow, Kathy Gohari, Robert Hayman, Stephen Jones OBE, Dame Zandra Rhodes, Cameron Silver and many more, about the intoxicating combination of fashion, art and entertainment that put Rodeo Drive on the map – and what they envision for the future of the famous luxury thoroughfare.
The first series of eight episodes will be released twice monthly beginning May 29, 2020.
Listen to Rodeo Drive – The Podcast here or subscribe, rate and review wherever you get your podcasts!
Window shopping is an art form for everyone to enjoy, even in an era of phone gazing and online retail. In episode 5 of Rodeo Drive-The Podcast three legendary window designers talk about their work: Simon Doonan, former Creative Director for Barneys, and LVMH’s Faye McLeod and Ansel Thompson. Hear them talk about the three-second rule, and what it takes to create boutique windows that astonish passersby– from rats in tuxedos to collaborations with world-renowned visionaries Virgil Abloh, Frank Gehry, and Yayoi Kusama. McLeod and Thompson also talk about designing during the pandemic — with children painting rainbows — and how global awareness, sustainability and ideas of street theater are finding expression in storefront windows that capture today’s culture. “How do you appear to be sensitive to all the things that are going on…while also wanting to distract people and make them feel that life is hedonistic and fun?” asks Simon Doonan. Find out, in this episode of Rodeo Drive-The Podcast.
In the early 1970s a young clothing designer named Bijan Pakzad packed his bags and left Iran, dreaming of conquering America. Four decades later the building that housed the original Bijan boutique on Rodeo Drive was purchased by LVMH for $122 million, and Bijan had become the “world’s most expensive designer”, sought after by presidents and basketball stars.
Bijan’s son Nicolas, CEO and co-owner of the House of Bijan, takes listeners on a tour of the storied, by-appointment only boutique, and explains how he is redefining the Bijan brand for tomorrow’s customers. He also revisits his late father’s past, explaining the secrets to Bijan’s success, his love of yellow, and what he meant to generations of Persian Americans who decamped to Los Angeles during the Iranian Revolution.
“He just did the most unbelievable, controversial things that people wanted to know ‘What’s the story here?’,” says Nicolas Bijan.
Weighing in on Bijan’s “story” is Pari Ehsan – the Instagram fashion influencer who runs the online platform Pari Dust; and Porochista Khakpour, author of Brown Album: Essays on Exile and Identity.
When Giorgio Armani opened his flagship mega boutique on Rodeo Drive in 1988 people were stunned at the 13,000 square feet interior with a sweeping staircase, white gold leaf and glorious light.
It was created by Michael Chow, legendary restaurateur and artist. It inspired Armani’s famed uplit runway, became a Hollywood hot spot, and set the trend for retailers to team up with famous architects: think Prada and Rem Koolhaas; Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Peter Marino; Valentino Menswear, Bally and David Chipperfield.
Chow’s design for Giorgio Armani Beverly Hills has remained intact. “It’s very simple to be timeless,” says Chow. “You just have to be true to yourself.”
But is the age of the vast boutique over? Hear Bronwyn Cosgrave in conversation with Michael Chow, Interior Design magazine editor Edie Cohen and writer and former editor-in-chief of French Vogue Joan Juliet Buck.
COVID-19 and now the Black Lives Matter protests have shaken up the globe, and that includes Rodeo Drive. Bronwyn Cosgrave talks to Ruth E. Carter, the first African American to win the Academy Award for Best Costume Design, for Marvel’s “BLACK PANTHER”, and a preeminent voice in Afro aesthetics. In Trust Your Voice: Ruth E. Carter, Fashion and Protest, Cosgrave and Carter discuss her path to success–costuming more than 40 acclaimed feature films –and its impact on future generations, as well as protest and how the fashion and luxury industries can make the goals of Black Lives Matter a reality. “I think there was momentum building as far as luxury brands becoming so connected to urban fashion,” says Carter, “I feel like the pump was primed for fashion to be positioned in a place to take action now.”
It Smelled Like Money – The Story of Giorgio Beverly Hills explores how Giorgio Beverly Hills made Rodeo Drive a fashion destination, and gave the world an unforgettable perfume. An all-star cast – Robert Hayman, the son of Giorgio founder Fred Hayman, known as “The Godfather of Rodeo Drive”; Dame Zandra Rhodes; author Rose Apodaca; and Decades owner Cameron Silver – tells the story of the “quirky” boutique’s creation, its star-studded heyday and how Giorgio innovated much that is central to high fashion and retailing today. Stephen Jones OBE and perfumers Roja Dove and David Horner explain how the Giorgio Beverly Hills perfume became a blockbuster. And host Bronwyn Cosgrave asks, what comes next for the luxury thoroughfare?
Visit Rodeo Drive Recommends to read a new Illustrated online conversation between Robert Hayman and Rose Apodaca about what it was like to be in the swirl when fashion, fame and everything in between started happening on Rodeo Drive, thanks to its leading showman.
How did Rodeo Drive capture the zeitgeist and become a world-renowned, high fashion thoroughfare – and what’s next? From around the world listen to Rose Apodaca, Nicolas Bijan, Nicola Cagliata, Michael Chow, Kathy Gohari, Robert Hayman, Stephen Jones OBE, Dame Zandra Rhodes, Cameron Silver, and many more, in conversation with host Bronwyn Cosgrave about the intoxicating combination of fashion, art and Hollywood that put Rodeo Drive on the map – and what they envision for its future.
Host, Bronwyn Cosgrave.
Editors, Frances Anderton and Avishay Artsy.
Theme music by Brian Banks.
Production Coordinators, Livia Mandoul, Mirabelle Alan and Guthrie McCarty-Vachon.
Executive Producer, Lyn Winter.
Rodeo Drive – The Podcast is presented by the Rodeo Drive Committee with the support of the City of Beverly Hills.