Boutique Design - September 2015 - 42

THE PAIR BEHIND
THE FIRM'S NAME
Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) can trace its
origins to September 1965, when Howard Hirsch
opened a design firm bearing his name in
Beverly Hills, Calif. Its first project was the 88-key
Beverly Rodeo Hotel. Like all the firm's subsequent work, that project reflected Hirsch's belief
that hotels are "theater." As he told the Chicago
Tribune in 1995, "the interior of a hotel is a stage
set... Hotel guests are actors and the audience
at the same time."

HOWARD HIRSCH

2

BEFORE DELVING INTO WHERE YOU PLAN TO TAKE HBA AS IT
OPENS ITS SECOND HALF-CENTURY, LET'S BACK UP A BIT: HOW
DID YOU FIRST CATCH ON THERE?

In 1990, I walked into the London office of HBA, seeking some sort of
employment. An accountant by training, I wound up starting as the
office clerk. In the beginning I sat on a box of fabrics in the back of
the office and my daily tasks included accounting data entry, receptionist backup and making coffee.
SO, HOW YOU DID YOU WORK YOUR WAY UP THROUGH THE RANKS?

I was transferred to HBA in the U.S. for an accountant position when the
economy was really bad during the first Gulf War. My choice was: move
or get laid off. Over the years, I guess Michael Bedner and others
believed in my tenaciousness and willingness to work hard. Later I
became the corporate controller, then cfo and chief operating officer,
and then co-ceo. I pretty much grow up inside HBA; during my time
there, the firm has grown from 120 employees to more than 1,600.
42

boutiquedesign.com SEPTEMBER 2015

2 Serving as the centerpiece of the HBAdesigned lobby at the
Raffles Istanbul hotel
is an image of the city's
historic Dolmabahce
Palace by French
hyper-realist photographer Jean-Francois
Rauzier. That piece
sits amidst the jewel
tones and mosaic tiles
that designers utilized
to reflect a "Dream of
Istanbul" theme.

MICHAEL BEDNER

Just as importantly, Hirsch altered the way the
hospitality design business operated. As the
company's official history recounts it: "In 1965,
many hotels were designed by supply companies
that were selling their furniture and equipment
while offering layouts as a free service. In
response, Hirsch had an idea. He believed that he
could create designs unique to each project
without depending on only one supplier's product.
He thought that by combining the best elements
available from a number of sources, the end result
would have a quality and individuality otherwise
difficult to achieve. He wrote comprehensive specifications for procurement and finishes, suggesting
his clients get the bids for all the furnishings."
Helping Hirsch use that new model to grow
the business was Michael Bedner, who became
Hirsch's first employee in 1967. Though he subsequently left the firm to work elsewhere for a few
years, Bedner rejoined Hirsch's company in 1973
as its vice president. Bedner, in turn, played a
major role in the firm's international expansion,
including its work on one of the first world-class
hotels in China, the White Swan in Guangzhou. In
addition, he helped broaden the firm's scope by
acquiring commissions in such sectors as resorts,
spas, cruise ships, restaurants and casinos.
Hirsch died in 1997; Bedner is HBA's chairman
emeritus.


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Boutique Design - September 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Boutique Design - September 2015

Boutique Design - September 2015
Contents
From the Editor
In This Issue
The Buzz
Southern Accents
Wicked Cool
Greek Revival
Q+A: Adventurous Outlook
Awash in Glamour
Products: Lighting
Products: Fabrics
Last Detail
Boutique Design - September 2015 - Intro
Boutique Design - September 2015 - Boutique Design - September 2015
Boutique Design - September 2015 - Cover2
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 1
Boutique Design - September 2015 - Contents
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 3
Boutique Design - September 2015 - From the Editor
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 5
Boutique Design - September 2015 - In This Issue
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 7
Boutique Design - September 2015 - The Buzz
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 9
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 10
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 11
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 12
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 13
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 14
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 15
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 16
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 17
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 18
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 19
Boutique Design - September 2015 - Southern Accents
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 21
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 22
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 23
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 24
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 25
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 26
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 27
Boutique Design - September 2015 - Wicked Cool
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 29
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 30
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 31
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 32
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 33
Boutique Design - September 2015 - Greek Revival
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 35
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 36
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 37
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 38
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 39
Boutique Design - September 2015 - Q+A: Adventurous Outlook
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 41
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 42
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 43
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 44
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 45
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 46
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 47
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 48
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 49
Boutique Design - September 2015 - Awash in Glamour
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 51
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 52
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 53
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 54
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 55
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 56
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 57
Boutique Design - September 2015 - Products: Lighting
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 59
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 60
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 61
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 62
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 63
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 64
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 65
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 66
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 67
Boutique Design - September 2015 - Products: Fabrics
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 69
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 70
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 71
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 72
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 73
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 74
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 75
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 76
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 77
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 78
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 79
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 80
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 81
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 82
Boutique Design - September 2015 - 83
Boutique Design - September 2015 - Last Detail
Boutique Design - September 2015 - Cover3
Boutique Design - September 2015 - Cover4
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