Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 115

loree rodkin
Founder
Loree Rodkin

From residential designer and celebrity manager
to jewelry crafter and Smithsonian inductee,
Chicago-born, Los Angeles-based Loree Rodkin
has had an unusual and wildly successful career,
to say the least-not to mention some of the most
well-known friends (Cher) and clients (Elizabeth
Taylor and Michelle Obama) in the world. Here,
in her own words, she delves into her varied
career path, her aesthetic, and what remarkable
thing we might expect from her next.
I've been a design junkie since I was little. I used
to move my playmates' furniture around, much to
their parents' dismay.

When I was 23, someone came to pick up a friend
there and hired me on the spot to design and
remodel a bunch of properties. One was Brian
Wilson's Bel Air house that then my friends
[former Yahoo CEO] Terry and Jane Semel
bought; another was David Cassidy's house. I was
engaged to another musician [Bernie Taupin],
designed his house, and ended up with all his
friends-Rod Stewart, Alice Cooper, Cheryl
Ladd-as clients. They were dream jobs: 'Here's
my checkbook, here are the keys, call me when
it's done.' I had blind trust from my clients
because they loved my fiancé's house.

creature I am, I couldn't find anything to wear-it
was all so grown up and shiny. I created jewelry
in decay as fashion: large rings, articulated
jewelry, gray diamonds-all things that didn't
exist for me to wear. I started my jewelry
company in 1989, and it grew from there.

The last [interior design] job I did was for the
emir of Kuwait's nephew. He was buying houses
like I buy shoes. I thought, 'It doesn't get better
than this,' so I retired. The scope and schedule
of the project, on New York's Upper East Side,
conflicted with the launch of my management
company in January of 1980. I stepped down and
switched careers to [talent] management because
I was dating [Alexander Godunov], a Russian
ballet [dancer and] defector, and he asked me to
help him put a tour together and get him into
movies. I never looked back.

There have been many milestones for me:
Madonna going on the radio saying she only
wanted my jewelry for her birthday; Steven Tyler
at an awards show saying he wasn't cool until he
had my jewels; Mrs. Obama's office calling me
and asking if I'd consider making her jewelry
for the [inaugural ball]-and subsequently being
inducted into the Smithsonian as a permanent
part of the First Ladies collection.

I see in visuals-space, lighting, texture.
I was always opinionated about where things
went in a room. My mother let me pick out my
own furniture for my bedroom, which was brave
of her.
I ended up in design purely as an accident; as
survival. I was breaking up with a musician and
had to sneak to find a place to live (he didn't know
we were breaking up quite yet). I rented a space
in a building [that was being remodeled], and I
asked if I could design the space. They gave me a
shot, and the rest was luck.

I was friends with the Getty family and one of
them was married to Elizabeth [Taylor's] son.
They commissioned me to make some earrings
for Liz. She loved them so much she became a
client, coming over to my house in her pajamas to
shop. It was definitely a 'pinch me' experience.

I design around stones-they are my muse. And
once in awhile other parameters, like the First
Lady's dress.

Managing actors is another form of design-with
a lot more reading. It's about having a point of
view; designing a house, designing a career-
kind of the same. Brad Pitt was so sweet. Robert
Downey Jr., the most charismatic-if not then
troubled. Virginia Madsen, my sister. It was a fun
group. Fun times. Well, most of them anyway!

Adding accessories in 1994 was a natural segue.
I have always been enchanted by fragrance and
always made my own, so that was a natural
extension, as was eyewear as I find that [to be]
jewelry for the face.

Jewelry had always been a passion and a hobby
since I was 12. I got to study under a master
jeweler that did repairs for Cartier, and got
hooked. I'd make a few pieces here and there.

Could I have imagined my life now? I remember
having dinner with [former Soviet statesman
Mikhail] Gorbachev in London, and my hosts had
given him my jewelry as a gift. When he gave me
a kiss to thank me I asked myself, 'Who am I and
how did I get here?'

My jewelry was inspired by medieval furniture
that I collected, and being the fashion-forward

My secret to success: Just try; all you can do is
fail. Have no fear.
The only constant is change.
I'll probably write my life story next and hope it
inspires others to follow their dreams.

hospitalitydesign.com November 2016

115

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the jewelry designer


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Hospitality Design - November 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hospitality Design - November 2016

Hospitality Design - November 2016
Contents
Online TOC
From the Editor
From the Guest Editor
Perspectives
Memoir
Places Tel Aviv
Places Jason’s Picks
5 Questions for John Mcdonald
Products
Profile Jono Pandolfi
Lighting
Seating
Wallcoverings
The New Icons
Ad Index
Back Space
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Hospitality Design - November 2016
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Cover2
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 1
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 2
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 3
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 4
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 5
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 6
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 7
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 8
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 9
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 10
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 11
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 12
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Contents
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 14
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 15
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 16
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Online TOC
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 18
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 19
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 20
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 21
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - From the Editor
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 23
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 24
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 25
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - From the Guest Editor
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 27
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 28
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 29
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 30
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 31
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 32
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 33
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 34
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Perspectives
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 36
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 37
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 38
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Memoir
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 40
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 41
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 42
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 43
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 44
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Places Tel Aviv
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 46
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 47
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 48
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 49
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 50
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 51
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 52
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Places Jason’s Picks
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 54
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 55
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 56
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 57
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 58
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Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 67
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 5 Questions for John Mcdonald
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 69
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 70
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 71
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 72
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 73
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 74
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Products
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 76
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 77
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 78
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Profile Jono Pandolfi
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 80
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 81
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 82
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Lighting
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 84
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 85
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 86
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 87
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 88
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 89
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 90
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Seating
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 92
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 93
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 94
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 95
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 96
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 97
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 98
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Wallcoverings
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 100
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 101
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 102
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 103
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 104
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - The New Icons
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 106
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 107
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 108
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 109
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 110
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Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 139
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 140
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 141
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Ad Index
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - 143
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Back Space
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Cover3
Hospitality Design - November 2016 - Cover4
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