Ian Schrager


Plaza Magazine US & International - - CONTENTS - BY PE­TRA DOKKEN

Meet the founder of the leg­endary night­clubs Stu­dio 54 and Pal­la­dium in the 1970s.

To me, lux­ury is about hav­ing good taste and cre­at­ing a unique ex­pe­ri­ence,” says Ian Schrager. Few peo­ple per­son­ify ho­tels as a lifestyle the way he does. An en­tre­pre­neur, maitre d’ho­tel and prop­erty owner, Schrager be­came a celebrity when launch­ing the New York night­club Stu­dio 54 with Steve Rubell in 1977. In the 1980s, he turned his at­ten­tion to the ho­tel in­dus­try. With Mor­gan Ho­tel Group, he in­tro­duced the bou­tique ho­tel con­cept, which fo­cuses on bring­ing out the per­sonal and in­ti­mate. One of his core ideas was lobby so­cial­is­ing, whereby the ho­tel lobby be­came a lo­ca­tion for both guests and ur­ban­ites to con­sort. Ian started his latest pro­ject Edi­tion Ho­tel in part­ner­ship with Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional. The Is­tan­bul Edi­tion was first out and opened in 2011, while the sec­ond one, The Lon­don Edi­tion, opened on Bern­ers Street in the UK cap­i­tal last au­tumn. Sev­en­teen years af­ter launch­ing the celebrity haunt Ho­tel De­lano in Mi­ami, Ian’s fo­cus is once again on the gold coast with the The Res­i­dences at the Mi­ami Beach Edi­tion. The Res­i­dences at the Mi­ami Beach Edi­tion con­sist of 26 apart­ments lo­cated in what used to be the Seville Ho­tel in the 1950s. The Bri­tish ar­chi­tect John Paw­son has added an 18 storey tall sky­scraper and a new land­mark on Mi­ami Beach. The mod­ern and airy space is dom­i­nated by light and open space liv­ing. The apart­ments func­tion as re­sort ac­com­mo­da­tions and come com­plete with pools, lounge and pri­vate ter­races with plenty of space for the morn­ing ex­er­cise rou­tine. Ian calls the con­cept ’residential prêt à porter’; buy­ers can move into a fin­ished home with fur­ni­ture and in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tion in place. This is con­ve­nience at its peak. From cut flow­ers to party ar­range­ment ser­vices, res­i­dents are left want­ing for noth­ing. The prop­erty price tag? Three mil­lion dol­lars and up, plus a monthly rent of 1700 dol­lars.

You’re fa­mous for your in­ti­mate ho­tels. How have you es­tab­lished your per­sonal style?

“When all the el­e­ments of a prod­uct are in place and all the fea­tures have been formed, the prod­uct will in­evitably be­come spe­cial. It hap­pened with Steve Jobs at Ap­ple and Walt Dis­ney’s an­i­ma­tions. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not com­par­ing my­self to them. But I’m af­ter the same thing, a kind of magic. There’s no recipe, it just hap­pens.”

What unites the Edi­tion ho­tels?

“Although each Edi­tion pro­ject will look dif­fer­ent and man­i­fest the city in which they’re in, they all share the same at­ti­tude, some­thing each guest will be able to recog­nise.”

Do you have a spe­cific guest in mind when de­sign­ing a ho­tel?

“I think most cre­ative peo­ple would agree with me on this: When I cre­ate some­thing I cre­ate it for my­self. I do what I like and am hope­ful there are peo­ple out there who share my taste.”

What do great ho­tels of­fer their guests?

“Amaz­ing com­fort, fan­tas­tic ser­vice and friendly hos­pi­tal­ity.”

What is ho­tel lux­ury to you?

“Be­ing present in the now and hav­ing good taste are what give a ho­tel sta­tus and make it lux­u­ri­ous. It no longer has to do with money.”

How has the ex­pe­ri­ence of lux­ury ho­tels changed in re­cent years?

“There’s no such thing as a for­mula any more. It’s about be­ing fear­less and break­ing free from any rules.”

the Res­i­dences at the mi­ami Beach edi­tion cap­tures schrager’s view of mi­ami. the in­te­rior of sch­lager’s mi­ami apart­ments.

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