Fred Hayman, Legendary Godfather of Rodeo Drive; His Story of Beverly Hills, Hollywood Style and the Gilded Age of L.A.
The Extraordinary Difference, On Sale Summer 2011
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif/PRNewswire/ — The highly-anticipated authorized biography by Rose Apodaca about the dapper gent who radically changed the way the world saw Los Angeles style, how the beauty business operated and magazines smelled, and the potential of retail and branding— Fred Hayman: The Extraordinary Difference The Story of Rodeo Drive, Hollywood Glamour and the Showman Who Sold It All (A+R Projects; $65 USD; ISBN 9780615431833)—goes on sale Summer 2011. With more than 300 photographs and ephemera and weighing in at seven pounds, The Extraordinary Difference is as much the story of an icon as it is a history book of the coming of age of Beverly Hills and Los Angeles.
Under the landmark yellow and white striped awnings of Giorgio Beverly Hills, Fred Hayman transformed a sleepy main street of an otherwise well-heeled “village” into one of the top platinum shopping attractions among the international jet set. The zip code here is now shorthand for fame, wealth and a singular style, and in large part owing to a four-decade love affair by its most enthusiastic and charming champion. Out of a single boutique, he and his third wife Gale Hayman brazenly conceived of and went to market with a signature fragrance—an inconceivable feat in 1981 for anyone outside the cultural and style hubs of New York and Paris. They made it accessible by the pioneering of scented strips and direct mail and eventually a bombshell sale that would make them rich—and keep them apart all these years later.
Fred Hayman took standards of a luxe life—from his childhood in Zurich and Paris; his formative adult years rising through the ranks at one of the world’s grandest hotels, the Waldorf-Astoria; then catering to celebrities, socialites and fashion designers at the modern beacon of the Beverly Hilton—and accorded them his own flair. He brought the Golden Globes to its longstanding home, and served for over a dozen-plus years as official fashion coordinator for the Academy Awards.
Mr. Hayman was the unofficial arbiter of fin de siecle gilt as conveyed to middle America in Dynasty and Scruples, whose stars and creators also were his clients (and the latter was inspired by and took place in a store resembling Giorgio). He extolled and exploited the possibilities of this palm-tree lined fantasy island with a Rolls Royce delivering customer purchases, four-pound tins of Beluga and live mariachis at every party, yet he made everyone feel at home by his comforting hospitality and rule breaking. Fresh starlet and vintage comedian alike could be spotted in the store swigging a drink at the oak bar or next to the pool table, amidst a hodgepodge of garishly painted ceramic panthers, untamed ferns and frocks, furs and trinkets, from the moderate to overpriced. Decades later, no one bats an eye at this high-low mix of merchandise and diversions, what business writers and brand makers dub retailtainment, the democratizing of fashion, the commodification of lifestyle. At the time, it was half-baked in the opinion of some, plain naive to others—and pioneering for so many more.
The sunny awnings might be gone from the street, but Fred Hayman’s impact continues into his retirement, from public artworks to civic philanthropy. To Rodeo Drive, he remains its marketing architect, its godfather, its greatest showman. And in doing so, Fred Hayman made the extraordinary difference.
Fred Hayman: The Extraordinary Difference The Story of Rodeo Drive, Hollywood Glamour and the Showman Who Sold It All is published by A+R Projects in Los Angeles. For information on purchasing, go to www.FredHayman.com.