Ian Schrager’s unique ability to take the pulse of the socio-cultural zeitgeist has established him as one of the tastemakers of his generation. Mr. Schrager first made his reputation as co-founder of Studio 54, the most famous nightclub of all time. Hear the name, or see an image from the club, and the decadence of the ’70s zooms into focus: disco, cocaine, velvet rope, Warhol, Jagger, Grace Jones, Diana Ross. He followed Studio 54 with Palladium, another groundbreaking nightlife hub, and one of the first to use art as a focal point of the clubbing experience.
But he is perhaps more influential for his contributions to the global hotel industry. Mr. Schrager helped develop the boutique hotel concept in the 1980s with his Morgans Hotel. He presided over two decades of visionary expansion, with a sprawling hospitality empire that included scores of hotels worldwide and spawned a generation of copycats. Mr. Schrager revolutionized the hotel industry and single-handedly reinvented urban travel: along with inventing the term “boutique hotel,” he coined terms that became hospitality buzzwords—from “cheap chic” to “lobby socializing” to “urban resorts”—and gave birth to uber-chic hotels like the Delano in Miami and the West Hollywood Mondrian.
And while his hotels can now be found across the globe, his influence on the New York city skyline remains palpable, from the reinvention of 40 Bond to the renewal of the iconic Gramercy Park Hotel in collaboration with artist Julian Schnabel. Suffice it to say, nobody has done more to influence the entertainment, hospitality and real estate industries than Mr. Schrager.