For over 5 decades, since the 70s, Ian Schrager has achieved international recognition for concepts that have revolutionized the entertainment, hospitality, food and beverage, retail and residential industries. Few people, if any, have had the impact on popular culture that Ian Schrager has. He has changed the way we live our lives, entertain ourselves, party, dance, socialize, holiday, work, dine, drink, play, shop and even how we see the world. He has single-handedly changed industries. His passionate commitment to the modern lifestyle has been expressed through a series of pioneering concepts and the creation of numerous original innovations in the industries he has touched. These innovations have become standards and continue to be imitated throughout the world.
His keen instincts for the mood and feel of popular culture were honed during the 70s and 80s, when he and his late business partner, Steve Rubell, created the legendary and groundbreaking Studio 54 and Palladium nightclubs. They soon turned their attention to the hotel business opening Morgans Hotel in 1984, introducing the concept of the “boutique hotel” to the world. The partners saw the opportunity to challenge the traditional “take no offense” white box and mass-market mentality in favor of something more unique, daring and original—something that gave people an elevated experience and elicited an emotional, visceral reaction. What was accomplished, for the first time, was that a hotel could appeal to a sensibility no matter what age, economic status, where one lived or their occupation, and be freed from the constraints of traditional demographics. The entire hotel industry was turned on its head.
Part visionary, part social scientist, part businessman with a gift for seamlessly integrating art and commerce, everything Ian Schrager has accomplished chronicled the cultural narrative of that time and has been an unequivocal success. His projects became forever engrained in the fabric of city life and are as relevant today as they were when he first created them.
Schrager’s new brand PUBLIC Hotels, for which is he more excited than when he invented the boutique hotel space 25 years ago, is destined to have the same cultural impact. PUBLIC is a further evolution of what he started. Although with the same sex appeal, visual provocation and excitement as his previous hotels, it gets down to the basics, no pretense or artifice—just great style, great service and great value. PUBLIC is friendly, accessible, inviting and approachable and you don’t need to sacrifice anything to stay in the coolest place in town. This new brand is responding to an oversaturated overpriced market of wannabes, replicas, and “design on steroid” hotels that have no distinct vision or nothing much to say, if anything.
For Schrager, it has always been about the product, and nothing else. If is for this reason that Bill Marriott chose him as a partner, when he could have chosen anybody in the world, to catapult the giant hotel company into the lifestyle space. Schrager who never cared about scale or global expansion, thought it would be a fun thing to try.
With new openings of his PUBLIC brand, several luxury residential projects under development in New York City, a retrospective book debuting in May with Rizzoli, 2 additional books in development—the first, a visual essay of Studio 54 and the second, a memoir, and 21 EDITION hotels around the world in the pipeline under his partnership with Marriott, now is the ideal time to acknowledge his 5 successful decades in the business. He has undoubtedly secured his reputation and iconic status not for celebrity’s sake, but rather for the significance and relevance of his work. He is and will always be, the original original.
Not resting on past successes and with the hunger, curiosity, ambition and fearlessness to go off into unchartered territory, Ian Schrager’s best work is still to come, and in true Schrager fashion, he is saving his best for last.IAN SCHRAGER COMPANY SHARE