We’ve all seen it before – clothing and accessories designer expands to include lush home line including everything from sheets to sofas, or visa versa. However, often times designers find themselves in a precarious situation – one in which the goal of expansion obviously somewhere got lost in translation reducing the integrity of their label that was once iconic and groundbreaking to mediocre displays at your local Macy’s. There are exceptions, of course, such as Versace or Missoni and most recently, Kelly Wearstler.
Born in South Carolina and a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art, Wearstler began her career focusing on interior design. Wearstler’s distinctive style that mixes whimsy, sophistication and swank has been referred to as revolutionizing the look, feel and meaning of modern American glamour.
Perhaps her most famous and most frequently viewed project is that of the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills. Originally built in 1949 as the Beverly Carlton, the hotel was a home away from home for stars like Marilyn Monroe. Fifty years later, the oasis was renamed The Avalon for its 1999 reopening, after it was completely revamped by Wearstler.
In addition to commercial projects, Wearstler is sought after by some of the world’s most prominent people to lend her touch to the interiors of their homes. The New Yorker called Wearstler “the presiding grande dame of West Coast interior design.”
Wearstler recently debuted a collection of ready-to-wear, jewelry, furniture, home accessories and objects d’art and opening a 2,400 square-foot flagship boutique on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.
Though there is no question that I love the aesthetic of Kelly Wearstler and the many wonderful contributions she has made to the world of design, I think perhaps what I admire the most is the fact that she is a wonderful role model for women. Women like Wearstler remind us that there is no limit to our creativity and that about which we can dream.