Fred Hayman is a local treasure. I had so much fun writing this Sunday's Image cover story about Rose Apodaca's impressive new book about the retailer, "Fred Hayman The Extraordinary Difference: The Story of Rodeo Drive, Hollywood Glamour and the Showman Who Sold It All."
As proprietor of the Giorgio Beverly Hills boutique. Hayman was an architect of luxury in Los Angeles, bringing high fashion, a social shopping atmosphere and white-glove service to what was still a sleepy main street when he went into retail in 1967 at the age of 38.
During the 31 years he ruled the retail roost from his perch under Giorgio's signature yellow and gold awnings, he saw it all -- Ali MacGraw shopping with husband Robert Evans, then with husband Steve McQueen; Lucille Ball and her pet chimpanzee drinking Coke out of a crystal goblet; and Zsa Zsa Gabor wearing one of his branded Giorgio Beverly Hills sweatshirts during the media mayhem that ensued, after she slapped the police officer who arrested her for a traffic violation.
You propably remember all the kitschy branded Giorgio Beverly Hills merchandise, a mainstay on EBay, and the perfume, which made Hayman millions. But there is so much more. A consummate host, he set the bar for entertaining in "Dynasty" and "Scruples" era Southern California. And Rodeo Drive will never be the same. In a second story, I took a look at how the famous street is now versus then.
-- Booth Moore
Photo: Fred Hayman with Ali MacGraw, courtesy of the Fred Hayman archives.