Fred Hayman, Godfather of Beverly Hills, who made Rodeo Drive famous, dies at 90
"We didn't know anything about retail, but it comes to you very quickly when you've got to pay the bills"
Before Fred Hayman arrived on the block, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills didn't smell anything like his perfume creation, Giorgio.
Back then on Rodeo, there was a gas station like this one, plus a grocery store and a hardware store.
All that began to change in 1961 when Fred Hayman opened the street's first luxury boutique, Giorgio Beverly Hills
It was a new shopping experience. There was a bar that served free drinks, a pool table to keep men busy while their ladies shopped, and if anyone needed a home delivery, their items arrived via a vintage Rolls-Royce.
By the early '80's, other luxury retailers, Gucci, Armani, Hermes, Cartier, Tiffany had beat a path to the block, transforming Rodeo Drive into one of the world's premier and most expensive shopping destinations, and earning Fred Hayman the title of Godfather of Beverly Hills.
The street and Beverly Hills have now lost their Godfather. Fred Hayman died on Thursday, April 14 at his home in Malibu. He was 90.
Fred J. Hayman May 29, 1925 - April... - Fred Hayman Beverly Hills | Facebook
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Press both in Los Angeles and New York have chronicled his colorful life and career, a saga that took him from banquet and catering manager at the Beverly Hilton Hotel to a visionary of luxury retail.
In 2011, Hayman's biography, Fred Hayman, the Extraordinary Difference:the Story of Rodeo Drive, Hollywood Glamour & the Showman Who Sold It All was published. The author, Rose Apodaca, former West Coast bureau chief for Women's Wear Daily told Rachel Waldman(no relation) of the New York Times:
Even through times when he wasn’t rich in bank account, he always kept standards and spirits up. He always treated everyone, whether rich or poor, famous or not, as if they were all welcomed guests in his home. He’s very gracious that way.