Our Platinum Circle Awards Gala is always one of our favorites at HD. Of course, it’s an excuse to get dressed up (and go to the braid bar at the John Barrett Salon for whimsical Valentino braids, in my case), but it’s also where we celebrate the best of the best (of the very best) in our industry. Yes, we do this in the pages of our magazine every month but rarely do we get a room full of industry legends in one place talking about their work. It’s truly inspiring.
And about last night: Along with 400 of our closest friends (including an Oscar winner), we got to celebrate this year’s Platinum Circle honorees at the Conrad New York—our 27th group of inductees. It’s an honor that includes notables like Ian Schrager, David Rockwell, and our November guest editor Alexandra Champalimaud.
This year’s class is no exception. Gary Dollens is a lifelong hotelier whose loyalty is incomparable; Kemper Hyers’ (who gave us a taste onstage of his former life as a tap dancer) energy and love for design is pervasive; Nobu Matsuhisa is a quiet genius; and HBA’s mark on the industry is undeniable. When the company’s co-CEOs René Gross Kaerskov and Ian Carr made claims that they would be building hotels in space, it was hard not to believe them.
Through video interviews, the introductions of Dollens, Hyers, chef Nobu, and HBA by close friends and collaborators (Michael Suomi, Barry Sternlicht, David Rockwell, and Kathleen Dauber, respectively) and words from the honorees themselves, we got a glimpse into how these larger-than-life talents live and work.
For a few short hours last night, we got an insider’s look at what makes these talents stand out. It’s certainly ambition and dedication, even some luck, but it’s something more than that too, a certain undeniable magic.