Art & Design » Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
  • Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark - Profile in Style: Anda Andrei
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  1. 1/28

    Anda Andrei, wearing a Rick Owens dress, in a suite at 11 Howard, the hotel she designed for Aby Rosen.

    Andrei wears Stella Mccartney earrings.

    Hair by Shin Arima for Sachajuan at Frank Reps; Makeup by Junko Kioka at Joe Management; fashion assistant: Dylan Hawkinson.

  2. 2/28

    The kitchen in Andrei’s New York apartment features a custom light fixture by the artist Angela Ardisson, 
a present from Andrei’s boyfriend, Billy Ghitis; photographs by 
Leonora Hamill (at right); and a Dutch painting from the 1900s.

    Photography by Matthew Kristall

    Styled by Sophie Pera

  3. 3/28

    This armchair by Flávio de Carvalho is one of Andrei’s favorite designs.

    Courtesy of Archiexpo.

  4. 4/28

    A papier-mâché rhinoceros hangs above the bathroom door.

    Photography by Matthew Kristall

    Styled by Sophie Pera

  5. 5/28

    The sitting room.

    Photography by Matthew Kristall

    Styled by Sophie Pera

  6. 6/28

    Andrei, in Romania, 1965.

    Courtesy of Anda Andrei.

  7. 7/28
  8. 8/28

     A variety of artwork in 
her home, including a portrait of 
her mother (bottom, left).

    Photography by Matthew Kristall

    Styled by Sophie Pera

  9. 9/28

    The well-traveled hotel designer likes 
to vacation in Tulum, Mexico.

    Courtesy of Anda Andrei.

  10. 10/28

    Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.

    Courtesy of Anda Andrei.

  11. 11/28

    Another favorite spot is her 
best friend’s house in Normandy, 
France.

    Courtesy of Anda Andrei.

  12. 12/28

    Andrei’s own country house, in Connecticut, sits on a lake.

    Courtesy of Anda Andrei.

  13. 13/28

    Andrei, with Aby Rosen, 2016.

    Neil Rasmus/BFA/REX/Shutterstock.

  14. 14/28
  15. 15/28

     Banquettes in the Blond, the club at 11 Howard, with a series 
of sculptures by Charming Baker, on loan from Rosen.

    Photography by Matthew Kristall

    Styled by Sophie Pera

  16. 16/28

    Andrei, wearing a Rick Owens jacket and pants from The Row, in the 11 Howard lobby in front of a blackened-steel screen by Signe Bindslev Henriksen and Peter Bundgaard Rützou, of Space Copenhagen.

    Photography by Matthew Kristall

    Styled by Sophie Pera

  17. 17/28

    A model from Oliver Gustav Studio is an example of how many designers would love their staircases to be constructed, “without any support,” Andrei says.

    Photography by Matthew Kristall

    Styled by Sophie Pera

  18. 18/28

    The staircase for the hotel was designed 
in collaboration with Space Copenhagen and inspired by fire stairs.

    Photography by Matthew Kristall

    Styled by Sophie Pera

  19. 19/28

    A bunk room at the Asbury.

    Courtesy of Andrei.

  20. 20/28

    Renderings of the Asbury’s exterior.

    Courtesy of Andrei.

  21. 21/28
  22. 22/28

    Asbury's sitting area.

    Courtesy of Andrei.

  23. 23/28

    Asbury's pool.

    Courtesy of Andrei.

  24. 24/28

    Asbury's bar.
    Courtesy of Andrei.

  25. 25/28

    Andrei worked on the Gramercy Park Hotel, in New York, with Julian Schnabel.

    Courtesy of Andrei.

  26. 26/28

    The Delano, in South Beach was a collaboration with Philippe Starck.

    Courtesy of Andrei.

  27. 27/28

    The original Royalton, in New York was a collaboration with Philippe Starck.

    Courtesy of Andrei.

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Anda Andrei, Ian Schrager's Design Guru, Is Making Her Own Mark

Anda Andrei has a slew of new hotel projects--and a chic New York City apartment. Take a tour here.

Rooms With a View

“I can’t do everything myself,” Anda Andrei says as she sweeps through the lobby of 11 Howard, a former Holiday Inn in New York’s SoHo that she revamped at the behest of the developer Aby Rosen. So when Rosen suggested that she “try something more Scandinavian” for the guest rooms, Andrei knew whom to call: Space Copenhagen, the designers of the celebrated restaurant Noma. Under her direction, they created the hotel’s custom furniture.

Andrei is a natural collaborator. As the design guru to Ian Schrager for 29 years, she helped him realize one iconic hotel after another, starting with the Royalton, in New York, the Delano, in Miami Beach, and St Martins Lane, in London; for all three, it was her job to take the designer Philippe Starck’s sometimes bizarre ideas and make them buildable. After Schrager and Starck parted ways, Andrei collaborated with Julian Schnabel (Gramercy Park Hotel), John Pawson (the condo adjoining it), and Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron (the apartment building at 40 Bond Street, where Schrager occupies the penthouse). “I got to work with the best people in the world,” she says. “Even if I were dumb, something would have rubbed off on me.” Andrei, who emigrated from Romania at 27, is anything but dumb—she kept one of the most demanding bosses and some of the most exacting designers happy. Says Pawson, “Anda possesses a rare and formidable intelligence—in terms of design, but also of people. I could always confidently say yes to any project she was a part of.”

 

Staying Power

Andrei grew up in Bucharest; in 1981 she and her architect husband, Lucian, moved to New York with $200 to their names. But Andrei says she was “a pretty little thing,” which may explain why her first interview, at Gruzen Samton, led to a job. The architecture firm worked on the Royalton for Schrager, who quickly hired Andrei away. Each successive project, she recalls, involved a short period of brainstorming, followed by a much longer period of execution. “The best days are the first three and the last two. The years in between, you’re just in pain.” But it’s pain she can live with. Three years ago, when Andrei hit 60—looking, somehow, 40—she decided it was time to go out on her own. Widowed since 2001, she had been playing the field for years, but now has a serious boyfriend, Billy Ghitis, who encouraged her budding entrepreneurialism. Among her other recent projects is the revamp of the restaurant at the Brooklyn Museum. And then there’s her New York apartment, where she is—ironically—having trouble completing a minor renovation. The place, she says, isn’t designed. “It’s just a history of my life.”

 

Welcome to Asbury Park

Schrager, who was under the impression that Andrei was retiring, reportedly hasn’t been happy about her slate of new hotel projects. But Andrei insists her entirely unpremeditated return to that business was the result of a chance encounter with Jay Sugarman, who persuaded her to see the 35 acres of waterfront property that his company, iStar, had bought in Asbury Park, New Jersey, with the intent of creating a city within a city. “How can you not want to do a little town?” Andrei asks. Soon she was ticking off ideas—“If you want people to come see how great it is, you need a hotel,” she told Sugarman—and making plans to turn an old Salvation Army shelter into the 110-room Asbury. The hotel opened in May. Andrei designed the rooms to look like beach bungalows, with rubber-tile floors and posters pasted right onto the walls; the rooftop bar features artificial turf and white picket fences. She hopes the Asbury will be a hip hangout that will lead to demand for more buildings on the plot. (A condo by the architect Chad Oppenheim is in the works.) As for 11 Howard, she succumbed to Rosen’s entreaties, in part, she says, because she wanted to have another “baby”—a hotel in New York that feels like her own.

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