Uncovering Hollywood History

Guests invited by Fred Hayman Wednesday evening got a double surprise, but Fred himself was surprised a day earlier.

His party — followed by a Spago reception — was to celebrate the dedication of the J. Seward John Jr. sculpture of a family of three, who formerly gazed into Hayman’s famed Giogio’s store window on Rodeo Drive. The sculpture was moved to Hayman’s Malibu estate when he rented his Rodeo property to Louis Vuitton, and is now permanently ensconced on the corner of Canon Drive and Clifton at the (faux) entrance to Hayman’s office building.

But that was not the surprise Wednesday evening. When guests walked the few steps south on Canon into Spago they were greeted by the party room’s wall covering: a photo of Giogio’s 1988 actual exterior: eight panels totaling 32 feet long and eight feet high.

It had just been discovered in storage in San Pedro by Hayman’s decorator Jack Lowrance, who reported the find to Katy Sweet, Fred’s longtime publicist (who has represented him since her freshman days with Frank Liberman’s praisery). Needless to say the find found a new home –temporarily — Wednesday night..

Guests at the party rejoiced in placing themselves in front of the giant photo, recalling their shopping days there. When Fred launched his store there were only two other ladies’ clothing stores on Rodeo Dr. Back then, Fred had installed a bar to welcome buyers — and lookie-loo’s at the celebs inside — some of whom also enjoyed the fancy pool table.

The fashion center segued into Hayman’s perfume empire. I remember shopping in Paris’ Galeries Lafayette and being struck by the unmistakable scent of Giogio, which became the number one seller–yes, above the famed French perfumes. It took added bows when the store became the center attraction of Judy Krantz’ best-seller, “Scruples.” Of course, she was on hand for the celebration Wednesday — along with civic and leaders and longtime friends of the Haymans.

Hayman’s civic activities — including fashion coordinator for 11 Oscar ceremonies — and chairman and founder-first chairman of the Rodeo Drive Committee helped make Rodeo Drive what it is today. He is toasted with a street named for him, Fred Hayman Way, running alongside the Grill on the Alley, behind the Louis Vuitton store whose property is owned by Fred.

Wednesday night’s guests were also pleased to see another longtime friend at Spago — Chuck Pick has taken over the valet service on Canon where he had held sway for decades at the top eateries including The Bistro and Bistro Garden — and all the elite celeb private parties as well. The most popular expression Wednesday evening was: “And do you remember who/what/when?” Fred does and doesn’t forget them…

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