“I was the kid whose nose was pressed against the glass,” Lionel Richie mused Wednesday night at Geary’s in Beverly Hills. “Can you afford it? No. Do you have a reason to be here? No. Now here we are years later. Instead of just passing by and knowing the value of it, on top of that, they actually want your stuff,” he said of the high-end home and jewelry emporium carrying his Lionel Richie Home Collection.
The launch party drew music bigwigs like David Foster and Ronald LaPread to view dinnerware, glassware, serving accessories and home decor items inspired by details from Richie’s world travels. “I travel the world and I find these things that I think are obviously common, but yet at the same time very regal,” he said. “When I bring those patterns in and put them in plates and glasses and silverware I automatically bring people into my experience of traveling.”
On finally making it in-store after a soft launch at his home, the “All Night Long” singer told the crowd the feeling was similar to hearing one of his hits on the radio.
But there was one thing that wasn’t music to Richie’s ears: politics. After mingling with guests, he said of the final presidential debate, “The reason I was 20 minutes late to the launch is I was sitting there glued to the set thinking, ‘What am I listening to?’ I want to get through this. I want to get it over with because it’s about to worry me to absolute death and thank God it will be over in just a minute.”
With the election around the corner, the designer will have another opportunity to show off his collection with an election party, or as he quipped, a “Did the World Survive? Party.” Or perhaps not. “What I like are the spontaneous parties where [people are] dressed down and the place settings are upscale,” he said. “That’s what makes the collection work so well; you can take it all the way up or all the way down.”