Rodeo Drive

There’s a new podcast dedicated to Rodeo Drive launching May 29, just as the famed Beverly Hills shopping thoroughfare reopens for business.

“It has absolutely been an adjustment, and it took us by surprise,” Rodeo Drive Committee president Nicola Cagliata said of adapting to the new climate amid the coronavirus pandemic. “A lot of the boutiques are starting to put handbags back in the windows.”

Since Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti gave retailers the go-ahead to start reopening for in-person shopping on May 27, luxury giants Gucci, Saint Laurent, Dior and Louis Vuitton have resumed their boutique business, while Tom Ford, Fendi and Mikimoto are expected to follow Monday.

Now that the industry is hoping to ramp up consumer spending again, “It’s a good opportunity to tell the story of Rodeo Drive,” said Cagliata, adding that the podcast has actually been in the works for some time.

One of those stories will be that of Giorgio Beverly Hills, established in 1961 by “godfather of Rodeo Drive” Fred Hayman. The first episode will explore the story behind the luxury boutique and how it put Rodeo Drive on the map. Those sharing insights will include Hayman’s son, Robert; designer Zandra Rhodes, and Decades owner Cameron Silver.

“A podcast, to me, is new long-form journalism,” said Bronwyn Cosgrave, author, broadcaster and host of the podcast, called “Rodeo Drive — The Podcast: Untold Stories of Fashion, Art and Entertainment.” The medium has gained traction with recent news of Joe Rogan’s reported 100 million deal with Spotify. “We are looking back and looking forward. What this podcast is really offering is contextualization, not nostalgia. It’s not really about shopping. It’s about optimism and energy.”

The destination’s connection to Hollywood will inevitably be examined. From tales of John Frederics, who created hats for Hollywood films, and costume designer Howard Greer, to red carpet stalwarts Giorgio Armani and Harry Winston, the series will be about showcasing cultural figures, shared Cosgrave. Released twice a month, the 30- to 40-minute episodes will be available on various podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and at rodeodrive-bh.com.

“You’ll hear from multiple voices and generations, from all ages,” Cosgrave added. “Each episode is a mini fashion documentary.”

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