Ian Schrager is a known name in America’s business world since he is a skilled entrepreneur and a hotel manager who is not only a co-creator of boutique hotels but also one of the founding members of Studio 54.
Studio 54 was an extremely popular nightclub in New York City and a theme for a movie. It is a very well known topic that easily gets a lot of attention so they knew it would be the right decision to do.
It was known for its extravagance and free use of drugs.
Many people wanted him out of the media after they saw this, but they could actually not so much when it comes to media propaganda. This stirred up more controversy later on.
He was born on July 19, 1946, in New York City, located in the United States. He said that living in the States is great if you’re trying to succeed in any business. It is very easy to find someone to help you out and give you financial help when you’re starting because a lot of people search for young talents, especially in The Big Apple, where Schrager was located.
He has spent all of his childhood in the most populous borough in New York, in Brooklyn. Many people make fun of this and they call him a spoiled brat because he basically got everything he needed right when he was born and he did not have to work for it hard. It was really easy for him to find the right path to live because there were many people directing him.
He was raised in a Jewish family, with his father Louis being the head of his own business. He said that he always enjoyed watching his father work and that he admired the dedication and wanted to be a big businessman himself once he grows up. You could say that this influence obviously made a big impact.
He had a factory where women’s clothing was made and was successful at it. His father Louis died in 1965 when Ian was 19. Four years later his mother Blanche also died and Ian was left on his own.
It was a difficult time for him since he was very close to his parents, especially his father who learned him the importance of hard work. He is very connected to them to this day, no matter where they are and what it takes.
Before his mother’s death, he had graduated at the Syracuse University and later even got his Juris Doctor Degree from St. John’s University School of Law. It was in 1972.
While he was a student at Syracuse University he was very respected and was the president of the fraternity he joined. It was Sigma Alpha Mu.
This was important for him since he met Steve Rubell there, who later became his business partner.
He was a very good student and his teachers knew already then that he has a bright future in front of him.
In the 1970s, the two of them bought a place for a discotheque in Boston and later they have opened another disco, this time in Queens.
After they discovered it is a great business opportunity which gained them a lot of money, they opened the famous Studio 54-night club in Manhattan.
In 1977, they opened the doors of their disco called Studio 5 and invested a lot of money in it and in its design.
They came up with an idea to dramatically transform the club and its design almost every night which became extremely popular amongst guests.
They made a lot of theme parties and organized performances which became an intriguing story to tell.
It was visited by a lot of powerful men and women, including musicians, artists, politicians, and even mafia members.
In 1978, the Studio 54 was raided for the first time, after Sahrceger’s partner Rubell bragged about their high income, stating that only Mafia earned more money than their club.
It was discovered that they had a skim of laundering money and hid it in the ceiling of their office. They were both charged with tax invasion and was considered guilty for obstructing justice.
In 1978, their place was raided for the 2nd time and although they hired a famous lawyer (who is Donald Trump’s lawyer) they still have been convicted to a prison sentence in a period of 3 and a half years.
They were both fined with 20 thousand dollars fine. They were released from the prison in 1981 but sold their club one year earlier for almost 5 million dollars.
This was a huge amount of money which they could use to go on with their business.
After that they have opened another nightclub, named Palladium and hired Arata Isozaki, a very famous architect, to renovate it.
Schrager loved architecture and soon found that he was skilled to earn money from it. The Palladium was very successful because it was different from other clubs.
It had art installations, screens and video installations which were never seen. It was a very interesting art form which brought them fame and notoriety.
In 1984, their dynamic duo turned their attention to hotels, after they recognized the need for a different hotel experience of the guests.
They have realized that people are in search of untraditional hotels and that they are on the right path in entering the hotel business.
They opened their first hotel in 1984. It was named “Morgans” and it became a huge hit. The duo invented a special niche of the hotel: the boutique hotel.
After that, they have opened two more hotels, both designed by the same French designer called Phillipe Starck who was a star on the rise in that period.
The hotels were Paramount Hotel and Royalton Hotel. Schrager was praised for his lobby renovation and became an in inventor of “lobby socializing”.
This included socializing and hanging in the lobby just like the lobby was a social club. That is why the lobby was designed that way.
His other hotels, all designed by Phillippe Starck, with whom Ian had a great relationship, were also a big success.
They include the Delano Hotel, Madrian Hotel and Clift Hotel. Some of them were in New York but some were in London and in San Francisco.
His friend and partner in business, Steve Rubell, died of AIDS in 1989, which left him handling his hotel business alone. He had been one of the first victims of this disease.
In 2005, Ian sold his Morgans Hotel group and created a new company named Ian Schrager Company.
Ian started investing in other projects from hotel transformations to building residential properties.
His most attractive residential property was named 40 Bond and was designed by a Swiss architect duo called Herzog 8 de Meuron. It was their first project of that kind in the States.
In 2011 he has opened a new hotel named Public, with the first one opening in Chicago. He sold it in 2016 to a Hong Kong-based company for more money than he expected.
In 2017 has opened his Public Hotel New York, with “luxury for all” concept in it. He stated that everyone has to have a dash of elegance while staying the toilet.
He has partnered with a known multinational hotel company called Marriott International, in order to create a new hotel brand. There are four hotels opened until today.
In the spring of 2019, Ian Schrager opened his new hotel in New York, but this time at Times Square.
It was a big surprise for everyone since most people state that it is one of the most hated parts of the city. Nevertheless, Ian is not worried that his luxury EDITION hotel will work like a charm.
As for his personal life, Ian has married a known Cuban ballet dancer named Rita Norona in 1994. It was a very romantic Valentine’s Day wedding.
They have two daughters named Sophis and Ava Schrager but their marriage ended up in divorce in 2001.
In 2008 he got married to Tania Wahlstedt, who is also a ballerina and they have a son together. His name is Louis. Tania also has two daughters from her previous marriage. They are called Amanda and Lili.
When he talks about his late friend Rubell he says that the two of them became friends after an interesting story: they were competing for the girl both of them have dated.
In Januar, 2017 he has received a full pardon from President Obama.
His current net worth is about $400 million.
Schrager is one of the millionaires who have a house in the Meadow Lane in Hamptons. It is worth over $20 million and has neighbors such as Calvin Klein and David Koch.
He lives mostly in his penthouse on Manhattan, which was his favorite project in which he invested a lot.of his time and energy.
He has a trendy office in Greenwich Village. Some of the artists that could always be seen in his Studio 54 were Liza Minnelli, Diana Ross, Andy Warhol and many more.
Schrager has also released a book about Studio 54 because there is still a huge interest for it.
He had a short period of depression after he lost his friend Rubell. He died of AIDS and his father before died of cancer.
His mum died from a heart attack and Schrager was shocked how these 3 important people left his life for good.
Schrager has an excellent relationship with his children.
Although he doesn’t expect them to follow his steps and continue his work, he does want them to value hard work and know that they have to make some contribution. It is harder because they have money and are not motivated by it.
His book named “Works” is written by him, and distributed by Schnabel, Starck, and Pawson.
This book covers 40 years of his high design and reveals a lot of unseen photos and is made to impact every person who honors design and development.
The other book is named simply “Studio 54” and it describes the temple of glamour and hedonism.
In 2018 a documentary named “Studio 54” was released and was directed by Matt Tyrnamer, followed by a photobook made by Ian himself.
There is a lot of controversy about his Public Hotel in New York because it’s residents don’t care about anything: they make a lot of noise, they walk nude, smoke weed and it can all be seen by old residents of the area.
Especially problematic is the “crazy bar” on the rooftop which caused hundreds of complaints about loud music.
Full name: Ian Schrager
Date of birth: July 19, 1946
Birthplace: New York, United States
Profession: entrepreneur, real estate developer, hotelier
Net Worth: $300 million