How the Historic Hotel Chelsea Has Kept Its New York Cool – Dior’s big bet on trendsetting South Korea as China stutters – How Elaine Wynn Became the Grande Dame of Las Vegas (USA) – Economic Outlook of the Philippines
Today the team of TextileFuture offers you again four different features and we are absolutely sure that you will enjoy reading them all.
The Feature No. 1 gives you an insight on the newly remodeled Chelsea Hotel in New York (USA) and the dramatic history of the hotel. The feature was firstly published in the Wall Street Journal Magazine.
Item No. 2 is entitled “Dior’s big bet on trendsetting South Korea as China stutters”. It is an interview with the CEO and was firstly published in Vogue Business. It shows how luxury clothing is on demand in South Korea.
The Feature No. 3 is on the life of “How Elaine Wynn Became the Grande Dame of Las Vegas”. This lifespan appeared in the New York Times and allows you a participation on the ladies’ interesting life.
To conclude today’s issue of the TextileFuture Newsletter is dedicated on the “Economic Outlook of the Philippines 2022” written by guest authors from McKinsey. The entire report can be downloaded from the McKinsey website.
Please, don’t forget to return next Tuesday for the new issue of the TextileFuture Newsletter.
Have a superb business week.
Here starts the feature No. 1:
How the Historic Hotel Chelsea Has Kept Its New York Cool
Over the past century, some of the world’s most iconic artists have called Hotel Chelsea home. Now, after a lengthy renovation, it’s welcoming a new generation of guests.
By Jay Cheshes from the Wall Street Journal Magazine.
The newly restored and recently reopened El Quijote restaurant, from inside Hotel Chelsea. The original bar, where Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe were once regulars, remains. Annie Schlechter/Hotel Chelsea
We’ve done everything we can to restore it to the original…kind of like excavation,” says hotelier Sean MacPherson, pointing out marquee lights that were unearthed near the red-and-white-striped awning outside New York’s fabled Hotel Chelsea (better known as the Chelsea Hotel), which has been under renovation for the past decade and a protected landmark since 1966.
For more than a century, the hotel rooms and residential apartments have been a magnet for painters, actors, dancers, novelists, playwrights and musicians. Former regulars at “New York’s most illustrious third-rate hotel,” as it was described by Life magazine in 1964, relished the notoriety of a place where Leonard Cohen immortalized his one-night stand with Janis Joplin in song (“I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel”); where Dylan Thomas, at 39, drank himself into an early grave; where would-be Warhol assassin Valerie Solanas passed out her SCUM Manifesto in the lobby; where Sid Vicious allegedly stabbed girlfriend Nancy Spungen in 1978.
This summer the Chelsea (its popular shorthand)—backdrop for Andy Warhol’s The Chelsea Girls, for Joseph O’Neill’s bestseller Netherland, for Joni Mitchell’s “Chelsea Morning” and Bob Dylan’s “Sara” (“Stayin’ up for days in the Chelsea Hotel”)—will begin fully welcoming guests again. In a few weeks the scaffolding that has covered its Queen Anne revival–meets–Victorian gothic facade for the past 11 years will finally come down, revealing red bricks and iron balconies restored to their original 19th-century state. From the outside it might look like little has changed since work began on one of the city’s longest and most contentious renovation projects, limping through three sets of developers, countless lawsuits, a stop-work order and a pandemic. Major upgrades, though, are hiding inside.
The famously raffish hotel, largely closed to new guests since 2011 but still occupied by full-time residents, began to soft open in March, renting the first of its 155 updated rooms at discounted rates. “This building really hadn’t been restored since it was built in 1884; it had been sort of maintained with Scotch tape and paper clips,” says MacPherson, the hotelier behind New York’s Bowery, Jane and Maritime hotels, who took over the property from other developers in 2016 with his partners on those other hotels, Richard Born and Ira Drukier of BD Hotels.
Before it was the Chelsea Hotel, the 12-story structure at 222 West 23rd Street was the Chelsea Association Building, one of New York’s first cooperative housing experiments—and one of the largest residential buildings in the city in the 1880s. Its plans called for a cross-section of professions and incomes among the residential apartments, with 15 sun-drenched artist studios on the top floor (today, some of the most deluxe rooms in the hotel).
In 1905 the social experiment gave way to a hybrid apartment building and hotel. Early guests included French stage sensation Sarah Bernhardt, who is said to have slept in her own custom-made coffin, and the writer Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain. Thomas Wolfe lived in room 829 in the late 1930s, spending some of his final days there writing his masterpiece, You Can’t Go Home Again, published after his death.
By World War II, the Chelsea was struggling. According to Sherill Tippins’s 2013 book, Inside the Dream Palace, hotelier David Bard and his brother-in-law Frank Amigo bought the building out of foreclosure in the 1940s, around the time Jackson Pollock drank himself sick at a luncheon at the Chelsea hosted by Peggy Guggenheim. Bard was joined by partners Julius Krauss and Joseph Gross a few years later and ran the hotel until his death in the mid-1960s, when his son Stanley, then 29 and working as an accountant, took over. The Chelsea was becoming a veritable “Ellis Island of the avant-garde,” as one journalist described it in 1965. French artist Yves Klein, in town for a show in 1961, wrote The Chelsea Hotel Manifesto there as a response to his critics. Niki de Saint Phalle filled the 10th floor with her whimsical work. Christo swiped the doorknob to his room for an installation at the Leo Castelli Gallery.
For 43 years, Stanley Bard curated the eclectic crowd at the Chelsea as if working the door at Studio 54, doling out prime spots to celebrities and rent breaks to struggling artists, who often settled their bills with work that was then hung around the building. “There was a lot of wheeling and dealing,” says Ethan Hawke, who kept an office there for a decade, directed his first feature film, Chelsea Walls, there in 2001 and eventually lived there full time. “If [Stanley] liked you, you got one price; if he was mad at you, you got another price,” Hawke says. “He wanted me there, because the more celebrity sightings there were in the lobby, the higher he could jack the tourists.”
Bard ran the Chelsea with his own set of rules and little official paperwork—long-term tenants worked out handshake deals that allowed them to break through walls, annexing adjacent apartments. “When I became pregnant, I went to Stanley and said, ‘I need more space,’ ” says artist, curator and event producer Susanne Bartsch, who has lived at the Chelsea since the early ’80s. “He said, ‘The apartment next to you, you can probably buy them out.’ ” She wound up combining four apartments over the years.
Fashion designer Betsey Johnson, who was briefly married to John Cale of the Velvet Underground, would often flee to the Chelsea when her relationships were on the rocks. “That was my escape,” she says, “I’d take my toothbrush and go to the Chelsea.” The hotel, under the Bard family, was a frequent refuge for the brokenhearted. After his split from Marilyn Monroe, Arthur Miller spent six years there in suite 614. “The Chelsea in the Sixties seemed to combine two atmospheres: a scary and optimistic chaos which predicted the hip future, and at the same time the feel of a massive, old-fashioned, sheltering family,” Miller would later write, looking back.
When Hawke’s marriage to Uma Thurman was falling apart in 2003, Bard offered him an apartment rent free for two months. “I had two months to get my marriage back together,” he says. “But I knew it was a trick. He was an old-school con man, because once I’d moved in there for free for a few months he could charge me whatever he wanted after that.” Hawke wound up staying three years.
In the late ’90s Bard’s grown children, David Bard and Michele Bard Grabell, began working alongside him, learning the hotel’s peculiar ways. “I came in and started renovating rooms,” recalls Grabell. “I remember going into one room and I wanted to fix it up, and there was Isabella Rossellini jumping on a lime-green couch doing an interview…. That’s where my journey began with understanding what my dad created, how important it was not to just go in like gangbusters and change something that worked.”
Stanley’s succession plan wouldn’t last long. In 2007 the heirs to his father’s original partners from the 1940s, considering a sale of the property, teamed up to force the Bards out. In 2011 the Chelsea sold to new owners, developer Joseph Chetrit and partners, for a reported $78 million. Hotel operations ceased for the first time in 106 years.
Under the Bards the hotel had developed a reputation for its “momentary meetings of artistic figures,” as Rufus Wainwright, a former Chelsea resident, describes the strange juxtapositions that occurred there. Jack Kerouac, who lived at the Chelsea while working on On the Road, palled around with William S. Burroughs and had a tryst there with Gore Vidal. Arthur C. Clarke collaborated with Stanley Kubrick on adapting 2001: A Space Odyssey for film. Nico crooned the theme song to Chelsea Girls, while Bob Dylan got to know fellow Chelsea acolyte Edie Sedgwick—the two even showed up together for a screen test at Warhol’s Factory.
Alex Auder, actor and writer, and her half-sister, actor Gaby Hoffmann, were born into that creative maelstrom, daughters of Viva (née Janet Susan Mary Hoffmann), the Warhol superstar. The siblings were raised in room 710, among a wild cast of characters. “I really felt the building was an extension of family on many levels,” says Auder, who has written a memoir, Don’t Call Me Home, about her childhood in the Chelsea, due from Viking Books next year. For her 14th birthday Auder hosted a séance in the building trying to conjure the ghosts of Sid and Nancy. (Vicious died of a heroin overdose after Spungen’s murder.) “The Ouija god spoke through the board and spelled out heroine—we spelled it wrong,” she says.
“I was definitely haunted by dark creative forces, as well as literal dark forces,” says Wainwright of the year he spent at the Chelsea, arriving around 2000, working on his second album, Poses, at a piano on the fourth floor. “What’s nice about my memories of the Chelsea, even though they were very decadent and very dangerous, in a lot of ways, there was still a romanticism there,” Wainwright says.
Bartsch has always had mixed feelings, she says, about how “seedy” it’s been. “It was a crazy, wild, fun, never-know-what’s-next place,” she says. “I mean one day I called down for a quart of milk and the bellman brings me a tray of drugs. I’m like, ‘What is this?’ And he goes, ‘The code word [for drugs] is milk….‘ It was pretty insane. Sometimes I go, Did I dream that?”
Behind the construction barriers, the hotel’s current owners spent the past six years peeling back layers of history—of plaster, paint and cement. “I really felt from day one that my job is not to destroy the Chelsea [but] to be as gentle and as respectable with the Chelsea as possible,” MacPherson says.
Today the lobby, newly restored, is once again filled with work by current and former tenants. A pop-art tableau by the late Japanese painter Hiroya Akihama, inscribed to longtime Chelsea resident Dee Dee Ramone (who died of an overdose in 2002), hangs across from an imposing wood-framed fireplace among works by artists Donald Baechler and Philip Taaffe, a resident until recently. Though new furniture has been added to the lobby, including brutalist armchairs by Adrian Pearsall, it still looks much as it did in the late ’60s when Betsey Johnson used to model costumes she’d made in the hotel for the film Ciao! Manhattan, starring Edie Sedgwick and other members of Warhol’s Factory crowd. “It would be like a gorilla in the lobby that nobody noticed—I’d get no reaction,” she says of her impromptu fashion shows.
The former Ladies Tea Room off the lobby, which Bard used as an office, will soon house a new check-in desk under its frescoed ceiling. Beyond it, past new elevators and the iron balustrades of the Chelsea’s wide spiral staircase, hide the hotel’s original dining rooms. For a while Mark Rothko had an art studio there. Later the spaces were given over to storage and administrative offices. Now, for the first time in decades, the rooms are becoming public space, featuring a new lobby lounge with a brass-railed bar and a grand piano, and original art as far as the eye can see. “It’s a giant living room for the hotel,” says MacPherson.
El Quijote, the hotel’s Spanish restaurant (1930–2018), reopened in February under new management, Brooklyn’s Sunday Hospitality group and its partner here, restaurateur Charles Seich. The space is more intimate these days, though the Don Quixote–themed murals remain as well as the bar where Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe were once regulars. Instead of the old “daily double” steamed lobster special, today there’s lobster seared on the plancha and drowned in pimentón butter. “It’s fundamentally the same place, just kind of tuned up,” says MacPherson. Next door, the Bard Room, a new event space named for Stanley Bard in a former vacuum cleaner repair shop, began hosting parties this spring.
More food and drink outlets are coming from the Sunday Hospitality team. An all-day French American bistro will take over the storefront once occupied by one of Manhattan’s only bait and tackle shops. Eventually there will be Japanese food in the basement, under the vaulted ceilings where hot nightspot Serena burned bright after opening with a party for Stella McCartney in 1999, featuring an impromptu performance by her father, Paul. “I was standing three feet from him, and he started singing a Beatles song, and I literally thought I was going to pass out,” recalls British expat Serena Bass, who ran the place with her son Sam Shaffer until 2005.
Up on the roof—home to a landscaped garden when the building first opened, then to the sunbathers of the “Chelsea Surf and Beach Club” in the 1960s, and more recently to residents’ potted plants—a new structure housing a full-service spa is nearing completion. Also on the roof, a mystical pyramid that was home to a 19th-century clinic and to experimental filmmaker Shirley Clarke’s workshop in the 1960s, will soon include the hotel’s new gym.
Hundreds of artworks, many of them bartered for rent, came with the building when it changed hands. However, some of the most precious pieces, by Larry Rivers, David Hockney, Tom Wesselmann and others, left with the Bard family and were sold at auction in 2017, shortly after Stanley’s death. “We inherited a lot of really bad art, to be honest, but also a lot of interesting semi-obscure, semi-known art,” says MacPherson. “Whether you like the art or not, this is the history of the hotel.”
During construction, residents persevered among the debris and dust, sometimes fighting evictions or considering buyouts. The Chelsea became a battleground. Dozens of tenants eventually moved out. By this spring, only 44 apartments remained (many of them rent-stabilised)—most had reached settlements securing their place in the building long-term. A new documentary, Dreaming Walls, a portrait of the Chelsea by filmmakers Amélie van Elmbt and Maya Duverdier, mixes archival shots with intimate footage of the holdouts living with construction.
As the Chelsea fully reopens this summer, the ratio of hotel guests to residents won’t fluctuate much. Unlike some of their predecessors, the hotel’s owners have factored existing tenants into their long-range plans. “These are people who’ve lived here a long time, they view it as their home—I understand that,” says Ira Drukier, the partner who has dealt most directly with residents. “I like the mix.”
An early proposal to sell condos was scrapped. “I didn’t like the idea of having this incredible piece of New York history and then just selling off parts of it,” says MacPherson. Guests will be able to choose from a range of room types, from spacious apartments with full kitchens, some available as long-stay hotel rooms, to narrow spaces with barely enough room for a bed.
“We have a few very small rooms. We did that intentionally, just to try and maintain that sort of cafe society mix of all these different walks of life,” says MacPherson. “We tried to, if not maintain, at least honour the soul and history of the Chelsea…all of us have worked very hard to get it right.”
Corrections & Amplifications
A photograph of Patti Smith was taken by David Gahr and a photograph of Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick was taken by John Peodincuk. An earlier version of this article incorrectly switched their credits. (Corrected on April 28.)
Here starts feature No. 2:
Dior’s big bet on trendsetting South Korea as China stutters
This last weekend, the French luxury house staged its first-ever show in Seoul and inaugurated a new concept store in the district of Seongsu-dong. At the show venue, chairman and CEO Pietro Beccari explains why he is bullish on South Korea’s potential.
By guest author Laure Guilbault from Vogue Business.
With Covid-19 closures in Beijing tightening and Shanghai entering its fifth week of lockdown, the capital city of one of its Asian neighbours, South Korea, is basking in the limelight of a daring new store opening and its first-ever fashion show from luxury heavyweight Dior.
The fall show, held on Saturday on the hilly and lush campus of Seoul’s Ewha Womans University, had the firepower of Blackpink star and Dior global ambassador Jisoo (59.7 million Instagram followers), who was wearing black lace and tulle from the collection presented on the runway, with K-pop celebrities, rappers and actors including Bae Suzy, Oh Se-hun, Jung Hae-in and Yeri. Korean female skateboarders opened and closed the show doing tricks on ramps across the catwalk, clad in jumpsuits labelled with the Dior family business logo, “l’union fait la force” (united we stand), referencing the sisterhood spirit Dior’s artistic director for women’s collections Maria Grazia Chiuri has been touting since her beginnings at Dior. The designer retrieved it from the archives. The 136-year-old women’s university, whose vision is women’s education and gender equality, was chosen by Chiuri. The house also partners with Ewha as part of its Women@Dior mentoring programme. After the show, Chuiri took her bow in the university’s green and white teddy jacket.
“When I arrived, I fell completely in love with the jacket. I said I would like to stay here like a student, so I decided to dress myself like it,” Chiuri said during a conversation with students on Sunday. “You are a rock star at Ewha,” the university president Eun Mee Kim told her. Meanwhile, before the show, students stopped Dior chairman and CEO Pietro Beccari to take pictures with him. “I have become a sort of celebrity here since Jisoo has put me in the newspaper,” he says with a laugh.
Sitting down with Vogue Business on a university bench between the two shows (around 150 guests for each, with a mix of celebrities and top clients), Beccari said: “We wanted to thank our Korean audience; Korea is one of the countries with the highest growth potential, and it’s also a trendsetting country — we have seen in cinema and the Oscar award they won, with Squid Game, Kpop. Blackpink and BTS are unbelievable.”
South Korea accounts for 5 to 6 % of total personal luxury goods spending worldwide, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Edouard Aubin, which is slightly more than the French market, the fashion cradle. With ongoing lockdowns in China and a Japanese market still devoid of tourists where HSBC analyst Erwan Rambourg suggests “there is not a lot of customer recruitment to be done”, Korea is standing out as a beacon for luxury consumption for the Asia-Pacific region, despite its relatively small 51 million population. And while it was once a profitable duty-free shopping location for Chinese tourists, even without that because of Covid-19, the local population and trendsetting influence make it an increasingly important destination.
“The Korean market is important, period. But it’s clear that we take advantage of the growth here to compensate for some of the challenges in China,” Beccari says. Beccari is optimistic about China, though: “The curve of turnover follows exactly the curve of traffic in store,” which suggests that the current challenges are “not a long-term phenomenon”. He also sees Korea as a lab for trends, notably on all things digital.
Dior Couture is LVMH’s second-largest fashion brand after Louis Vuitton, generating sales of EUR 6.53 billion in 2021, according to estimates from HSBC global head of consumer and retail research Erwan Rambourg. That represents around 10 per cent of total LVMH revenues. In addition, Parfums Christian Dior, led by president and CEO Laurent Kleitman, generated EUR 3.04 billion of sales in 2021, leaving a total of EUR 9.6 billion.
The fall collection (the equivalent of the pre-fall collection at Dior) had a punk vibe, with Chiuri playing with the notion of uniforms. It premiered in Korean stores on Sunday before it rolls out worldwide on May 5, 2022. “The aim is to stage a show for the fall collection that usually doesn’t have a show. We did it in Shanghai last year and in Seoul this year,” says Beccari. It’s also a testimony of the executive’s commitment to physical shows: Chiuri’s cruise show is planned for Spain’s pretty Andalusian capital Seville on June 16, 2022.
Dior’s notable digital leadership (the house leads the winter 2021 update of the Vogue Business Index with its unrivalled cross-channel digital strategy) was clear in Seoul. To leverage the local consumer, the Seoul show was streamed on Korean platforms — Naver and Kakaotalk — with 300,000 views on the day of the show. Out of the 10 top Instagram posts on the Dior Instagram, six are with Jisoo. The historic record on the Dior Instagram last September was a post of Jisoo with 1.1 million likes.
Dior also opened its new concept store in the city the next day. Located in the neighbourhood of Seongsu-dong, which still has a rough vibe despite a few hip stores like Korean street brand Ader Error, Beccari likened the neighbourhood to the beginnings of New York’s Meatpacking District. He got excited about the possibility of an unexpected Dior store in the area when he heard about a parking lot in a narrow street in the neighbourhood across from a barbecue place.
“I am someone who projects many images in his head. I envisioned the garden around,” Beccari says. Six months later, the boutique opened with a garden and a facade inspired by the Avenue Montaigne historic flagship that reopened in March. A café inside is surrounded by a 3D installation representing Christian Dior’s garden in his birthplace of Granville. Nods to Korea include pine trees and armchairs by local designer Kwangho Lee .
There’s still an aura of luxury for a store in an up-and-coming location known for attracting young creatives despite its industrial heritage: access to the store is upon reservation via the website and will also allow for Covid-19 restrictions. Within two hours, the slots were all booked for May, and now it’s fully booked until the end of June. Added to that, the store will be there for at least a year and a half.
Personalisations for the Dior Book Tote can be done at the store in a specialised room, and there are playful digital elements, too: by scanning a QR, you can go home with the virtual replica of your bag — a sort of digital twin, but not an NFT. In fact, it’s the future-leaning digital agenda in Seoul that has Beccari most excited. “Everyone has an avatar here. In fact, I had lunch with Gentle Monster’s Hankook Kim [the co-founder of the Korean eyewear label]. I might have spoken to his avatar!” he says with energy. L Catterton, the private equity firm backed by owner LVMH, invested in Gentle Monster.
Renzo Rosso, founder of OTB, the owner of Diesel, Margiela, Jil Sander and Marni, who was in town, also attended the show. “I am a friend of Pietro, so he invited me to enjoy the show,” Rosso said. OTB is building its own subsidiary in Korea. “The people in Seoul are Jil Sander style, perfect, clean and beautiful. I love it very much. It’s a big opportunity for us.”
Dior counts 12 stores in Korea and plans to open two additional ones by the summer: one in the Korean city of Daejeon and one in The Hyundai Seoul mall. (By comparison, China has around 30 stores and Japan around 20.) Beccari cast an upbeat tone when asked about South Korea’s future position, especially given its trend-setting influence. “Our retail footprint here could be much more important.”
Here beginns Feature No. 3
How Elaine Wynn Became the Grande Dame of Las Vegas (USA)
The co-founder of Wynn Resorts won over the board—and rehabilitated the brand—after her ex-husband departed in ignominy. Now she’s working to share her wealth and her hard-won wisdom.
By guest author Christina Binkley from the Wall Street Journal Magazine. Photography by Ryan Pfluger for WSJ. Magazine
On mornings in one of her four homes, Elaine Wynn likes to take her coffee beside Francis Bacon’s triptych Three Studies of Lucian Freud. She bought the paintings for USD 142.4 million at a Christie’s auction in 2013. That purchase, made anonymously at the time, smashed the record for the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction and created a frenzy of speculation as to the buyer’s identity.
In the hours after the auction, Wynn says reporters called her ex-husband, Steve Wynn, to ask if he was the mystery buyer. “They were saying it will probably be on the wall of a hedge fund guy or in the desert in Arabia,” Elaine Wynn recalls. “I remember being offended that speculation centered on men, and nobody thought that a woman would either have the money or the balls.”
On this February morning, she is wearing an old Giorgio Armani blouse and newish Gabriela Hearst slacks. To her right, the shimmering copper-tone towers of the Wynn Las Vegas casino resort dominate the view from her limestone-walled dining room. She recently redid her condo with the decorator of the Obama-era White House, Michael Smith. It sits in a complex that has been home to numerous casino titans and power hitters, including the former heads of Harrah’s Entertainment (now Caesars Entertainment), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Fontainebleau Resorts. It goes almost without saying that those titans have been men.
Wynn’s panorama is metaphorically rich. Wynn and her ex-husband designed and operated one Las Vegas casino after another for nearly 50 years. They brought fantasy to the desert town in the form of Mirage’s volcano, Treasure Island’s pirate battle, Bellagio’s fountains and the Wynn’s luxury. While she watches over the Wynn from her aerie, her ex lives far from his high-powered former life after having been ousted in a cloud of sexual harassment allegations from the company they co-founded. These days, he can often be found in Palm Beach, Florida, with his new wife, Andrea. Las Vegas itself has changed too, its founders replaced by hired fund managers and marketing executives.
Though Elaine Wynn is no longer an executive of the empire she co-founded, she is its biggest and most active single shareholder. This makes her the last of the dreamers whose gambling parlors transformed a small town into a global resort destination while they became high-profile casino moguls with political and financial clout ( Kirk Kerkorian bought MGM film studios; Steve Wynn became fundraising chair of the GOP). In one of the most testosterone-driven cities on earth, a woman outlasted and outmaneuvered them all.
Wynn, who has held a Nevada casino license since 1978, is worth an estimated $1.8 billion, according to Forbes, based largely on the value of her 8 percent share in Wynn Resorts. Yet for most of her adult life she has been known more for her philanthropic work in education, and as a supreme hostess with friends in high places (one of her former homes featured a mini Oval Office for visits from George H.W. Bush).
As she turns 80 in April, Wynn is coming to terms with the hand she was dealt when her husband divorced her, in 2010, and then left Wynn Resorts amid allegations of sexual harassment and rape (which he has repeatedly denied), revealed in a January 2018 Wall Street Journal article. Elaine Wynn became a primary catalyst in the company’s reform. She established new leadership on the board and testified in support of Wynn Resorts keeping a vital license to operate a new casino in Boston.
She has remade herself as a world-level art collector and a force in public art, supporting the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and using her influence to help create a national monument designation to protect land around Michael Heizer’s City—a 1.25-mile-long earthwork sculpture in Nevada. She has taken her work in Nevada education to the national level: She is chairman of Communities in Schools, which provides resources to disadvantaged children. It recently received a surprise USD 133 million gift from MacKenzie Scott, Jeff Bezos’s ex-wife.
She laughs that her taste is evolving as she learns to create spaces that aren’t mega casinos, and without pressure from her design-obsessed ex. Smith, she says, rejected some of her fabric choices as “too hotel” as they designed her Las Vegas home, which ended up, she says, without a single fabric that she chose herself. “There is a Wynn style that’s very much based on the hotels,” says Smith. “Elaine has a personal style also that we wanted to explore.”
She is more confident in her fashion choices, and those have evolved too. Once a loyal client of Oscar de la Renta, she recently purchased a colorful oversize sweater from Christopher John Rogers and a zany embellished Libertine coat. “Fashion is the new art,” she says, pulling the looks from her room-size closet and describing her pursuit of an asymmetrical satin Balenciaga dress that she saw on a client at the brand’s flagship store in New York. When she’s in New York, she likes to shop at Linda’s, a boutique curated by Bergdorf Goodman’s well-known fashion director, Linda Fargo.
“I was really distraught by the behavior and the history that was unveiled.”— Elaine Wynn
The Wynns have two daughters: Kevyn Wynn, a sometime fashion designer who was famously kidnapped in 1993 and released after her father paid a $1.45 million ransom, and Gilian Wynn, an entrepreneur and philanthropist. They have seven grandchildren, including 23-year-old Marlowe Early, who has begun working on an oral history of her grandmother, with whom she sided in the family split. Early says she believes that “Mouchie”—Elaine’s family nickname—has been under-recognized for her achievements in the face of dramatic personal and professional turmoil.
“I don’t think it’s fair that he gets to go on with his life,” Early says. “She is the person who has conducted herself with grace, value, consistency. Who is the real superhero in my eyes?”
Elaine Wynn had worked in and served on the board of the Wynns’ companies since 1967, maintaining an office and focusing her energy on everything from human resources to training to catering. She directed the Chanel-style uniforms for front desk employees when the Wynn resort opened in 2005 and persuaded Oscar de la Renta and Manolo Blahnik to open their only Las Vegas boutiques (at the time) there. But she has been credited only in recent years as a co-founder. Steve Wynn, as chairman and CEO, sometimes called himself the casinos’ “dada,” but her management roles didn’t fall into the standard executive titles.
“I was always the wing lady,” Wynn says. “It wasn’t part of the push for me to be concerned about gender equity or recognition. I always viewed our work as partners.”
Michael Govan, director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, says Wynn was a key figure in the 2015 creation of Basin and Range National Monument, which protects the 704000 acres surrounding Heizer’s City. President Barack Obama approved the designation. “When [Elaine] started making calls to Congress,” Govan says, “somehow I was received in a different way.”
Wynn was one of the first major donors to support a controversial new LACMA building designed by reclusive Swiss architect Peter Zumthor. When Govan, hoping she would donate, invited Wynn to tour Zumthor’s work in Europe in 2015, they wound up that August on a four-day road trip from Cologne, Germany, and Bregenz, Austria, to Haldenstein, the tiny Swiss mountain village where the architect works, with Govan behind the wheel of a rented station wagon. Marlowe Early and Govan’s daughter Ariana came along, the teenagers lending a National Lampoon’s Vacation vibe.
Wynn soon pledged USD 50 million without requesting that the building bear her name. “Without that initial 50 there would be no project,” says Govan. Music mogul David Geffen later pledged USD 150 million, securing the naming rights. Wynn is now co-chair of LACMA’s board.
The Wynns once had Picasso’s famous Le Rêve in their dining room (Steve Wynn later put his elbow through the painting by accident), but Elaine Wynn says her own tastes ran to the crafty, such as basketry and weaving. At a cocktail party at Donna Karan’s home in New York, Wynn saw a Francis Bacon work on display that sparked her interest. “It got me by the gurgle,” she says.
“I decide I’m going to enter into the auction business myself and get me a Bacon,” she says, conceding she failed at her first attempt. She began fleshing out her collection with works by Édouard Manet and Lucian Freud, as well as contemporary artists including Lauren Halsey, Adrian Ghenie and El Anatsui.
Wynn was working with art dealer Bill Acquavella in 2013 when the Bacon triptych showed up in a Christie’s auction catalog. “I always do my 48-hour test where I leave the darn thing on a credenza somewhere and go about my business,” Wynn says. “Well, this thing just didn’t leave me alone.”
A basketball fanatic, Wynn was in Chicago for the Duke versus Kansas game at the State Farm Champions Classic tournament the day of the auction. She bid anonymously from her hotel room with Acquavella on the phone. “There’s a lot of action until we get up to USD 100 million,” she recalls wryly. When the gavel smacked at USD 142.4 million, “I had this moment, like, OK, OK,” Wynn says. “I get in the car to go to the game, and I am having the worst buyer’s remorse. What have I just done?”
Much has been written about Steve Wynn, Wynn Resorts and the aftermath of the 2018 sexual harassment and assault allegations. Little is known about Elaine Wynn’s aftermath.
In 2018, she found herself an outsider, having been ousted from her office and the Wynn Resorts board after the divorce. She was now the largest individual shareholder, however, while the company was being investigated by Nevada and Massachusetts casino regulators. She was also locked in litigation with her ex and the company involving the control of her shares. Then she began to hear from women making the allegations about her husband. In a sign of the complexities of the relationships and notions of responsibility, Wynn says some described their experiences and apologized for not coming forward earlier.
“I don’t know how many other victims confess to the wives,” Wynn says. “But because of my unique situation, as being their employer-slash-mentor-slash, you know, mom—there were departments in that place that I helped put together…so I knew those people.
“People will always say, ‘How could she not have known?’ ” Wynn says. “Did I suspect that my husband could be mischievous and be, you know, a playboy?” She pauses. “All I did was apologize.”
Steve Wynn, who has said that any suggestion that he assaulted a woman is “preposterous,” declined to comment or answer any questions for this article, according to his attorney, Reid Weingarten.
Wynn’s face clouds as she discusses that year—the shame felt by her family, and the recognition that her net worth was tied up in a company that required wholly new corporate governance.
“I was really distraught by the behavior and the history that was unveiled,” Wynn says. When a longtime friend of Steve Wynn, John Hagenbuch, opted to remain on the board with the support of management, Elaine Wynn went rogue against the company she co-founded, waging a proxy fight to remove him that she says cost her “several” million dollars.
“Everybody, even her children, told her to stop,” Marlowe Early says.
Michael Klein, a banker and founder of the consultancy M. Klein & Company, was one of the advisers who accompanied her on a road trip to make the case to investors. He notes that Wynn was often received with suspicion, more as a vindictive ex-wife than a founder and shareholder. The proxy battle was bruising.
“To sleep at night, I’d say, I know I’m killing myself, but I can’t let this story end on their terms. I am the only one that’s being held accountable,” Wynn says.
In May 2018, Wynn won the proxy battle after investors and the three largest institutional investor advisory firms voted in her favor. But with critical regulatory investigations underway in Nevada and Massachusetts, the role of Wynn Resorts chairman was held by another of Steve Wynn’s longtime friends, D. Boone Wayson. Wynn saw that as a risk.
Wynn reached out to Phil Satre, the former chief executive of Harrah’s casinos, who had a reputation as the casino industry’s altar boy and was respected by regulators, whose support Wynn Resorts desperately needed. Satre was by then chairman of the board of Nordstrom Inc. Satre says that Wynn phoned him, then flew to Seattle, where he was attending a Nordstrom directors’ meeting, and convinced him to consider joining the Wynn board.
“The remarkable thing about Elaine is that a lot of people in her situation, in my opinion, would have taken her shareholder position and gone off and had a good time in Sun Valley and L.A. That’s not what she did,” says Satre, who resigned as chairman from Nordstrom and left other commitments to join Wynn Resorts that August. Wayson retired, and Satre became chairman in November.
“To sleep at night, I’d say, I know I’m killing myself, but I can’t let this story end on their terms.”— Elaine Wynn
“Her ability to finalise that last play on the chessboard—I’ve watched some fantastic tacticians in the corporate boardroom, but no one was thinking of Phil until Elaine,” Klein says.
Wynn says she is now pleased with the direction of the company. “The stock’s in the toilet but that’s OK. I’m here for the long term. We’re doing fine. And I do like the management now.”
With the casino drama settled, Wynn has turned her focus to her children and grandchildren, her life in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York (her Sun Valley, Idaho, house was under contract to be sold in April) and her work in education.
She continues to trade and collect art but says she will never sell the Bacon triptych. Yet she wishes to assuage her guilt, she says, for keeping such a valuable artwork to herself, so it will be part of her estate, destined one day for an as-yet-unnamed museum. “I’ll have had the pleasure of being a steward for a while,” Wynn says. “And that will clear my conscience.”
How much does Govan want it for LACMA? “What’s the scale?” he responds. “From one to 10? Eleven.”
Wynn recently watched a CBS Mornings interview in which Melinda French Gates reflected candidly on exiting her 27-year marriage to Bill Gates, and on the ways women are often left to answer for the men in their lives. “I had a lot of tears for many days. Days when I’m literally laying on the floor on the carpet,” French Gates told interviewer Gayle King after parrying several questions about her husband’s infidelities. “Days I certainly was angry.”
“Man,” Wynn says. “There I was right in that woman’s body, feeling what she was describing.”
This is the start of Feature No. 4:
Philippines economic outlook 2022
By guest authors Jon Canto and Kristine Romano both from McKinsey. Jon Canto is an associate partner in McKinsey’s Manila office, where Kristine Romano is a partner.The authors wish to thank Johann Co, Ryan Delos Reyes, Justine Eligio, Jazmin Jabines, Miguel Morales, Danice Parel, Patrick Roasa, and Carlos Syquia for their contributions to this article.
Companies doing business in the Philippines are assessing the implications of COVID-19 on the country’s economy. They are likely to find that three shifts introduced during the pandemic will persist into the future: economic activity will be digitally enabled but also hyperlocal; the wealth gap is widening, and new consumer segments have emerged; and the pandemic is likely to result in a greener and more sustainable economy.
Meanwhile, the consensus view shows the Philippines economy recovering by the fourth quarter of 2022 under a muted scenario, even taking the Omicron wave into account (Exhibit 1).
The economic outlook varies by industry; companies in the consumer and retail sector are likely to see a muted recovery through 2022 (Exhibit 2), but consumer demand for essentials remains strong, while some discretionary spending is likely to rebound in line with other countries in the region. The consumer behaviors learned during the pandemic—digital migration, value hunting, and the homebody economy—may stick.
The travel and hospitality sectors are poised to surpass 2019 growth in 2022, although headwinds could stall tourism recovery until 2024. In the interim, companies can take targeted actions to reinvent themselves and grow out of the pandemic. In financial services, the banking sector could take up to five years to recover from its 2020 drop in return on equity (Exhibit 3). Among Filipino consumers, active use of digital banking and e-wallet services has increased significantly.
The healthcare sector is expected to grow through 2022, while pharmaceutical manufacturing is likely to remain steady. Certain consumer behaviors—digital-care adoption, focus on preventive care and wellness, and interest in value for the money—are likely to stick after the pandemic.
Likewise, the energy and power sector is expected to expand through 2022. Finally, the outlooks for IT business process outsourcing (BPO) and remittances from overseas Filipino workers, a resilient lifeline for the Philippine economy, remain strong (Exhibit 4).
Newsletter of last Week
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The highlights of last week’s NEWS, for your convenience, just click on the feature to read.
How agile methods can give you a competitive advantage https://textile-future.com/archives/88641
The Alpine Esports Series Championship kicks off on April 28, 2022 https://textile-future.com/archives/88630
China: Luxury growth rate to slow in 2022 with fewer entry-level shoppers https://textile-future.com/archives/88704
Nespresso achieves B Corp certification https://textile-future.com/archives/88717
UBS’s first-quarter 2022 results https://textile-future.com/archives/88724
Lenzing Annual General Meeting approves all agenda items https://textile-future.com/archives/88758
Primark raises prices as its unable to offset rising inflation Primark raises prices as its unable to offset rising inflation https://textile-future.com/archives/88767
Clariant concludes investigation with preliminary continuing operations EBITDA margin of 15.5 % for 2020, increasing the original result by 50 basis points and of 16.2 % for 2021 https://textile-future.com/archives/88802
Swiss EMS-Group: Course of Business January – March 2022 https://textile-future.com/archives/88810
BASF to wind down activities in Russia and Belarus except for business that supports food production https://textile-future.com/archives/88817
MEDALLION launches New CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGY STRATEGY https://textile-future.com/archives/88826
Aldi Commits to Remove Plastic Bags from All U.S. Stores https://textile-future.com/archives/89057
Mayer & Cie. launches upgrade kits https://textile-future.com/archives/89070
India’s Cotton Import Duty Rescinded Until Late September https://textile-future.com/archives/89079
Nike and Rtfkt take on digital fashion with first “Cryptokick” sneaker https://textile-future.com/archives/88698
Swiss Total health expenditure in 2020 at CHF 83.3 billion https://textile-future.com/archives/88721
New Eurostat products bring data closer to you New Eurostat products bring data closer to you https://textile-future.com/archives/88750
Life expectancy across EU regions in 2020 https://textile-future.com/archives/88837
How many children were born in 2020? https://textile-future.com/archives/88912
93.3 million pupils and students enrolled in the EU https://textile-future.com/archives/88927
EU employment rate in 2021 above pre-COVID level https://textile-future.com/archives/88932
New OECD data show global FDI flows up 88% in 2021, above pre-pandemic levels https://textile-future.com/archives/88971
EU Electricity and gas prices in the second half of 2021 https://textile-future.com/archives/88997
Mother’s Day Jewellery Spending Expected to Reach USD 7 billion https://textile-future.com/archives/89063
Luxury’s sigh of relief on Macron re-election https://textile-future.com/archives/88646
EU-India: Joint press release on launching the Trade and Technology Council https://textile-future.com/archives/88623
Legal migration: Attracting skills and talent to the EULegal migration https://textile-future.com/archives/88844
EU and international partners put forward a Declaration for the Future of the Internet https://textile-future.com/archives/88909
ITM 2022: Rieter Further Improves Attractiveness of Ring and Compact-Spinning System https://textile-future.com/archives/88852
Trevira CS Club’s 10th Anniversary / Trevira CS at the Heimtextil Trade Fair 2022 https://textile-future.com/archives/88874
Mastering the heat in synthetic filament production Retech presents its latest innovations at Techtextil https://textile-future.com/archives/88964
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FIVE FROM FINLAND: Exercise https://textile-future.com/archives/88946
Heatwave across India https://textile-future.com/archives/88961
Netflix Cracks Down On Password Sharing https://textile-future.com/archives/88626
Carlo Gavazzi namesTobias Bissig to new CFO of the Group https://textile-future.com/archives/88830
New composition of Supervisory Board of BASF SE https://textile-future.com/archives/88990
Trützschler Card Clothing: A pioneering partnership for sustainable success in Egypt https://textile-future.com/archives/89023
OECD countries advancing slowly on sustainable development targets by 2030 https://textile-future.com/archives/88986
Best of Swissnex 2021: The Annual Report is available online https://textile-future.com/archives/88924
Tech Skills Crisis
Five fresh approaches to solving the tech skills crisis https://textile-future.com/archives/88820
IDTechEX Webinar on Ppoint-of-Care Biosensors: Covid-19 and Beyond (May 5, 2022) https://textile-future.com/archives/88635
Groz-Beckert Seminars in May: Solutions for the sewing process and the correct felting needle selection https://textile-future.com/archives/88941
World Bank: Food and Energy Price Shocks from Ukraine War Could Last for Years https://textile-future.com/archives/88764