Kelly Wearstler is an American designer. She served as a judge on Bravo‘s Top Design and in 2012 Rizzoli published her fourth book, Rhapsody. Under the pseudonym Kelly Gallagher, she is Playboy‘s Playmate of the Month for September 1994. The New Yorker once called her “the presiding grande dame of West Coast interior design”.
In spring 2011 Wearstler launched her own eponymously named fashion line, Kelly Wearstler. The first collection, for Fall 2011, was four years in the making, incorporating patterns and design aesthetics seen within Wearstler’s interior design work. Booth Moore, of the Los Angeles Times, “totally wearable” and having the appearance of being handmade or one-of-a-kind, even if not.
The Winter 2011 line was sold exclusively by Bergdorf Goodman, and featured ready-to-wear, clutches and jewelry. This debut season was described as having “feminine sensibility” by Style.com’s Nicole Phelps.
Her Spring 2012 line, featured clashing patterns and what Phelps described as a mod-glam look. Her clothing continues to be sold at Bergdorf Goodman, as well as at Neiman Marcus, Holt Renfrew and Net-a-Porter.
See also: THE MOST ICONIC PROJECTS BY JEFF ANDREWS
Biography: the man before the myth
In 1994 Wearstler was Playmate of the Month for September, under the pseudonym Kelly Gallagher in Playboy. She used the money she made from posing in Playboy to pay off her student loans and help start her interior design business; Wearstler says that she is “not ashamed of” having posed in Playboy: “If people ask me, I did it…but I don’t talk about it“, explaining that “it’s a little different now …I didn’t, you know, hang out at the mansion and things. It was just, I did it and that was it.”
In 1995 Wearstler opened her design firm, Kelly Wearstler Interior Design (Kwid). In the late 1990s, she decorated the house of real estate developer Brad Korzen (whom she married in 2002), eventually providing design services for residential properties owned by Korzen’s Kor Realty Group. Wearstler would go on to redo the interior of the Avalon, a late 1940s-era hotel in Beverly Hills owned by Korzen. This launched her foray into hotel interior design, creating what the New York Times has described as “retro-theatrical” interiors for Korzen’s collection of boutique hotels, Viceroy Hotels and Resorts.
Her work within the hotel industry built her reputation as a notable west coast designer. Wearstler also designed the restaurant and lounge, BG, at the Manhattan Bergdorf Goodman store.
In 2006, HarperCollins published Domicilum Decoratus, a photography book by Wearstler, featuring photographs of her Beverly Hills mansion and herself dressed in evening gowns. She has published three other books: Rhapsody, Hue and Modern Glamour. Wearstler was a judge on Bravo’s reality show contest Top Design for the 2008 season.
That same year, she introduced a line of decorative home goods for New York-based department store Bergdorf Goodman, which continues to carry her line. Kwid also designs exclusive bed sheets for Sferra, rugs for the Rug Company, fine china for Pickard China, and wall treatments for F. Schumacher & Co.