Jesse Keyes

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Jesse Keyes
Jesse Keyes Headshoot
Born (1971-12-15) December 15, 1971 (age 49)
Alma materPrinceton University, Columbia University, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Bloustein School of Planning
AwardsFulbright Fellowship, GSAPP Kinne Fellowship
ProjectsOne Seventh Avenue South, Karolina Zmarlak, DC Keyes Residence, Hotel Griffou, E_P, XIX

Jesse Keyes (born December 15, 1971) is an American design entrepreneur. He developed One 7th Avenue South and created and co-owns the restaurant Hotel Griffou and the fashion label Karolina Zmarlak.

Early life[edit]

Born in Stanford, California, Keyes studied urban planning at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University, earning a B.A. in 1995. He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to study architecture in Barcelona where he earned a Master's degree from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in 1997.[1] He received a Masters of Science from the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation in 1999. He completed a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) in urban planning from the Bloustein School in 2016.[citation needed]


Keyes founded MODO to house his spatially based endeavors to use modern techniques in fashion, design, and building under one roof.[citation needed]

Keyes developed One Seventh Avenue South, a triangular condominium building in downtown Manhattan where Keyes "was looking for a development opportunity," he said, "to make a statement."[2] He is co-owner and operating partner at Hotel Griffou where the design makes reference to New York's past.[3] The house "embodies the essential modernist tenet of building what you need and nothing more."[4] MODO designed and developed the Intent Media work environment.[citation needed]

Keyes is the co-founder and Executive Producer of the Karolina Zmarlak product development studio, known as KZ_K Studio. Keyes worked with Zmarlak to make conceptual and versatile pieces.[5] With Zmarlak, their fashion label was selected as one of sixty "Premier Designers" in the uppermost design category at Neiman Marcus Direct.[6] Keyes produced a film for Zmarlak that was launched on W Magazine's Fashion Film series: "Double Identity/Podwojna Tozsamosc was inspired by Women of Communism in Poland."[7] The partners maintain a "commitment to using luxury fabrications and focusing on craftsmanship."[8] The studio’s product designs are undergirded by "Modernist European tailoring with innovative techniques."[citation needed] Vogue has covered the designs, launching fashion films produced by Keyes, and stating that "convertibility" is the studio’s “thing."[9]

Keyes designed E_P in the basement of the old CBGB, which is now below the John Varvatos boutique on the Bowery.[10][11] He also designed the XIX lounge on Kenmare Street.[12][13] He wrote a column for Blackbook Magazine, entitled "Dark Design," concerning the aesthetics of nightlife.[14]

For President Barack Obama’s second inauguration, Keyes hosted a gathering for around 400 guests-including John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, Paula Abdul, Sophia Bush, and Zmarlak at the residence of his grandfather, architect Arthur H. Keyes.[15]


  1. ^ Sheftell, Jason (January 3, 2008). "Developer Jesse Keyes turns unconventional into bold statement". Daily News (New York). Retrieved 2011-07-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Hughes, C. J. (August 2, 2007). "Three Sides to This Condo Story". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-07-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Nathan, Jean (July 7, 2009). "Griffou's Wilde Past: West Village Restaurant's Ghost Guests Included Oscar, Twain, Tarbell". The New York Observer. Retrieved 2011-07-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Mundo Resink and Stefan Blokker (2012-12-27). "Awesome Offices: Inside 15 Fantastic Startup Workplaces in New York". Retrieved 2014-08-10. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Karolina Zmarlak Transformational value - BOF". The Business of Fashion. 2009-05-22. Retrieved 2014-08-10. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Karolina Zmarlak 3/4-Sleeve Darted Geometric Jacket & Straight Skirt". Archived from the original on 2014-05-08. Retrieved 2014-08-10.
  7. ^ "Double Identity: Karolina Zmarlak F/W 2011 by Matt Kliegman". Trendland. 2011-04-16. Retrieved 2014-08-10. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "KAROLINA ZMARLAK IS A LABEL TO WATCH". Fashionista. Retrieved 6 March 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Fall 2015 Ready to Wear: Karolina Zmarlak". Vogue. Retrieved 18 March 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "The Closer: Flips and Splits of New York's real estate community". NY Daily News. Retrieved 25 March 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Axl not sweet to fashionistas". New York Post. Retrieved 2010-02-12. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ Cohen, Stefanie (Aug 25, 2010). "Once a total drag, Kenmare Street is the coolest new food strip in town". New York Post. Archived from the original on 2010-08-25. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
  13. ^ "A Plush New Lounge on Kenmare". UrbanDaddy. Retrieved 23 August 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ Gall, Tatjana; Keyes, Jesse (July 8, 2008). "Dark Design: Mummified in Moomia". BlackBook. Retrieved 2008-07-08. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ "V Magazine / V In Dc". V magazine. Retrieved 22 January 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]