Kelly Wearstler

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Kelly Wearstler
Born (1967-11-21) November 21, 1967 (age 47)
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Ethnicity American
Occupation Interior designer
Spouse(s) Brad Korzen
Children 2

Kelly Wearstler (born November 21, 1967) is an American designer. She served as a judge on Bravo's Top Design and in 2012 Rizzoli published her fourth book, Rhapsody.[1] Under the pseudonym Kelly Gallagher, she is Playboy's Playmate of the Month for September 1994.[2] The New Yorker once called her "the presiding grande dame of West Coast interior design".[3]

Personal life[edit]

Kelly Wearstler was born in 1967 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.[4] Her father was an engineer, and her mother was a closet interior designer and antique dealer.[5]

She graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art, obtaining her bachelors in interior and graphic design.[6] Her mother's career in design had a major influence on Wearstler at a young age; she would come home from school to often find rooms painted new colors.[5] In 1994[7] she moved to Los Angeles, hoping to work in the movie industry. Wearstler briefly worked a low-level job in the art department for the film So I Married an Axe Murderer and decided not to pursue a career in the film industry.[7] She met Brad Korzen in 1996,[3] and they married in 2002. The couple have two sons, Oliver and Elliot.[6][8] Wearstler lives and works in Los Angeles.[9] She credits Peggy Guggenheim and Doris Duke[5] as being her style icons.[9]

Playmate of the Month[edit]

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;[7] 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",[6] 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."[7]

Design career[edit]

Interior design[edit]

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.[10] 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.[6] Wearstler also designed the restaurant and lounge, BG, at the Manhattan Bergdorf Goodman store.[5][11] In 2006, HarperCollins published Domicilum Decoratus, a photography book by Wearstler, featuring photographs of her Beverly Hills mansion and herself dressed in evening gowns.[6] She has published three other books: Rhapsody, Hue and Modern Glamour.[9] 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.[6] Kwid also designs exclusive bed sheets for Sferra, rugs for the Rug Company, fine china for Pickard China,[12] and wall treatments for F. Schumacher & Co.[9]

As an interior designer, Wearstler finds influence in Modernism and old Hollywood glamour as created by Dorothy Draper and William Haines, and the work of architect Aldo Rossi.[13] Her style has been described as "Hollywood Regency" and "Maximalism". She is credited, alongside Jonathan Adler and Miles Redd as bringing "the florid and the decorative back to interior design", mixing modern and historical designs, such as a Rococo mirror, against a turquoise painted wall, accented by a shag rug.[6] Wearstler visits auction houses to collect furniture and decor items for projects.[13] In 2008 she was deemed a "mega decorator" by Domino, being described as reaching out to "the hip design public", in the many hotel interiors she has designed.[6] Wearstler believes clutter to be the biggest faux pas in home decor.[9]

Fashion design[edit]

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.[14] 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's Nicole Phelps.[15] Her Spring 2012 line, featured clashing patterns and what Phelps described as a mod-glam look.[16] Her clothing continues to be sold at Bergdorf Goodman, as well as at Neiman Marcus, Holt Renfrew and Net-a-Porter.[9]



  1. ^ Keeps, David A. "Kelly Wearstler on her latest 'Rhapsody'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 10, 2012. 
  2. ^ "How Your Playboy Centerfold Sausage Is Made". Top Stories. Jezebel. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Goodyear, Dana (Sep 14, 2009). "Lady of the House: Kelly Wearstler’s maximal style". The New Yorker: 60–65. Retrieved 2011-04-27. 
  4. ^ "Playmate data". Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Profile: Kelly Wearstler". All The Best. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Colman, David. "Kelly Wearstler: The Decorator, the House and the Deal-Breaker". New York Times. Retrieved September 18, 2011. }
  7. ^ a b c d "Kelly Wearstler's Over-the-Top Glamour". CBS News. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  8. ^ Muhlke, Christine (April 27, 2010). "Kelly Wearstler". Design, Travel (New York Times). Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Kelly Wearstler". Fashion (Wall Street Journal). July 16, 2011. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Kelly Wearstler's Ultra-glam Beach House". Design + Decorate. Elle Decor. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  11. ^ Cintra Wilson (August 2, 2007). "Prada’s Sassy Sister Knows How to Party". The New York Times. Retrieved September 28, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Kelly Wearstler Tableware". Kelly Wearstler. Pickard China. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  13. ^ a b "J’adore: Kelly Wearstler". Art & Design. W. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Kelly Wearstler's designs on fashion". All the Rage (Los Angeles Times). Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Kelly Wearstler". Winter 2011 Ready-to-wear. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Kelly Wearstler". Spring 2012 Ready-to-wear. Retrieved September 18, 2011. 

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