Rodeo Drive

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Rodeo Drive
Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, LA, CA, jjron 21.03.2012.jpg
Rodeo Drive in 2012
LocationBeverly Hills, California
Los Angeles, California
Coordinates34°4′9.23″N 118°24′10.76″W / 34.0692306°N 118.4029889°W / 34.0692306; -118.4029889Coordinates: 34°4′9.23″N 118°24′10.76″W / 34.0692306°N 118.4029889°W / 34.0692306; -118.4029889
South endBeverwil Drive in Los Angeles
North endSunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills
EastNorth Beverly Drive
WestNorth Camden Drive

Rodeo Drive /rˈd/ is a two-mile-long (3.2 km) street, primarily in Beverly Hills, California, with its southern segment in the City of Los Angeles. Its southern terminus is at Beverwil Drive, and its northern terminus is at its intersection with Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills. The name is most commonly used metonymically to refer to the three-block stretch of the street north of Wilshire Boulevard and south of Little Santa Monica Boulevard, which is known for its luxury goods stores.


Early history[edit]

In 1906, Burton E. Green (1868-1965) and other investors purchased the property that would become Beverly Hills, formerly named Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas, with plans for a mixed-use subdivision with a branch of the Los Angeles and Pacific Railway running North on Rodeo Drive before turning west at Sunset Boulevard.[1] They platted the street that very year, in 1906.[2] By 1907, 75x160 foot parcels on Rodeo were selling for $1,100 each.[3] It became a bridle path in 1912, when the Beverly Hills Hotel was built on a former lima bean field.[2] By November 1925, similar lots were selling for between $15,000 and $30,000, almost double what they'd been selling for in September.[4]

Rodeo Drive street sign

The central part of Rodeo eventually became a business street with hardware stores, gas stations,[5] beauty shops, and bookstores. In 1958, real estate developer Marvin Kratter bought 48,000 square feet of land at the corner of Rodeo and Wilshire Boulevard from the city of Beverly Hills.[6] The acreage is across the street from the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and Kratter paid something over $2 million for it.[6]

Origin of a new image[edit]

A Vector W8 parked in front of the Gucci store

In 1967 Fred Hayman, "the father of Rodeo Drive," opened Giorgio Beverly Hills, the street's first high-end boutique.[5] In 1968 Aldo Gucci opened a store on Rodeo, which catalyzed the process by which the street took on its present form.[7] Van Cleef & Arpels opened in 1969, followed by a Vidal Sassoon salon in 1970.

According to erstwhile co-chair of the "Rodeo Drive Committee" Richard Carroll, the transformation of Rodeo Drive into an international center of fashionable shopping was sparked in 1971 with the opening of a new wing of the Beverly Wilshire.[8] In 1980 Carroll noted that before then "There was nothing at all of an international nature on the street. Rodeo was purely local in flavor."[8] In 1977 the Rodeo Drive Committee "launched a publicity campaign designed to make everyone around the world think of Rodeo Drive as the shopping street of the rich and famous."[9] The RDC wanted to make Rodeo Drive an economic engine for Beverly Hills and spread the image of a "culturally elite lifestyle."[10]

In 1976, Bijan Pakzad opened a showroom on Rodeo, which helped to solidify "Rodeo Drive's reputation as a luxury shopping destination."[11][12] Pakzad touted his Rodeo Drive store as "the most expensive in the world," but, as Women's Wear Daily notes in relation to the claim, "he was known for hyperbole."[11] By 1978 the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce was boasting that Rodeo Drive was "the essence of the best of all the shopping centers of the world"[13] and by 1980 the city of Beverly Hills estimated that the Rodeo Drive shopping district accounted for as much as 25% of its sales tax revenues.[8] The building at 332 N. Rodeo was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.[14]

International fashion centre[edit]

European-style buildings on Two Rodeo Drive

The "Rodeo Collection," a 45 store, 70,000 square foot shopping mall[15] opened in 1983[16] at 421 N. Rodeo Drive. The building is only four stories high with the first floor below street level in order to satisfy local building codes. The retail space initially leased for as much as $120 per square foot, which, according to an executive with commercial real estate firm Julien J. Studley, was "the highest price for any kind of space in the Los Angeles Area."[15]

Two Rodeo Drive, another outdoor shopping center, was built in 1990. It initially housed, amongst other stores, Christian Dior and Valentino.[17] The original developer, Douglas Stitzel, sold the property for about $200 million immediately after its completion.[17] The shopping center was hard-hit by the early 1990s recession, with occupancy rates dropping to as low as 60%, and the buyers sold it at an almost $70 million loss in 2000.[17] By 2007 the property was financially stable again and was sold to a group of Irish investors for $275 million.[17] It resembles a “faux-European shopping alley” and features a cobblestone street.[18] Some architects have claimed that Two Rodeo Drive is similar to a "theme park in the manner of Disneyland."[19]

French fashion firm Lanvin opened a store on Rodeo in 2011.[20] According to CEO Thierry Andretta local customers were expected to account for about 60% of the store's sales, with international tourists accounting for the balance,[20] lending some credence to Rodeo Drive's reputation as an internationally renowned shopping area.

Walk of Style[edit]

Model crosses Brighton Way at Rodeo Drive during a photo shoot, 2013.
A "Torso" sculpture featured on Rodeo Drive

In 2003, Rodeo Drive was given an $18 million makeover which included widening the streets and the addition of crosswalks. The ficus trees lining the street were taken out and replaced with palm trees. In September of the same year, the Rodeo Drive Committee developed the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style.[21] The Walk of Style features plaques set in the sidewalks along Rodeo Drive. Fashion icons are honored with the award for their work in style and fashion.[22] At the intersection of Rodeo Drive and Dayton Way is the majestic, nude sculpture entitled "Torso." This famed statue was created by world-renowned sculptor Robert Graham and is the symbol for the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style. Recipients of the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award receive a "Torso" maquette also designed by artist Bob Graham.[23]


Every Father's day, the annual Rodeo Drive Concours d'Elegance occurs on Rodeo Drive, displaying some of the world’s most expensive automobiles. Travel publisher Frommer's named it one of the "300 Unmissable Events & Festivals Around the World."[24]

“Fashion’s Night Out” is an event that was created in 2009 in New York City in hopes of boosting the economy during the recession. Its goals were to “celebrate fashion, restore consumer confidence and boost the industry’s economy.” In 2012, 500 cities across the United States (including Los Angeles), as well as 30 cities around the world adopted the event. It is held annually in September on the same night worldwide.[25] The carnival features a 60-foot Ferris wheel and other attractions on the three blocks of the Rodeo Drive business district.[26]

It also hosts the annual Rodeo Drive Festival of Watches and Jewelry.[27][28][29]


The word rodeo as a term referring to the cowboy sports can be pronounced with the stress on either the first (/ˈr.di./) or second (/rˈd./) syllable. For the street in Beverly Hills, however, only the latter pronunciation is commonly used.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New Railroad and New City". Los Angeles Times. November 10, 1906. p. I12.
  2. ^ a b Goode, Terrance (Spring 1998). "Rodeo Drive: The History of a "Street of Dreams"". Journal of Architectural and Planning Research. 15 (1): 45–60. JSTOR 43030442.
  3. ^ "Sales in Beverly Hills". Los Angeles Times. May 19, 1907. p. V20.
  4. ^ "Realty Values Show Increase:Beverly Hills Lots Reveal Remarkable Gains". Los Angeles Times. November 22, 1925.
  5. ^ a b Sandy Cohen (June 8, 2011). "Honors for Fred Hayman, the father of legendary Rodeo Drive". The Daily Star. p. 12. But back in 1964, when Fred Hayman started building his Giorgio Beverly Hills shop, Rodeo Drive was just a regular city street, with a grocer, a gas station and a hardware store. Hayman became its ambassador. He envisioned the street as an elegant home to the finest designers and boutiques, a magnet for starlets and socialites, like an American Champs-Elysees, a sexy, fun, camera-ready intersection of Hollywood and fashion. Giorgio Beverly Hills, located at 273 Rodeo Drive, boasted its own oak bar and pool table, where gentlemen could pass the time as the ladies shopped. Hayman welcomed browsers with a glass of Champagne. He personally invited celebrity contacts he met at the Hilton to experience his latest business venture, creating an air of sophistication among the clientele.
  6. ^ a b "Deal at Beverly Hills: Investor Enlarges Holdings in Coast City Realty". New York Times. February 19, 1958. p. 45.
  7. ^ Ilpo Koskinen (Spring 2005). "Semiotic Neighborhoods". Design Issues. 21 (2): 13–27. doi:10.1162/0747936053630142. JSTOR 25223990.(subscription required)
  8. ^ a b c Barbara Baird (June 8, 1980). "Complimentary Cappucino: Shoppers' Street of Dreams is Chic Showcase of Opulence". Los Angeles Times. p. W81.
  9. ^ Kasindorf, Jeanie (19 November 1984). "Rodeo Drive: Fear of Buying". New York Magazine: 20.
  10. ^ Goode, T. (1998). "Rodeo Drive: The History of a "Street of Dreams"". Journal of Architectural and Planning Research. 15 (1): 45.
  11. ^ a b Brown, Rachel (19 April 2011). "Bijan Pakzad, Rodeo Drive Pioneer". Women's Wear Daily. 201 (80): 6. Retrieved 7 April 2014.(subscription required)
  12. ^ Khouri, Andrew (August 26, 2016). "Bijan property on Rodeo Drive sells for $19,000 a square foot". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  13. ^ Pamela G. Hollie (December 14, 1978). "Glittering Stores For Sheiks, Stars: A Great Westward Migration". New York Times. p. D1.
  14. ^ "Rodeo Drive—It's 'a giant sundae' and some of the world's most exclusive shops". Los Angeles Times. November 25, 1977. p. J19.
  15. ^ a b Ryon, Ruth (May 25, 1980). "That Glitter in Beverly Hills is Growth of Rodeo Drive". Los Angeles Times. p. I1.
  16. ^ Darling, Michael (September 9, 2013). "A Rodeo Drive timeline". Los Angeles Times.
  17. ^ a b c d Vincent, Roger (18 September 2007). "Rodeo Drive shopping center sold". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  18. ^ Rough Guides (2011). The Rough Guide to California. Penguin, 2011. p. 109.
  19. ^ David Gebhard (2003). An Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles. Gibbs Smith. pp. 158–9. ISBN 978-1-58685-308-2.
  20. ^ a b Brown, Rachel (31 January 2011). "Lanvin Lands On Rodeo". Women's Wear Daily. 201 (20): 3. Retrieved 7 April 2014.(subscription required)
  21. ^ Nguyen, Daisy (24 December 2003). "Rodeo Drive Gets Needed Makeover". The Augusta Chronicle. p. A13. Retrieved 1 April 2014.(subscription required)
  22. ^ Schmidt, Ingrid (5 February 2014). "Designer Catherine Martin to get Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  23. ^ Roug, Louise (4 March 2003). "Armani is first to get star on fashion 'Walk of Style'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  24. ^ Garon, Brenton (18 June 2010). "Concours to Honor Event Participants On Father's Day" (PDF). The Beverly Hills Courier. p. 24. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  25. ^ Hsu, Tiffany (27 February 2013). "Fashion's Night Out, designed to boost economy, goes on hiatus". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  26. ^ Yvette, Mar (7 September 2011). "Fashion's Night Out LA 2011: Where To Go For The Best Deals, Steals & Meals". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  27. ^ Susan Denley, Rodeo Drive Festival of Watches gears up, The Los Angeles Times, October 09, 2013
  28. ^ 'Rodeo Drive Festival of Watches and Jewelry is Sunday', The Beverly Hills Courier, September 12, 2014, p. 8 [1]
  29. ^ Rodeo Drive: Festival of Watches + Jewelry
  30. ^ Grace Kingsley (January 12, 1928). "Lubitsch Directs Barrymore". Los Angeles Times. p. A9.
  31. ^ "The Victims: Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman". CNN: The O.J. Simpson Pages.
  32. ^ "Director Buys Beverly Hills Dwelling Site". Los Angeles Times. September 19, 1926. p. E4.
  33. ^ "Actress's Auto to Be Sold: Ruth Chatterton's Coupe Attached for Lien of $121.50". New York Times. May 29, 1928. p. 11.

External links[edit]