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Richard Frinier: Celebration + Retrospective

Casual industry leaders, architects and editors attend event

The Mondrian West Hollywood served as the stage for an exclusive, invitation-only event on Nov. 14, highlighting the work and honoring the lifetime achievements of internationally acclaimed, Southern California-based designer Richard Frinier.

Catherine and Richard Frinier

Hosted by his wife and partner, Catherine Frinier, the event presented guests with an over-the-top evening infused with award-winning design, creative guests, fabulous food, amazing entertainment and an extraordinary attention to detail.

“We were able to exhibit some of Richard’s best work over the past 30 years and bring together family, friends, industry colleagues, A+D luminaries, clients and curatorial, as well as media for one evening to celebrate his recent Lifetime Achievement Award,” Catherine Frinier said. The designer received the prestigious award in September in Chicago from the International Casual Furnishings Association, a division of the American Home Furnishings Alliance, for his exemplary contribution to the casual furnishings industry at large and to his community.

Richard Frinier is regarded globally as a premier designer in luxury leisure furnishings and textiles. He currently designs co-branded and exclusive collections with sought after brands in the home furnishings’ industry including, DEDON, Century Furniture, Glen Raven/Sunbrella, Currey & Company, and others. He also spent more than 20 years of his professional design career with lauded outdoor furniture manufacturer and marketer, Brown Jordan, where many of his collectible designs remain in the company’s product line today.

The event itself was designed with an attention to detail and very high level of sophisticated, casual chic for which the designer is best known. Signature creations were exhibited in an indoor gallery and also projected onto stunning paper-thin polymer screens in the crisp night air of Mondrian’s Asia de Cuba indoor/outdoor venue.

Frinier’s furniture designs, frequently touted as some of the finest in the world, are certainly among the most celebrated and awarded internationally. They also appoint very unique spaces, such as the Vatican, and may be found in royal palaces, luxury resorts and hotels, and the finest private estates and residences of political leaders, sports figures, celebrities and entrepreneurs worldwide.

Executive Chef Philip Dubose created an unforgettable and seemingly never-ending feast for the designer’s honored guests, including signature cocktails named after the designer’s most sought after designs and a fusion of Asian and Cuban cuisine for which Mondrian’s Asia de Cuba restaurant is best known. French and California champagne and wines were selected by guest sommeliers, Stephanie and David Kennedy. A magnificent celebration menu was customized and complemented the designer’s passion for travel and travel-inspired design.

Designer Richard Frinier delighted guests with the gift of an authentic Panama travel hat from the village of Cuenca, Ecuador. He added a personal lesson in how to roll a hat after a tribute to him and just before guests dined. Impeccably designed and sculptural floral creations by Eric Buterbaugh of The Four Seasons in Beverly Hills graced every surface while music by DJ Michael Smith, filled the interior and exterior spaces with an inspirational sound mix throughout the night.

Notable guests included Tibbie Dunbar, executive director of the A+D Museum of Los Angeles and her husband, Patrick Falls; Joe Ruggiero, founder of HGTV, author/writer and home furnishings designer; Allan Palecek, CEO and founder of Palecek Designs; Ana Escalante, architect and philanthropist and her colleague and architect Alexander Meyerhoff; designer/builder Nigel Copley of Montecito and his wife Cristal Clarke of Sotheby’s International Realty; Gene Moriarty, CEO and president of Brown Jordan International; David Kennedy, regional sales director of DEDON North America and the Caribbean; Eric and Beverly Graham of Century Furniture; Suzie Roberts of Glen Raven/Sunbrella Mills; and Janice Feldman, founder, CEO and president of JANUS et Cie.

What design and home furnishings’ industry leaders say about Richard Frinier . . .

"Richard Frinier is the visionary perfectionist yet humble designer who has become the quintessential ambassador of the casual living industry," said Jaclyn Hirschhaut, American Home Furnishings Alliance vice president, public relations and marketing.

"Quite simply, Richard Frinier is one of the very best living furniture designers working today,” said Edward J. Collins, The Washington Design Center vice president and general manager. “His designs stand the test of time, function and beauty. His genius and talents are matched only by his wonderful insight and humble persona . . . and that’s the bad news.”

Mayer Rus, Los Angeles Times Magazine design and cultural editor, said, "Richard Frinier is the rarest kind of designer, equally comfortable experimenting with avant-garde forms and concepts . . . his work has exploded antiquated notions about the possibilities for gracious, beautiful and practical outdoor living.”

"There is no other designer in the casual furniture industry like Richard Frinier – no one else brings his level of elegance and sophistication to outdoor furniture, or thinks as expansively about its possibilities,” said Jorge S. Arango, author/luxury design editor.

“With the enormous growth of outdoor living, few people have done as much as Richard Frinier to make the experience more inviting and comfortable,” said Newell Turner, House Beautiful style editor. “He has been at the forefront with furniture and lighting designs that help eliminate the barriers between beautiful rooms and the great outdoors.”

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