Podcasts on every conceivable topic have grown increasingly popular in recent years. In fact, Nielsen Podcast Insights reports that 50 percent of all homes in the U.S., about 60 million, are podcast fans.
Now, the most famous shopping street in the world is the subject of its own dedicated podcast. The bi-monthly “Rodeo Drive- The Podcast: Untold Stories of Fashion, Art and Entertainment,” debuted May 29. This coincides with the 95th birthday of the “Godfather of Rodeo Drive,” retailer Fred Hayman whose trendsetting Giorgio boutique is the subject of the first episode.
The podcast is presented by the Rodeo Drive Committee with the support of the City of Beverly Hills. Hosted by fashion author and broadcaster Bronwyn Cosgrave, the eight-part series dives into the history and personalities of the street’s famous designers. It also touches upon the future, as retailers reemerge during a period of continued social distancing.
The program will take listeners behind the scenes as it explores how a former bridle path was transformed by pioneering entrepreneurs, hoteliers, designers, architects and visionary retailers to rival New York’s Fifth Avenue. Guests include Rose Apodaca, Nicolas Bijan, Michael Chow, Robert Hayman, Stephen Jones OBE, Dame Zandra Rhodes, Cameron Silver, and others. Subjects include Howard Greer, Paramount Pictures’ chief costume designer, who is credited for bringing the spirit of Paris couture to Rodeo Drive.
Cosgrave became familiar with the other side of Rodeo Drive when researching her book “Made for Each Other: Fashion and the Academy Awards.”
“I experienced Rodeo for the first time not as a shopper but what went on behind the scenes,” Cosgrave told the Courier. “My experience was with the people that built it and less about walking into a store and acquiring things. It’s about craftsmanship and relationships and this beautiful village that grew into a lifestyle.”
Cosgrave, who also hosts “A Different Tweed” podcast exploring the creative process in fashion, noted, “When one talks about fashion it really triggers the imagination, but these places are about more than shopping. It’s a community and it’s global. We will be hearing from up-and-comers and legends. From 25 to 85-years-old, they all have compelling stories to tell.”
The podcast is part of the Rodeo Drive Committee’s expanding digital offering and follows the recent launch of Rodeo Drive Recommends, a new online vertical created to connect international visitors, residents, customers and businesses with news and stories about Rodeo Drive.
Current Vice President of Rodeo Drive Committee and past president, Kathy Davoudi-Gohari, has spent three decades in the City, and is Director of Client Engagement West Coast at Valentino. “Obviously, podcasts have become a very strong force. It not only gave us an opportunity to reach out to local people, but also someone across the world who plans to visit us one day. It allows a little window into what they are in for,” Gohari told the Courier.
“Like in fashion there is a constant reinvention – looking back and forward,” said podcast Executive Producer Lyn Winter. “The pandemic has created a moment of global reflection. Whether it will ever be the same, nobody knows. It’s been a moment to reassess and reinvent and that is really what this is about.”
The program will examine luxury today and how it intersects with fashion, art, design and architecture. “The podcast can connect with people in a way that I believe luxury is today – personal, in your own time and a direct communication,” said Winter.
“There is a lot of positive thinking about where fashion can go and do better and where Rodeo Drive goes next,” said Cosgrave.