How David Rockwell Built a Design Empire: Photo Gallery

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W Paris Opera, the W Lounge

Part of innovation in design is looking around to see what's not being done. In the mid-'90s, I met with the CEO of the Starwood hotel chain about creating a new boutique hotel. I pitched a place that left you feeling healthier than when you arrived, as if the hotel had a spa-like ability. That became the first W Hotel, and the grid influenced every aspect of the design—from the healthy food served in the restaurant to the beds facing the window, and the wheatgrass shots. Read more about how David Rockewell built his design empire here.