As he leads his luxury brand into a new era as global tastemaker, retail revolutionary Gary Friedman shares his vision.
As physical retail continues to flex its muscle in a post-pandemic landscape, RH Chief Executive Officer Gary Friedman is ushering in a new brick-and-mortar chapter for the luxury home furnishings company by expanding the brand’s reach into the lifestyle and hospitality industries.
This year will see the launch of the World of RH, a new digital portal featuring the entire RH ecosystem—including product lines RH Contemporary, RH Interiors, RH Modern, RH Outdoor, RH Beach House, RH Ski House, RH TEEN and RH Baby & Child. This new portal will also offer experiences through RH Places, which include RH Galleries, RH Guesthouses, RH Bath Houses & Spas, RH Residences, and RH Restaurants.
“Our hospitality efforts will continue to elevate the RH brand as we extend beyond the four walls of our Galleries into RH Guesthouses, where our goal is to create a new market for travelers seeking privacy and luxury in the $200 billion North American hotel industry,” said Friedman.
The first RH Guesthouse—a pool-topped, 9-room boutique hotel in New York’s Meatpacking District—is set to open this year, and in 2023, RH will open its second Guesthouse in Aspen, where the first RH Residences will also be unveiled.
The full scope of the RH Aspen community will include a new RH Gallery, the brand’s first RH Bath House & Spa, and several residential developments. The RH Residences at the historic Boomerang Lodge will include up to five fully furnished, four-bedroom custom homes and the RH Residence on Red Mountain, which will feature a six-bedroom home with an infinity pool and scenic views. Buyers will receive membership to the RH Bath House & Spa, along with priority reservations at the brand’s restaurants and private dining venues.
Pushing beyond the North American market, RH is becoming a worldwide brand with the launch of its Global Expansion. RH England, The Gallery at the Historic Aynhoe Park, a 73-acre estate designed in 1615 by the legendary English architect Sir John Soane, is set to open this year.
RH Gallery locations have also been secured in London, Paris, Munich, and Dusseldorf, and RH is currently in lease or purchase negotiations for Galleries in Milan, Madrid, and Brussels.
Although all RH offerings can be described as experiences, the brand is creating bespoke adventures with RH Yountville, an integration of food, wine, art, and design in Napa Valley; the brand’s private jets; and a luxury yacht for charter in the Caribbean and Mediterranean seas. “These immersive experiences expose new and existing customers to our evolving authority in architecture design and landscape architecture,” Friedman explained.
As the brand expands, retail will always be at RH’s core, proven by what Friedman calls “the most meaningful new product launch in our history.” This spring, RH introduced RH Contemporary, a new collection that bridges the gap between RH Interiors and RH Modern. “I believe RH Contemporary has the potential to attract the most sophisticated customers and interior designers and open up an entirely new market for the RH brand,” Friedman added.
The brand will further expand its reach by offering several new services. RH Couture Upholstery and RH Bespoke Furniture are both set to launch in 2023, and RH In-Your-Home—a high-touch delivery experience—will expand to extend the selling experience into clients’ homes, with furniture ambassadors guiding every detail of the process.
With an ambitious vision of real-life immersive experiences that transcend RH from being a place to shop to an all-encompassing arbiter of taste, Friedman envisions a stylish future where the RH aesthetic will reign.
“Our ecosystem inspires customers to dream, design, dine, travel, and live in a world thoughtfully curated by RH, creating an emotional connection unlike any other brand in the world.”
RH has long been known for attracting some of the best designers and artisans in the industry. “Connecting with great talents gets you great things,” CEO Gary Friedman told Architectural Digest back in 2016. Now, as it continues to evolve from a luxury home furnishings brand into a luxury lifestyle brand, RH has enlisted some of the world’s most influential designers to bring its vision to life.
RH Collections: Rain, Fulcrum, and Pearl Lighting Collections, Ice Table Occasional Furniture Collection, and Aperture Mirror Collection
Signature Style: Seductive and Hypnotic
Los Angeles-based glass designer and artist Berger blurs the line between lighting and sculpture in her designs, using age-old glass blowing techniques to create innovative lighting concepts that transcend time and place. “For me, light is time,” Berger says.
RH Collections: Machinist Glass Cloche Collection, Boule de Cristal Clear Glass Lighting Collection, Marignan Tiered Lighting Collection
Signature Style: Form Follows Beauty
With a focus on both style and quality, lighting designer Browning draws inspiration from residential architecture built between 1880 and 1920. “For me, to be modern, I don’t go forward, I go back,” Browning says.
RH Collections: Davos Collection, Balmain Outdoor Collection, Navaro Outdoor Collection
Signature Style: Coastal Cool
From their Sydney design studio Harbour Outdoor, the Australian Condos brothers bring their love of the great outdoors to their minimalist designs. Using materials like powder-coated aluminum, sustainable harvested teak, and mildew-resistant upholstery, their furniture withstands a variety of climates.
RH Collection: The Thaddeus Collection
Signature Style: Classic Meets Contemporary
Virginia-based Lawrence—daughter of RH collaborator Rudy van Thiel—tapped into her love of sculpture to create an occasional collection that feels at once luxurious and rustic, using Italian Carrara marble, hand-hammered metal, and other organic textures to bring her pieces to life.
RH Collections: Navone Modular Sofa Collection, Torino Modular Sofa Collection, Vida Modular Sofa Collection
Signature Style: Ephemeral and Poetic
Milan-based furniture designer and architect Navone brings an eclectic ethos and avant-garde aesthetic to her sofas and chairs. Crafted in Italy by master upholsterers, Navone’s contemporary designs exude a refined European sense of comfort.
RH Collection: Cloud Sofa Collection
Signature Style: Minimalist Design, Maximalist Comfort
London-based Oulton designed the groundbreaking modular Cloud Sofa as something that could be customized according to the way people live, fit in any space, and offer so much comfort it would be possible to spend an entire weekend on it without ever leaving.
RH Collections: Marino Outdoor Collection, Miramar Outdoor Collection, Isla Outdoor Collection
Signature Style: Pure Architectural Lines
Barcelona-based designer Ruiz pays homage to midcentury Scandinavian design with his outdoor furniture collections, using materials like sustainably harvested teak, hand-woven wicker, and hand-crafted aluminum to form architectural compositions that feel at one with nature.
RH Collections: French Contemporary Collection, The Cayden Campaign Collection
Signature Style: Rustic and Refined
Netherland natives Rudy van Thiel and his sons Rudy Jr. and Frederik channel European classical design for their elegantly artful collections of rustic white oak cabinets, tables, and chairs.
RH Collections: Greystone Outdoor Collection, Pavona Outdoor Collection
Signature Style: Timeless Sophistication
Los Angeles-based furniture designer and trained architectural engineer Vering draws inspiration from other places and times. In her Greystone outdoor furniture collection, Vering reinterprets the sophisticated latticework found in European Neoclassical Garden furniture.
Five RH Galleries are located within the Brookfield Properties portfolio, including Iconic Collection destinations:
Oakbrook Center | Oak Brook, IL
The Shops at La Cantera | San Antonio, TX
Tysons Galleria | McLean, VA