Anda Andrei

Category: Travel Designer Of The Year

Anda Andrei may come from difficult circumstances—the architect left Romania as a refugee in 1981, at age 27, and lived in a welfare hotel when she first arrived in New York City—but, in the stuff coming-to-America dreams are made of, she went on to become Ian Schrager’s right-hand designer for three decades. Then, four years ago, at age 59, she decided to create her own firm. “Working with Ian was a fairy tale in many ways,” Andrei  says, “but I thought if I ever want to do anything else in my life before I’m a hundred, it’s now or never!” Her firm has left its indelible beauty mark on everything from The Norm, the gallery-like restaurant at the Brooklyn Museum; to Aby Rosen’s new buzzing social hive, the 11 Howard hotel in SoHo; to The Asbury Hotel, a colorful, wicker-dotted hideaway in Asbury Park, New Jersey, that’s vacation mode incarnate. “The way I approach hotels is about quality of life and creating great experiences and a little bit of fantasy,” she says. “People that don’t know how to enjoy life cannot create spaces for enjoying life—happiness and sexiness comes from within, and reflects in your work.”

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