Imagine going to a club and spotting Norman Reedus, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sofia Vergara, Prabal Gurung, Joan Collins, Daphne Guinness and Mick Jagger all in the same place. Talk about multi-generational glamour. This what you can expect at Giorgio’s, the invitation-only club at The Standard in Hollywood.
Run by business partners Bryan Rabin and Adam Bravin, the establishment has been THE place to go for Hollywood A-listers for a little over two years now. The entrepreneurs attribute their success to a simple formula: no cameras, music that resonates with whomever is in the room, and absolute privacy—something that these days, is practically obsolete.
Rabin and Bravin have recently transitioned the club from two years of fabulous ‘70’s music into the shoulder padded, day-glow days of the ‘80s, playing everything from Duran Duran to Prince and Run DMC. The co-owners chatted with us, sharing on why they’ve moved it up a decade, some of their favorite moments, and where they like to hang out when not in their own establishment on Sunset.
JustLuxe: Why the switchover to the ‘80s?
Bryan Rabin: Adam and I opened Giorgio’s about six weeks before the Daft Punk record dropped. We really felt a disco moment was right in terms of sound, sight and sensibilities. The political climate was very much mirroring the ‘70s. Gay rights, human rights and people wanted to just get lost in music and dress, dress, dress!
Adam Bravin: We realized that as of late, a new sound was coming forth, mirroring the 80’s dance music scene. From early hip-hop to freestyle to synth, New Jack Swing, New Wave and a little rock and roll. The title of our club, Giorgio’s, has always been inspired by the long and evolving career of history making producer, Giorgio Moroder, who himself is now making a transition into the next decade. We also feel that in terms of fashion, we really mined the ‘70s. After Giorgio’s opened, many designers such as Tom Ford, created disco collections. High fashion always used the streets for inspiration, and we felt that it was time to move on and explore the many musical genres of the ‘80s that were decadent with emotional feelings, such impactful organic moments of fashion.
JL: What are some of the most pivotal moments for you in Giorgio’s history?
BR: There have been so many magical wonderful nights but Adam and I will each give you two. The night that The NY Times Style Section was coming and it was the dog days of summer. The first two guests were David LaChapelle, the great photographer, and Daphne Guinness, the international style icon who were not only dancing, but David had Daphne in a press lift above his head. Then within moments, it was this magical trifecta on the dance floor, three members of the internationally best-dressed list had converged: Daphne Guinness, Catherine Baba and Dita Von Teese.
Then, the night when most of the cast of Empire, Cuba Gooding Jr., Denzel Washington, Common and Lenny Kravitz [were] all in one booth. What they didn’t know [was] that at any moment I had the Godfather of Funk, George Clinton of Parliament about to arrive. I told Lee Daniels I had a big surprise for him. Well when I brought George Clinton to that booth it just blew all of their minds.
AB: One night, Francisca Moroder, who had been to the club a few times, brought her husband Giorgio. Not only was Giorgio Moroder the inspiration for the name of our club, but has been an inspiration in almost every piece of music I’ve ever produced or recorded. Now, normally I make it a point to never play someone’s music when they’re in the club, but I had heard stories about how Giorgio had been so busy recording in Germany that he had missed out on Studio 54 and the entire club scene in the ‘70s and ‘80s.
I was told he hadn’t had many experiences in clubs where he could witness firsthand what his music does to a dance floor. … I made the decision to play a few of his songs, namely I Feel Love, Bad Girls and The Chase. I watched from across the room as he surveyed the entire place going crazy on the dance floor, all to the music he’d created. We had named the Club Giorgio’s for the obvious reasons, ‘Sunset people doing right, night after night.’ I had produced his 70th birthday a few years before. His wife Francisca and I are very friendly. So when she got him to come a few weeks after we opened, I was sitting with him and he was visibly moved [that we’d named the club after him]. Then he asked me if I heard of this band Daft Punk who did a song about him and he produced the record with Nile Rodgers. He went on to win the Grammy for the Record of the Year.
The second big moment happened when I was in the DJ booth one night, standing next to Bryan and Rufus Wainwright, whom Bryan had brought up to the booth to introduce to me. Sean “Puffy” Combs was dancing on top of a booth to my left with Cassie and his group of friends. Andrew Brin, our amazing doorman texted me, “Jagger is on his way in.” Moments later I see Mick Jagger crossing the dance floor. He stops in the center of the crowd and begins doing his trademark Jagger moves. After dancing for a few minutes with all the Giorgio’s regulars under the disco ball, he makes his way over to Puffy and joins his little dance party.
JL: What are some of your favorite musical artists to play at the club, and just to listen to?
AR: Some of my favorites to play at Giorgio’s since thechangeover to ‘80s have been: Prince (finally able to play all his ‘80s songs after being limited to only his late ‘70s and early ‘80s tracks), Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, D-Train, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Three Times Dope, Shannon, Trinere, Debbie Deb, Soul II Soul, Inner City, CeCe Rogers, Raze, so many to choose from! At home, there’s always some Prince or Sade playing.
BR: At home I’m all over the place depending on mood, time of day, etc. I’m a huge fan of all kinds of music from Glam, New Wave, Brit Pop, 60’s girl groups, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Herb Alpert, Led Zeppelin, Sergio Mendes, Iggy Pop, it’s really endless. I’m really into two bands right now from the UK: Savages and The Fat White Family.
JL: What are your favorite haunts in other cities—clubs, hotels, restaurants?
BR: In NYC, I’m a classic kind of guy. I adore Omar’s, Indochine, Raoul’s. In London I love Portobello as well as The Beaumont but the most divine is The Chiltern Firehouse.
AR: I love a late night bite at Le Bain, and I always have to grab a hot pastrami at Katz’s and a slice of pepperoni from Joe’s. I also love Chicago, I’m always hanging with RJ Melman at one of his spots, like Paris or Sub 51.
JL: What makes you guys the best of partners in this business?
BR: We both have the same common goals, to give the most incredible experience through music and service . We always want our clients to lose themselves in fantasy of music and dance. Banning cell phones is one of the greatest ways to create an amazing human IRL experience.
JL: What is your motto or mantra?
BR: Rabin lines ‘em up, and Bravin knocks ‘em down.
By Susan Michals