If the name Glen Luchford doesn’t ring a bell, his images certainly will — the photographer is famous for his fashion images, from captures of the Nineties grunge scene to his innovative work for Prada, Dazed & Confused and Vanity Fair. Now, he’s tackling a new front: the hospitality industry. Together with fellow lensman Doug Bruce, a longtime friend, he’s opened The Rose Hotel on Venice Beach. So how did two Brits end up taking over 15 Rose Avenue in sunny Southern California? We find out…
DB: I think we’ve both enjoyed staying in some of the craziest hotels across the world, and what struck us both when I moved to Venice about five years ago was that there were no decent hotels here, but Venice had so much potential as a destination. On a personal level, Venice reminds me of the Pays Basque in France where I grew up — it has a similar surf culture and laid-back arts vibe, and is known for its culinary excellence.
Favorite part of The Rose Hotel…
GL: I like the wall that finishes halfway through a bay window in The Pacific Suite. It’s totally bonkers and would give most architects sleepless nights, but for me it’s the perfect metaphor for the hotel — it’s so wrong, it’s right.
DB: When I get to trim the roses outside our lounge on the cushions of the living room in The Pacific Suite, which feels like being in a ship!
GL: The hotel has a lot going on outside the windows, so you don’t need a whole lot going on inside. Whites, deep blues, a little bit of color here and there. It’s very simple, fresh, beachy.
DB: That was all Glen and Katerina [Tana], but we definitely tried to reflect the color palette of the beach and sky. We spent a couple of days trying to match the deck color to the color of the sand in front of the hotel.
This location caught our eye because…
DB: It was a former brothel, flophouse, gang headquarters and hostel with a scarcely credible history that was begging to be restored… I mean, Abbot Kinney sold it to triplets named Tom, Dick and Harry!
Secret only a Venice local would know…
GL: It’s surprisingly gloomy in June, but pretty amazing all year long. Not stifling like L.A. Like a hand-picked microclimate.�
DB: Never park on the south side of 4th Street and Rose, a.k.a. “Skid Rose!”
DB: Axe, probably — I tend to go for the basic or composed bowl with salmon or tofu and a side of harissa. But Gjelina takeaway has a killer slice of apple pie and pizza!
And favorite place to grab a drink…
DB: Moon Juice. I order the California Sun, Goodness Greens, or the Deep Chocolate!
Most memorable shoot I’ve done…
GL: My shoots are quite dull actually. Nothing really happens. Arrive, shoot, go home. Try and laugh a lot in between!�
DB: Mine? Mmm, there have been lots. Probably being chased and having knives thrown at me by pimps in the slums of Phnom Penh while doing a sex-trafficking story, shooting the Kuna Indians in the jungle of Panama… and being drunk under the table by Gore Vidal in Amalfi!
Advice to would-be photographers…
GL: Run while you can. Save yourself.�
DB: Buy a hotel!�