The Hero With Really High Standards
Despite owning and operating The Standard hotel chain, Hero: André Balazs is anything but standard. For instance, his net worth of around $450 million is definitely not standard. His romantic ties to the hottest women in Hollywood? Yep, also not standard. Owning his own Sea Plane to whisk him away to Sunset Beach at his beck and call? Certainly not standard. So who is this André Balazs, and what makes him so special?
Raised in Cambridge, MA, André Balazs had a fairly normal upbringing. His father was a professor at Harvard and his mother a psychologist. Balazs turned away from Cambridge because of the what he described as the city’s “fearfulness,” and escaped to New York. After briefly dabbling in journalism, he discovered that it wasn’t the field for him. He then founded Biomatrix, a biotech company, with his father and even though the company was thriving, André felt he needed to close the gap between his work and personal life and invest in a career that could match his hunger for the spotlight.
So Balazs invested in his first nightclub, the legendary M.K. in NYC. Fast forward a few years to André scooping up the infamous Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood, launching his career as a mega hotelier. To date he’s developed even more legendary properties like the Standard Hotel chain which has locations in Miami Beach, New York City, West Hollywood, and downtown Los Angeles. He’s also developed the residential mega houses that are One Kenmare Square, 40 Mercer Residence, and the William Beaver House in Manhattan. Recently, he opened Chiltern Firehouse, a former London firehouse he developed into a hotel and restaurant where celebrities like David and Victoria Beckham are regular diners.
If you thought his impressive lineup of properties was enough to keep André busy, think again. He’s currently developing his own line of vintage rosé with the Wölffer Estate Vineyard on Long Island and has launched StndAIR, a sea plane service that transports patrons the Hamptons.
Aside from developing beautiful real estate that celebrities flock to, Balazs has made waves in the press with his personal life as well. Sure it helps that he hangs out with Calvin Klein and has Pippa Middleton on speed dial. Since divorcing his wife, CEO of Ford Models, Katie Ford, André’s love life has played out in the media big time. He’s been tied to Chelsea Handler and Kylie Minogue. He’s also been engaged to Uma Thurman, twice. Let’s not forget to mention that the hashtag of his name has over 1,100 post on Instagram, despite the fact that André himself doesn’t even use platform. That’s pretty Standard, right?