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As founder and president of Stardust Brands, Victoria Brynner has made a career out of connecting luxury fashion and beauty brands (Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Versace) with big-name stars (Johnny Depp, Catherine Deneuve) for content, campaigns and advertising projects.
While working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, Victoria zeroed in on a long-held dream of launching of her own line. She knew it needed to be authentic and something she was qualified to do, and while pondering the options, something across the room caught her eye — a custom, high-end director’s chair that belonged to her late father, the legendary actor Yul Brynner. The Oscar- and Tony-winning star of The King and I loved the sleek chair, and when his belongings went up for auction after his 1985 death, Victoria’s mother purchased the chair for her as a gift.
“I’ve had it in my house ever since, and suddenly it clicked for me,” she tells THR. With a mother who worked as an interior designer and a father who spent years on movie sets, the click was more like a lightning strike. But just no ordinary, foldable chair would do. Brynner opted to put her own twist on it by leaning on her years in the luxury business to create a high-end, custom director’s chair that is made-to-order in two styles, a tall ($6,400) and low ($4,800).
To accomplish it, she worked with local artisans because there was no other option. “How could it be made anywhere else?” she asks, applauding Jose Luis and his Design Quest Custom in Culver City for being great partners on the manufacturing of the chairs. “It’s inspired by Hollywood and just had to be made here.”
As for the cost, Brynner said the leather, wood and brass elements are of the highest quality. “This is not a cheap item, and I realize it’s not for everybody, but it makes for a special gift and something for that person in your life who understands quality and luxury,” she explains.
It’s now available at Moda Operandi as well as by special order on the website for her new lifestyle brand, Stage Eleven Seven, which will expand into other categories in coming months. Sales are already underway, and Brynner says new colors and engravable plaques are available. “I’ve had people order it for their kitchen counters or for bar stools,” she says, while others have wanted the chairs for a home office, walk-in closets, or glam rooms. As a way to promote it, the brand’s Instagram account has been featuring a series of portraits of notable names sitting in the chair, everyone from Zac Posen and the Haas brothers to television personality Carly Steel.
Décor aside, the chair is yet another way to honor her father. “Keeping memories alive is important to me, and for years images were the obvious way. Now, creating something new that references memories and a certain era is meaningful to me.”
A version of this story first appeared in the Oct. 6 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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