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This story first appeared in the Dec. 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
This season, Sunset Tower owner Jeff Klein is giving his thousand best clients a deck of custom playing cards, with him reigning as king. (They also will soon be available in the gift shop for $12 a pack.) A-list fashion photographer Dewey Nicks shot the joker hotelier and his staff, including Tower Bar’s beloved-by-the-stars maitre d’ Dimitri Dimitrov, all over the property over several days.
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The inspiration: a similar deck produced by disgraced Manhattan hotelier Leona Helmsley in the 1980s, which a friend recently showed him.
“I thought, ‘How tacky!’ They are outrageous: It’s, like, Leona standing at the top of a staircase, eating a shrimp. That would be the 10 of spades.” While it remains to be determined whether the gift will top a previous holiday highlight — a short The Lonely Island guys produced with Dimitrov — Klein is confident it’ll beat the competition.
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“They’re so boring,” he says. “I’m sure The London is sending out paperweights for Christmas.”
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