The Greatest Party of All Time: Studio 54 Presented by Ian Schrager

‘Studio 54 changed the was of nightclubbing. Something like this never existed before and I am afraid that something this new will never exist again‘ – Karl Lagerfeld.

‘Studio 54 is a dictatorship at the door, but a democracy on the dance floor’ – Andy Warhol.

‘The music would be so danceable and would put everyone into a frenzy, working up a hot sweat’ – Margaret Trudeau.

‘It was really a mix of construction workers up to the most powerful people in business and the government, and everybody got democratized by the beat’ – Cyndi Stivers.

‘Steve and Ian created Studio 54 and it became the world’s most glamorous rendezvous. Now it is a legend’ – Carolina Herrera.

Forty years later, the world still talks about the wildest and most glamorous nightclub of the late 70s. In his latest book, Ian Schrager, co-founder of Studio 54, presents a jaw-dropping collection of New York’s buzziest temple of creative energy and celebrity culture, along with personal stories about times in an anything-goes atmosphere. The whole era of gay, grunge, dance, and celebrity culture – when NY was just becoming the cultural capital of the world – can be symbolized by this exclusive glamorous refuge, called Studio 54.

From the very beginning, when the club opened in 1977, it created an image of a hotbed of creativity, where all pleasure-seekers, celebrities, artists, and party people would come hang out; where sex, drugs and rock and roll were a norm; where sexual revolution was like a symbol of inclusion. Never-ending party, crème de la crème of New York, and glorification of hedonism, promulgated by chic clientele, was so desirable, that dozens of people would line up every night, hoping to get in to Studio. Celebrities like Andy Warhol, Liza Minnelli, Bianca Jagger, John Travolta, Diana Ross, Cher, Diana Vreeland, Michael Jackson, and many more, were among regulars at the club. Designers like Valentino, Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein, Diane von Furstenberg, all enjoyed the atmosphere of freedom and creativity, prevailing in this place. ‘It was an absolute, spontaneous freedom <…> the whole place was infused with a wild abandonment,’ recalls Ian Schrager in his book. Famous for its innovative design solutions – the club had over 400 different lighting effects – and great music, Studio 54 was the place to be at. Andy Warhol’s favourite nightclub, this place was a window into pop culture. Homosexuality and bisexuality were a thing – nobody was concerned about AIDS or self-destruction. Baby boomers wanted to dance and have fun. And this club (if you passed the velvet rope) was the greatest party of all time.

The book Studio 54 contains early plans of the studio, to-do lists, behind-the-scenes images, quotes and stories from cultural luminaries, and of course, tons of star-studded photographs. Nobody can describe the club better than its co-founder and co-owner, and in his interview Ian Schrager explains why there will probably never be anything like Studio 54.

The book Studio 54 by Ian Schrager is out now via Rizzoli 
Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg lounging with boyfriend (and future husband) legendary media and technology mogul Barry Diller. Photo from Studio 54
Bianca Jagger’s Birthday (May 2, 1977). Photo from Studio 54