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Restoration Hardware's CEO One-Ups Steve Jobs

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Photo via Todd Williamson/Getty
Photo via Todd Williamson/Getty

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Sometimes it takes a little eccentricity to reach great heights. At least, that appears to be the case with Gary Friedman and his climb to the helm at Restoration Hardware. He came from a hard-knock background and landed in the stockroom at Gap after a short stint at junior college. It was a mentorship under Mickey Drexler's wing that set Friedman up for great heights. By 2001, Friedman was in the position to invest $4.5 million of his own capital into a struggling RH. His vision for the company was to reach the luxury market without doing much in-house design.

"We're curating people, products, ideas, inspiration. We edit them, and they become exclusively ours," he tells Bloomberg Businessweek. And now that he's back—after a quick leave of absence following an in-house dalliance—he's eager for round two, which includes expansion into clothing and art. Like he says in the interview: "It took Steve Jobs about 10 years to get his job back at Apple. It took me about 10 months."
· Restoration Hardware CEO Gary Friedman's Luxury Retail Ambitions [Bloomberg Businessweek]
· Now You Can Buy Clothes and Fancy Faucets at the Same Store [Racked SF]