James Goldstein has always been a bit of a mystery to me. I kept hearing about him from time to time, largely due to his extravagant style (hats made out of python or ostrich and that kind of thing) but also for his famous Los Angeles house – which is frequently used for filming, advertising and photo-shoots. A few summers ago, whilst vacationing on the French Riviera, I had the pleasure of briefly meeting James in person. Even though we didn’t chat for long, he once again sparked my curiosity and I just had to find out who this man was and what he was all about.
It turns out that James is not only a mystery to myself, but to almost everyone. After browsing a few of the articles on him, one named “Who the Hell is James Goldstein”, it becomes very clear that Goldstein’s life has turned into a sort of legend. This legend is clearly built on three, quite contrasting callings: fashion, architecture and basketball.
For the past several decades (no one knows how old he is) James has travelled from his Hollywood Hills home to New York, London, Milan and Paris to view international fashion collections, and has himself become a fixture at the events and parties that surround them. His home, comparably legendary to the man that lives in it, has appeared in movies like The Big Lebowski and Charlie’s Angels. He’s also been a Lakers season ticket holder since the 60’s and is, according to the NBA, the largest investor in NBA tickets in the world. We’d guess he’s probably the most uniquely dressed fan too.
So, how did Goldstein make enough money to travel around the world, enjoy a wonderful house in Hollywood, and go to four or five NBA games a week? The truth is that no one knows. There’s a bunch of theories about him, for example that he once had an affair with a famous Hollywood pinup, or that he made his money in the trailer-park business.
James himself seems to quite like the outrageous mystery of it all. And we do too. So instead of digging any deeper, we suggest you check out this video of James Goldstein talking about his house (naturally there’s a bit of fashion and basketball in there too)