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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 1, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Shirley Ritts, 87, an interior designer whose company helped popularize rattan furniture in the U.S. and who was the mother of renowned portrait photographer Herb Ritts, died Sunday at her Brentwood home, said her daughter, Christy. Ritts had been ill with emphysema. When she married the senior Herb Ritts in 1950, he owned a furniture company that benefited from the post-World War II popularity of rattan furniture. Her husband oversaw design, and she supervised sales. "People put the rattan there, and they thought they were cool," Ritts told The Times in 1999.
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HOME & GARDEN
March 29, 2007 | David A. Keeps, Times Staff Writer
FORMER set designer Suzan Fellman stages theatrical productions of home decor in her 600-square-foot showroom. "Every piece is created for me and is treated like a cast member," she says of her latest, Hand Made, a collection of the crafty and the couture. Folk art constructions include a vintage bottle cap chaise ($6,000, shown above with Fellman) designed by Dakota Pratt of Hermosa Beach and a vintage mirror mosaic urn ($850, right).
MAGAZINE
October 29, 2000 | BILL SHARPSTEEN, Bill Sharpsteen's last story for the magazine was on female dockworkers
WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BELIEVE THAT HERB RITTS BEGAN his photographic career with a camera. There's this story repeated a thousand times by Ritts and his friends about how he and his buddy Richard Gere, then an actor with a short portfolio, went for a ride in the California desert in 1978. A tire blew somewhere near San Bernardino. To kill time while in a local garage getting the car fixed, Ritts started shooting Gere with a cheapie Miranda 35mm camera that he had bought for a vacation.
MAGAZINE
December 7, 2003 | Mark Edward Harris, Photographer and writer Mark Edward Harris last wrote for the magazine about a National Archives exhibit.
Photographer Herb Ritts died of complications from pneumonia at UCLA Medical Center last Dec. 26. He was 50. In his life, Ritts earned international recognition as a fashion, celebrity and fine art photographer who helped define the image-conscious 1980s and '90s. "Herb had a sense of the iconic, he could either reduce or elevate a person of prominence to their visual essence," says David Friend, editor of creative development at Vanity Fair and former director of photography at Life magazine.
NEWS
September 26, 1999 | MIMI AVINS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The essential Shirley Ritts story isn't the one about how she introduced Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere at a barbecue in Malibu. Or the one about the time she cornered Jack Nicholson and lectured him about his love life, specifically the unseemly age gap between him and his female companions. Or even the morning when she took the breakfast she'd cooked for Steve McQueen on the Rittses' 40-foot boat and, as he watched, dumped it into the waters off Catalina because he'd complained it was cold.
HOME & GARDEN
June 10, 2004 | David A. Keeps and Adamo DiGregorio, Special to The Times
Forty years ago, when he was all of 23, Miller Fong sketched a chair on an envelope and mailed it to his father in Hong Kong, where the family manufactured rattan and wicker furniture for its Los Angeles company, Tropi-Cal. The finished product -- dubbed the Lotus chair -- was all edges and improbable curves. An elegant composition of wrought iron and woven wicker, it looked as if it had been born yesterday. Make that reborn.
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