Event planner extraordinaire Colin Cowie has been in the business for more than three decades perfecting the art of entertaining he learned as a child in South Africa. His first big break was designing Hugh Hefner’s wedding to Kimberley Conrad in 1989. Almost 30 years later, he has logged more than 13 million miles, visited close to 100 cities and has his finger on the pulse of everything fabulous. His events clients include Ameriprise Financial, Lord & Taylor and Ubuntu Education Fund. We picked Cowie’s mind to get the pulse from a planner as comfortable on television as he is behind the scenes.
Favorite A-List Client
Oprah Winfrey. We go back 20 years. She is such a visionary and the ultimate producer, so she really has an understanding of what goes on behind the camera. I recently taught her how to drink tequila.
The ballroom at the 1 Hotel in Brooklyn is the most magnificent ballroom with views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline.
Coolest Drink Spots
The Skylark in Midtown New York is a cool outdoor space with amazing views. It is like living in a light box. I also love the New York Edition on 24th and Madison and the Boom Boom Room downtown.
I am a big Jean-George fan and adore Nougatine. My favorites include caviar and veal Milanese.
Ruthless editing! The world does not need another product or service. Just leave two percent on the table.
Advice to Newbies
Stand out from the crowd. Charge as much as you can.
Trending in 2018
Neon signs will be very big, as will live vertical walls with a lot of greenery. Smaller curated food stations with food and wine pairings will also be popular. The big thing in food will be farm-to-table—everyone wants sustainable and local. It will be all about vegan. Color to look for is millennial pink. All parties will have charging stations or people walking around with chargers for guests.