If Amanda Reno attended ‘Sweet Valley High’ instead of Beverly Vista and Beverly high, Jessica Wakefield would have been gawking with green-eyed envy. Reno’s the sun-kissed Italian-American Angeleno with permanent residency at Café Med — a California lady greeting friends and passerbys, always exuding warmth and affection.
If you haven’t run into her at the Sunset Plaza locale, lounging in denim and Kain tees, then you know her as the girl sauntering the red carpet — with Carmen Electra, a bevy of Grammy award winning musicians and/or Suge Knight in tow. She’s LA’s version of the Godfather. Loyal like a retriever. But, don’t f%^K with her or her friends.
While attending Beverly, Reno kickstarted her entrepenurial roots young. She held clout in her early twenties, standing behind the red velvet rope as the gatekeeper to the infamous Grandville. Confidence, charisma and style put Reno at the top of the Hollywood club circuit in the 90s. Later, her ability to network and negotiate with chess player like acumen catapulted her to a coveted top opportunity in New York. There she apprenticed top fashion stylist Kim Meehan and consequently worked alongside Annie Leibovitz, Uma Thurman, Oprah Winfrey and a myriad of other premiere cultural icons.
Those early years of hobnobbing and energetic hustling as well as an unusually sunny disposition brought her back to Los Angeles where she began to implement her entrepenurial acuity to launch her own empire. Constant success succeeded.
Today, Reno is herself the “Stylist to the Stars”. She is known for making the pretty prettier – and for lending hipness and hotness to the brains that run the entertainment industry. The Reno client roster includes heavyweight producer Brian Grazer, Carmen Electra, Walmart heiress Paige Laurie, and actresses Virginia Madsen and Sophia Bush. Reno carries the savvy eye to predict and dictate what’s cool and cutting edge – and unlike the flighty aspiring hyphenates so ubiquitous on L.A.’s streets – she struts the discipline and vigor to get it done.
Amanda is a Los Angeles native that one ought to know.
I sat down with Amanda to gain insight on her favorite Los Angeles moments – as well as to see which of these bits of history helped thrust her into the world she’s in today.
E: Which area of Los Angeles did you grow up in?
A: Beverly Hills
E: a’ la Popcorn or Camp Beverly Hills?
A: Camp Beverly Hills every Sunday with my mom. I had the socks, shorts and all the tee shirts.
E: Favorite Mulholland moment:
A: I don’t have a Mulholland moment. I was never allowed to drive up there when I was young.
E: Favorite Hollywood moment:
A: Working at Grandville. Best Hollywood moment and I loved every minute of it! I had a lot of power at 21!
E: Galleria, Cineplex Odeon, Westwood or Century City AMC?
A: AMC. We used to take trays from the food court and tray slide down a bank wall….We went to jail for that. A bunch of us. At 13.
E: Coolest famous person you met as a child:
A: Ann Jillian from the television show “It’s a Living”. My dad was good friends with her.
E: High School car:
A: Honda Accord – blue. I bought it used from a grandma. It was 2500 bucks and I made it all from working at the Beverly Hills Bikini Shop at 16.
E: What was on your mixed tape as a senior?
A: Mixed tape with NWA and EAZY E. My friend Leslie was heavy into rap and we would ride around BH with NWA hats on.
E: Which designer would you have worn to prom? Who would have styled you?
A: I would have worn Carolina Herrera to prom. I would have styled myself because I can’t stand listening to anyone else’s advice on fashion. Ha!
E: From which sources do you draw creative inspiration?
A: I draw creative inspiration from all the young beautiful hipster chicks out there now….Alice Dellal, Erin Wasson, Alexa Chung, Chloe Sevigny. I always google them to see what they are wearing and saying.
E: How do you have the confidence to make the executive/ creative choices that you do? Were you always that way?
A: I’m impulsive and I always just go with my instincts. I guess it’s the way I’ve always been.
E: Which high school class/teacher helped guide where you are today:
A: Lynn Stalmaster – my history teacher in high school. She was rad and tiny and wore her hair back in a tight bun. She made me excited to learn and drove a pink Cadillac. Also, Betty Lou Farr my art teacher who was formerly a Rockette and wore iced pink lipstick everyday and angora sweaters.
E: Favorite website?
Now, come into her world.
:: originally published on The Daily Truffle