Zaha Hadid talks personal taste: Part One

The Pritzker prize-winning architect’s projects range from London’s Serpentine Sackler Gallery to the residential 520 West 28th Street in New York

Image: Sebastian Boettcher

My personal style signifiers are black capes, particularly ones by Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake; their early pieces are stunning. I love Japanese designers because their clothes are often asymmetrical and quite theatrical.

Gerhard Richter’s 2009 tapestry, Abdu
Gerhard Richter’s 2009 tapestry, Abdu | Image: Courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery

The last thing I bought and loved was a hand bracelet made by Russian sisters Katia and Sonia Gaydamak. I like the way this delicate, unique piece wraps around the palm of the hand instead of the wrist. I bought it at an extraordinary shop called The Alchemist, a Herzog & de Meuron-designed glass box in a multistorey car park in Miami. From about £2,000; 1109 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (+1305-531 4653;


And the thing I’m eyeing next is a stunning tapestry by Gerhard Richter. I love its unexpected, muted colours. I’m not usually a fan of tapestries but this is an exception. Marian Goodman Gallery, 5-8 Lower John St, London W1 (020-7099 0088;

Tom Ford Bruised Plum lipstick, £37 
Tom Ford Bruised Plum lipstick, £37 

An object I would never part with is my parent’s wedding photo from the 1930s. I left Iraq as a child to go to school in Switzerland and most of my family things are gone, so this picture is very special to me.

The Alchemist shop in Miami 
The Alchemist shop in Miami  | Image: Michael Stavaridis

The beauty staples I’m never without are dark berry-coloured lipsticks. I am not loyal to a particular brand but I like Tom Ford’s Violet Fatale and Bruised Plum, and Mac’s Diva lipstick and Currant lip pencil. I also like make-up by Shiseido, including its eyeshadow palette in green, yellow and black and its Sheer and Perfect Foundation. Diva lipstick, £15.50; Currant lip pencil, £12.50; Luminizing Satin Eye Color Trio, £35.50; Sheer and Perfect Foundation, £39.50 for 30ml; Violet Fatale and Bruised Plum lipsticks, £37 each;

Miami’s Seaspice restaurant
Miami’s Seaspice restaurant | Image: Bruno Frontino


Hadid’s Perrin Paris 1893 Eiffel glove clutch
Hadid’s Perrin Paris 1893 Eiffel glove clutch

The best gift I’ve received recently was a Perrin Paris 1893 glove clutch. I always get wonderful gifts and this black evening bag is the perfect size for a credit card and some cash.


In my fridge you’ll always find water, pears, oranges, mangoes and eggs. I rarely cook and don’t have an oven, so if I have friends over, I have to order in.

The last music I downloaded includes Sam Smith’s Stay With Me – I love his voice; Lost Stars by Maroon 5, a band I discovered thanks to Adam Levine on The Voice; and Mark Ronson’s upbeat Uptown Funk, which puts me in a good mood.

The people I rely on for personal grooming are John Vial at Fudge in London, who comes to my home to cut my hair, and Josh Wood for my colour and rinses. Both are excellent and have been looking after me for years. John, his partner Tracy Hayes and the whole Fudge team also come to our gallery during London Design Festival and Fashion Week to open a pop-up salon for the people working there. They create a fun atmosphere and it is a sight to see everyone’s hair in foils. Josh Wood Colour, 6 Lansdowne Mews, London W11 (020-3393 0977;

The artists whose work I would collect if I could are Anish Kapoor – I like his seamless concave and convex shapes and his newer concrete pieces – and Richard Serra, whose minimalist, compounded steel cube, Grief and Reason (for Walter), I saw in New York; it’s stunning. I am intrigued by their use of materials.

A recent “find” is a restaurant called Seaspice in an undiscovered part of Miami. It’s on the river and you can arrive by boat, which adds to the draw. It serves very good seafood and the music is wonderful as well. After dinner people get up and dance on the tables. 422 NW North River Drive, Miami, FL 33128 (+1305- 440 4200;

My favourite websites are the BBC, Al Jazeera and CNN for news, Shazam for music and for fashion. And Flightracker is very useful when I’m travelling.

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