Man of many talents Kirk Lazarus seamlessly juggles his businesses and indulgence in sports
Kirk Lazarus wears many different hats. These days, he readily swaps between his interior designer hat, hotelier hat and retail magnate hat - all in one day sometimes - while somehow finding time to indulge in the many sports he loves.
The South African-born, Sydney-raised entrepreneur is perhaps best known as the founder and owner of Molori Private Retreats. Consisting of a series of exclusive escapes with around-the-clock, bespoke VVIP services, the Molori portfolio includes a safari lodge on the border of South Africa and Botswana, a beachside mansion in South Africa with a staff of 15, a villa perched between the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, and a superyacht called Told U So.
Lazarus oversees the interior design for each of his properties, painting custom-made elements with a bold, eclectic stroke. The approach was so successful that Lazarus turned it into a business in its own right. He is now working on the private residence of a top film actor - he won't say who - and has just wrapped up work on turnkey offices for Hollywood law firm Morris Yorn, formally known as Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman, in New York.
"The high spenders and the designers know where to come," Lazarus says. "They know I'm the one designer who is not doing cookie-cutter. Because I don't have the degrees, I think outside the box."
The entrepreneur's ability to think laterally explains how he was able to make the jump from the energy industry to hotels and interiors, and now into retail with Beach House Brand. Lazarus plans on bringing the store, which "offers everything you can fit in a suitcase for a vacation", to Asia, launching in either Japan or Hong Kong.
He has his sights set on Asia, by the looks of things: "I was just in Hong Kong and mainland China looking at different design projects," he says. "One is an office tower, while the other is a luxury hotel."
He was about to head off to the Italian Lakes District on a research trip. "I'm going to pick up a car and go to Verona, Lake Como and Lake Garda. I want to get a different take on things," he says. He also casually points out that he's very familiar with this part of Italy: years ago, he taught waterskiing on these same lakes.
Waterskiing - take note, he means barefoot waterskiing - is just one of the many activities Lazarus enjoys in his downtime, which he insists he has plenty of. "My spare time is consumed with playing beach volleyball, surfing, boating, scuba-diving," he says.
Oh, and then there's the superyacht he's working on, also in his spare time. "It's going to be called Told U That," he says. "And I'm doing some aircraft interiors; that's been really fun."
When work is fun, the boundaries between it and your own time can become blurred. For Lazarus, these boundaries don't really seem to exist.
"I spend my personal time just travelling and exploring new resorts, shops, ideas, finishes and fabrics so that we can deliver different specifications to people," he says. "Because of the way I live, I know what's needed and what's not needed. We are setting a new standard of luxury." TB
Oyster Perpetual Submariner
"I'm an old-fashioned guy who likes a Rolex Submariner. It's basically bulletproof. I do a lot of diving."
"The deLaCour is my most unusual watch. It's got two faces and it's giant."