The first time I learned about this brilliant man Robin Birley was within his mother´s memoir: Annabel Goldsmith is undoubtful one of those ladies that made Great Britain cool - the most glamorous night club was named after her by her first husband, Robin´s father, before she went on to marry another fun guy, James Goldsmith, and get three more children, Jemima Khan one of them.
Robin Birley got into a horrible accident when not even a college boy: one of his parent´s friends, John "Aspers" Aspinall used to maintain a private zoo, for his love of wild animals, mostly mammals but also big cats. Getting into one of the cages turnt out to really be an insane idea - Annabel and Aspers took their children as a group!!!! - Robin got attacked by a female tiger, got saved last minute, his face in her mouth, but with his jaw destroyed forever.
I remember how deeply impressed I was with his physical and mental survival - growing up with the nickname "Tiger Birley" - to become a smart entrepreneur - now owning a group of those phantastic night clubs his father once founded.
If you are still waiting to get into one of those places (to mingle with the likes of the Royal family, the Beckham clan, the Bryan Ferrys or the Naomi Campbells or any other movie star in town, for that matter) - why not get a piece of the spirit instead?
Robin Birley just started to sell accessories designed for his clubs online!
From a Gio-Ponti-inspired pepper mill to cushions or plaids to Murano glasses - I personally have to add one or two of those finds to my birthday wishlist. If only to cheer on the queen one last time!
Go check out www.birley.com
Thank you Michael Sinclair for allowing me to steal those wonderful portrait pictures from your "Financial Times Story".