Before there was Gigi Hadid and Cara DeLevigne, before Miranda Kerr and Emily Ratjkowski, there was 1990s mega-model Shalom Harlow, who over the course of her career as one of the world’s top models graced the cover of Vogue half a dozen times and appeared in campaigns for Valentino, Versace, Christian Dior, Gianfranco Ferre and many, many more.
Known for the grace and theatricality she brought to the runway, she regularly walked in shows for prestigious fashion houses like Chanel, Christian Lacroix and Yves Saint Laurent. She is most specifically remembered, perhaps, at least by people who know about these things, for the finale of late designer Alexander McQueen’s spring 1999 show in which she stood in a pair of cantilevered high-heel mules on a small wooden turntable that spun slowly while two robotic arms sprayed black and yellow paint over her white dress. Last year, Vogue called the sartorial spectacle an “Endlessly Inspiring Piece of Performance Art.”
In July 2007 Forbes estimated Harlow hauled in about $2 million over the previous 12 months, making her one of the highest-earning models at that time. However, modeling is famously unkind to those who are not young, and, by the time she turned 40, Harlow had all but retired. She was, she’s revealed, in poor health at the time and quietly retreated to a small town on California’s Central Coast.
Now 47, Harlow slowly nursed herself back to health and, capitalizing on fashion’s ongoing and not-entirely-embraced nostalgia for the 1990s, made a triumphant return to the runway in 2018, in Milan, for Versace. Since then, she starred in a Versace ad campaign shot by Steven Meisel, appeared in a Target ad with her fashion designer pal Isaac Mizrahi, and was shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin for the cover of Italian Vogue.
Based primarily on the west coast, where’s she’s quietly settled in the artsy, agricultural, and New Age-y community of Ojai, where in 2017 she shelled out $1.25 million for stylishly updated 1940s cottage sequestered down a winding dirt lane on half an acre that backs up to undeveloped open space, Harlow has now opted to scale down her New York City holdings; She sold a loft-like two-bedroom condo in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg earlier this year for $1.875 million, and just last month shelled out around $550,000 for studio apartment in the historic London Terrace complex in Manhattan’s once a bit gritty, then predominantly gay, and now art gallery-filled Chelsea neighborhood.
With views into one of London Terrace’s two vast interior courtyards, the not-even-600-square-foot studio sports its original oak floorboards, oversized mullioned sash windows, and heavy plaster beams across the ceiling. There’s a surprisingly roomy proper foyer, a nice feature in a small apartment, along with a vintage black-and-white tiled bathroom, and a compact, updated and, most desirably perhaps, windowed galley kitchen. Arguably the studio apartment’s best feature is the sleeping alcove that, while small and without a window of its own, is nonetheless large enough to squeeze in a queen-sized bed, which effectively turns this studio into a Manhattan-style one-bedroom.
If more than half a million bucks for a studio apartment seems steep — it’s really not so steep for prime Manhattan neighborhoods — the monthly maintenance fees will definitely seem exorbitant. They tally up to nearly $1,800, according to listings that were held by Keri Kutansky of Corcoran. Of course, those hefty fees pitch in to pay for London Terrace’s many amenities, which include full-time doorman and concierge services, an on-site mail room and an on-site laundry, a landscaped roof terrace, and a spectacular indoor swimming pool complete with fitness area, locker rooms and steam showers.