New York Fashion Week has come and gone in a sartorial storm of loose-fitting 80s inspired suits and ridiculously tiny handbags but a rakishly renovated 19th-century townhouse in New York City’s historic and high-toned Gramercy Park neighborhood, owned by maverick French photographer and fashion designer Hedi Slimane, remains on the rack with a price tag of $21.5 million. The attractively located corner building was last sold a bit more than five years ago for $11 million and the owner is listed in tax records as a corporate entity controlled by the internationally celebrated designer who was named artistic director of the venerable French house Celine in early 2018 after influential stints as creative director for Dior Homme and Yves Saint Laurent. After a basement-to-roof-terrace overhaul that surely cost a staggering fortune, the radically reconfigured, almost 8,600 square foot building came up for sale in mid-2017 at $28.5 million and again the following year at a still too optimistic $23 million. The price was trimmed to $21.5 million before the striking and unconventional two-bedroom and 3.5-bathroom townhouse was taken off the market and re-listed at the same price with Camille McKinley of Compass.
Painted a chic, eye-catching shade of charcoal and lined with huge, black-framed windows that flood the property with natural light, the five floors of living space feature fastidiously tailored and grandly proportioned spaces that balance modern, bright white walls with reclaimed Hungarian oak floorboards laid in a regal chevron pattern. The lower three floors hold a trio of vast entertaining spaces, while the two en suite bedrooms top the townhouse and each occupy a floor of their own.
The ground floor, a single room that stretches to roughly 85 feet long and measures in at nearly 2,000 square feet, has a separate street entrance and can be utilized as a commercial space or, perhaps, an atelier for a well-financed fashion designer. The second floor comprises an approximately 60-foot long parlor lounge and bathroom along with a separate and decidedly minimalist bespoke kitchen fitted with unembellished dove-grey cabinets imported from Germany and a sleek collection of state-of-the-art designer appliances. One more floor up, a simple fireplace anchors one end of a vast lounge that opens at its far end through full-height steel-trimmed French doors to one of the townhouse’s three ample terraces.
The fourth floor master suite offers a fireplace and a surprisingly petite dressing room with two not especially spacious closets, plus a decadently appointed bathroom with a geometric black and white marble floor, a steam shower sheathed in white marble and a cedar-lined dry sauna. A glass-walled bulkhead above the fifth-floor guest suite leads to a multi-level roof deck with an over-the-rooftops city view, while the stark, science lab-like basement sports polished concrete floors and a central corridor lined in floor-to-ceiling storage cabinets faced with shimmering stainless steel panels.
Slimane is also looking to offload a home on the West Coast where just over a decade ago he put down substantial real estate roots in Beverly Hills with the $4.1 million purchase of a mid-century modern masterpiece in the fashionable Trousdale Estates area. Originally designed in the early 1960s by illustrious architect Rex Lotery, the roughly 4,700 square foot modernist pavilion was given an haute couture restoration and makeover before it came for sale in late 2018 at $17.5 million. Since then, the price has been altered downward to $15.8 million, a more realistic seeming number given Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi recently sold the also expensively updated mid-century residence next door for $15.5 million.