Internationally renowned fashion and portrait photographer Mario Testino has sold his urbane, art-filled home in Los Angeles, Calif., for a tad more than $5 million. The Peruvian-born beau monde snapper, who’s photographed innumerable European royals and scads of Hollywood heavy hitters over his 30-plus-year career, purchased the property in 2004 for $3.6 million and first made it for sale on the open market in the spring (2019) at close to $6 million. The property was listed with “Million Dollar Listing” stars Josh Altman and Matt Altman of Douglas Elliman and the buyer was repped by The Agency’s Aileen Comora.
Once called the “John Singer Sargent of our times” by Terrence Pepper, influential former photography curator for the esteemed National Portrait Gallery in London, Testino has been all but blackballed from the fashion community since early 2018, when a New York Times article revealed sexual misconduct allegations by more than a dozen assistants and models. A number of luxury brands, including Michael Kors and Stuart Weitzman, as well as Condé Nast, publisher of Vogue and other publications that frequently featured the lensman’s handiwork, quickly put their longstanding professional relationships with the previously hugely in-demand photographer on indefinite ice. Testino has denied the allegations and, as of late 2018, was spotted in Asia “working on personal projects.”
Discreetly tucked behind a high, vine-covered wall and secured entry gates, the 1933 Spanish hacienda sits on about half an acre along one of the more sought after streets in the historic, celeb-favored Outpost Estates neighborhood in the foothills above Hollywood. There are four bedrooms and five bathrooms between the roughly 3,200 square foot main residence and a more contemporary-minded, detached casita that is perfectly suited as deluxe guest quarters, a snazzy home office or an airy art studio.
Interiors are a mix of dark-stained hardwood and beige stone tile floors, high ceilings crossed by chunky wood beams and chalky, whitewashed walls hung with an eclectic collection of contemporary artworks. The foyer features an intricate stenciled wood ceiling and a massive, raised-hearth fireplace serves as the focal point of the grandly double-height living room that spills out to the backyard through metal-trimmed French doors. The dining room is intimately proportioned while the spacious, eat-in kitchen is a calm study in utilitarian luxury with a simply furnished lounge area, an imposing stone fireplace and polished stone floor tiles. There are at least two guest bedrooms in the main house, one painted a dreamy, subtropical shade of turquoise and the other with direct access to the outdoors, while the roomy master suite is comfortably kitted with a kiva-style corner fireplace, a separate sitting room or office and a luxuriously austere bathroom with deep soaking tub and separate, glassed-in shower sheathed in thick slabs of tan-colored stone.
A deep, stone-paved loggia outside the living room is lined with stacked-stone pillars and looks out over a flat expanse of well-irrigated lawn and an oval swimming pool ringed by a wide band of flagstone terracing. Huge Eucalyptus trees in the canyon below the pool both obscure and frame a long, city lights view over Hollywood.
Other high-profile homeowners in the hilly, conveniently central Outpost Estates enclave include Charlize Theron, Johnny Galecki — he owns a stunning Spanish home previously owned by both Jason Statham and Ben Stiller, filmmaker David Lynch, who owns three homes along same street, and William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman, the latter of whom is, as of this writing, in a Dublin, Calif., prison serving out a 14-day sentence for her role in the 2019 college admissions scandal.