“One of the waiters walked in tonight and said, ‘Oh my god, my mom would love your decorating!’”
Three days after welcoming editors into his apartment on Washington Square Park, Adam Lippes was again hosting, this time with a casual dinner for industry friends in celebration of his collection and partnership with Farfetch. As guests came through the front door, the immediate reaction — aside from the cuteness of his dogs, Lola and Kiko — was awe over his elaborate collection of antique furniture and home decor, which filled the apartment.
This story first appeared in the February 16, 2017 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“Collecting is the bane of my existence,” the designer said, leaning against a doorway. “My father’s a big collector, and I worked for Oscar de la Renta, who was a big collector, and it has just developed into a passion of obsession. I love to collect. Since I was young I’ve had antiques and bought antiques and art. I didn’t buy my first painting until I was 21 — it took me some time because once you buy that…it’s a commitment, because you hang it on your wall, and you have to build off of it.”
That painting, a Kenneth Noland, hung above the front door into the apartment. “I couldn’t afford it, but I borrowed money and I paid it off over time,” he said of the piece. “And it’s still here.”
Lippes admitted to doing a far amount of online browsing for antiques, but still likes to swing by auctions in person when he can. “I buy most of things at auctions, at Sotheby’s and Christie’s — they have a lot of house sales and things, where I think you can discover,” he said. “[I also look at] auction houses all over the world, which is really where I find things — in Sweden, Denmark, France, more at local options. Online has opened that up unfortunately. If something is over a certain price point, I have to see it in person, because scale can be off. But I’ve become really good with cardboard boxes and tape.”
Lippes has lived in the apartment for four years, but is packing up all the antiques shortly — and is heading to Brooklyn. “I’m just about to move, to Brooklyn Heights, to a very special place that has been lived in by the same guy for 40 years,” he said, “which I love. I mean, I’m going to hate it when the sink doesn’t work…[but] I think about moving and I’m really excited to redecorate, until I’m in the middle of moving. My last move here was a five-day move. So maybe I’ll get tired of it one day, but I can’t miss an opportunity to redo.”
After all those years collecting, doesn’t he ever get nervous having so many people over with his precious items?
“So far no — you’re not going to steal anything, are you?”