Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of The Retail Group of Douglas Elliman Real Estate and among the highest-profile executives in her field, died suddenly Sunday morning in her home in Manhattan. She was 69.
“This is a shock to all of us. She was a driving force in a very specific segment of the New York commercial market,” Steven James, president and chief executive officer, New York City, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, told WWD.
“Retailers relied on her to get the job done and she got the job done. She believed in the market despite all the press that retail is over. She knew there was room for both the physical retail and online businesses.”
Faith Hope Consolo was nicknamed the “Queen of Retail” because of her huge personality, outspoken nature, and high visibility at industry functions and in the press, and her deep understanding of retail real estate markets domestically and abroad. She had a long track record landing retailers on major corridors such as Fifth and Madison Avenues and was instrumental in revitalizing and sculpting retail corridors, including Harlem.
She was a busy public speaker on industry panels. She typically dominated the panels, and always injected a funny sarcasm to the discussion. She never held back, posing tough questions to the other experts on the panel.
Consolo took leadership roles and was active in the Commercial Real Estate Women network, Association of Real Estate Women and the International Council of Shopping Centers. A recent recipient of Mercy College’s Trustees’ Medal, she helped support the New York City Opera, Citymeals-on-Wheels, the American Heart Association, Women in Need, Dress for Success and the Association of Real Estate Women Charitable Fund.
At Douglas Elliman, her involvement with clients extended beyond what a broker typically engages in. She got involved in branding strategies and consulting on a range of issues, and lended her expertise to retailers of all price points. Her clients included Alexis Bittar, Alice + Olivia, AYR, Benefit Cosmetics, Bond No. 9, Buccellati, Bulgari, Cartier, Bruno Magli, Christian Louboutin, Fendi, Fresh, Giorgio Armani, Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik and Zara.
According to her bio, Consolo was the sole retail consultant to the city’s Economic Development Corp. and was at the center of the revitalization of Times Square and Penn Station.
She authored several reports and blogs including The Faith Report, The Faithful Shopper in the Huffington Post, the Faithful Fashionista in Scene Magazine, the Faithful Food column for Total Food Service, and her newest, Scene on the Street.
In addition to the many awards she received over the years, Douglas Elliman Real Estate presented her with Top Retail and Commercial GCI honors every year since she joined the firm in 2005.
Prior to joining Douglas Elliman, Consolo was chairman of the former Garrick-Aug Worldwide Ltd.