Is Tom Ford the secret buyer of late fashion designer Halston’s former Manhattan party pad?
After eight years of trying to off-load the Upper East Side town house he bought off Halston in 1990, the Swiss millionaire and photographer Gunter Sachs finally had some luck at the beginning of the year when an anonymous buyer paid $18 million for it.
That buyer was hidden through an LLC, but a source told WWD that it was none other than Ford, who has added it to his collection of luxury homes, including a New Mexico ranch with its own old Western town movie set. Ford could not be reached for comment Monday.
Property records showed that the LLC’s address is listed as that of Ford’s business manager, Chuck Shapiro, and it has been used as the address for some of the designer’s trademarks.
While Shapiro has a number of celebrity clients, it is also the same address as the LLC that Ford used to buy late heiress Betsy Bloomingdale’s Los Angeles home for just under $40 million in 2016.
As previously reported by WWD, Ford is expected to be confirmed as the new chairman of the CFDA on Tuesday, a move that will likely mean he will need to spend more time in New York City.
If he is the new owner of the four-bedroom midcentury modern town house, he won’t be the first designer to live there, as it belonged to Halston between 1974 and 1990. During that time, Halston hosted infamous parties attended by the likes of Andy Warhol, Liza Minnelli, Truman Capote, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and other members of the Studio 54 jet-set crowd.
Halston sold the house just three months before he died to Sachs and Fiat playboy Gianni Agnelli for an unknown amount. The latter eventually sold his share to Sachs, who was at one point married to Brigitte Bardot.
According to the listing by brokerage Engel & Völkers, the four-story, 7,500-square-foot town house is one of just three Manhattan houses designed by famed architect Paul Rudolph, former dean of the Yale School of Architecture.
With a brown glass facade set back from the street, Rudolph designed the abode to purposely look unassuming from the outside — perfect for a celebrity who wants to go incognito.
However, inside it’s a different story, with 32-foot-high ceilings, a bright and airy minimalist-style sunken living room and a fourth floor guest suite where Minnelli reportedly often stayed. Elsewhere, there’s a three-story conservatory filled with bamboo, as well as a 1,600-square-foot terrace.
If Ford, a savvy real estate investor, did buy it, he certainly scored himself a respectable discount on the house as it was first listed for $38.5 million in 2011 and after several price cuts and disappearing on and off the market, was last for sale for $24 million.
Price cuts like these have become more commonplace over the past couple of years as Manhattan’s luxury market continues to cool.
For Ford, this would not be the first time he has saved millions of dollars on a home purchase. In December 2016, he paid close to $39 million for the Holmby Hills estate of the late American socialite and philanthropist Betsy Bloomingdale, a deep discount from the reported $55 million price tag.
And he’s not just a buyer. He’s been trying to sell his Cerro Pelon Ranch in New Mexico for a reported $75 million for some time. It’s set on more than 20,000 acres in the Galisteo Basin, boasts breathtaking views, equestrian facilities as well as an air strip and airplane hangar.
If that’s not enough, then there’s an old Western movie town, which has been used for the setting of “Cowboys and Aliens,” “Thor,” “All the Pretty Horses” and “Wild, Wild West.” It’s called Silverado Movie Town after the movie for which it was originally built as a set.