DOWNING BY THE RIVER: For those who have wondered what it’s like to live like Neiman Marcus fashion director Ken Downing, wait no longer.
Through a Related Cos.-Neiman Marcus effort, Downing has designed and styled the interior of a model residence at Fifteen Hudson Yards. Downing’s 1,464-square-foot model residence has two bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms and a price tag of nearly $4.3 million. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group, Fifteen Hudson Yards has 285 condos varying in size from one bedroom to four bedrooms.
As a veteran member of the four-fashion-week pack (and the air miles to prove it), Downing gleaned inspiration from the world’s fashion capitals for his at-home curation. His fondness for art collecting was another factor in the final edit. There is also an abundance of color throughout the apartment including pink walls and ceiling, a Venetian-style glass chandelier in purple, a multicolored geometric style rug and a vibrant column painted by Brooklyn artist Nathan Green in the master suite, not to mention the turquoise floor-to-ceiling interior in the condo’s library. Reflective surfaces are meant to bring the West Side view indoors.
Out-of-state residents who have no interest in moving can pick and choose their favorite furnishings and adornments from the Downing-designed pad via a Neiman Marcus microsite that went live today. The $11,439 Bernhardt Hayworth golden acrylic king-sized bed and $98 Eastern Accents Venice Cherry Blossom Knife-Edge pillows are among the options. There is also decorating advice such as “celebrate incongruity.”
As the largest private real estate development in the U.S. and the largest development in Manhattan since Rockefeller Center, the new digs should attract a steady stream of foot traffic. Developers Related and Oxford Properties Group will unveil Hudson Yards’ first phase in March. The Public Square and Gardens and its main attraction “Vessel,” Heatherwick Studio’s 150-foot landmark that will give the public a one-mile vertical climbing experience with sweepings views of the Hudson River and the West Side, will open at that time, along with The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards, which including anchor tenant, the city’s first Neiman Marcus.
Describing the undertaking as “a crazy interesting challenge,” Downing said, “the tower is a construction site. Organizationally, beyond just creating the space, the enormity of getting the furniture, art and decoratives 25 stories into the air with construction elevators was quite a challenge. I did most of the design on a flight to Honolulu for a fashion show that I was doing at our store. Then I ended up having a tour of the Doris Duke estate there, called Shangri La [Center for Islamic Arts and Cultures] and that became part of the inspiration, which led me to memories of Tony Duquette, when I met him in the Beverly Hills store. I’d done events at Dawnridge, the late artist’s homestead in Hollywood.”
Imagining a couple who were bicoastal, if not multiple homeowners and art collectors, Downing wanted to relay a sense of world travel in the West Side environs. The design wanted to create “a beautiful little jewel box that would envelope them when they came home,” he said.