SELLER: Calvin Klein
LOCATION: Miami, Fla.
PRICE: $16 million
SIZE: 5,802 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: We already know some of y’all are going to gripe and snivel with a burning sense of celebrity real estate self-righteousness about how this is ancient news. And that’s just fine. Do it. However, while those of y’all who feel the need to have a conniption, have your conniption — we’re going to go ahead and calmly discuss the current real estate doings of Calvin Klein who, amid much hullabaloo by property gossips and tongue wagging by the hoi polloi, recently and essentially concurrently hoisted his residence in Miami Beach on the open market with an asking price of $16 million and shelled out a knee-knocking $25 million for a super-modern mansion in Los Angeles.
Property records show the Bronx-born fashion world mandarin, now in his early 70s, purchased his 0.38-acre bay front spread along Miami Beach’s celeb-lined North Bay Road over the summer of 2004 for an unknown amount. Current listing details show the fully updated and upgraded, late-1920s, hacienda-style residence measures in with a goodly sized but not even remotely gargantuan 5,802 square feet of air-conditioned living space with an additional 2,000 or so square feet of dedicated outdoor living, dining, lounging and recreating areas. There are five en suite bedrooms and a total of five full and two half bathrooms that include an upper level master suite with fireplace, combination bathroom/dressing area and direct access to a private veranda.
The carefully curated, ruthlessly edited and most assuredly grotesquely expensive interior and exterior day-core — rigorously spare but far too sumptuous to be monastic — are strictly monochromatic but texturally rich with mostly unadorned white walls, white slipcovered furnishings and rustic-luxe rough-hewn wood accents with a camera-ready hodge-podge of (probably) rare antiquities and (no doubt) museum-quality trove of earthen objet selected by Belgium-based but internationally venerated art, antiques and design sage Axel Vervoordt. Listing photographs show a bi-level combination living and dining room with exposed beam ceiling along with a spacious, center-island kitchen done up with jet black countertops on custom-crafted, bone-colored wood cabinetry and all the top-quality appliances Mister Klein’s private chef might require or desire. Wood floor planks of varying widths soften and warm at least three of the five bedrooms and were probably reclaimed from a 15th century convent in the Jura Mountains or someplace equally esoteric because that’s just how profoundly rich fashion tycoons roll, isn’t it? In addition to a central courtyard shaded by several assiduously groomed trees and ringed by a series of arched loggias and outdoor living areas, the gated, tropically landscaped, and — natch — heavily secured property includes a supermodel slender, dark-bottom infinity-edge swimming pool set between towering walls of bamboo and 113 feet of bay frontage with a private boat dock.
At right about the same time he was fixin’ to list his Miami Beach home, Mister Klein added to his impressive portfolio of private residences with the $25 million purchase of a newly constructed and exceptionally bold über-contemporary mansion in the Bird Streets ‘hood high above L.A.’s Sunset Strip (above). The Paul McCLean-designed residence, with five en suite bedrooms and a total of seven bathrooms, includes an eight-car partially subterranean garage, a state-of-the-art home automation system, 13-foot ceilings and broad expanses of automated floor-to-ceiling glass sliders that open to a small patch of lawn and a 65-foot long infinity-edged swimming pool. The angular residence’s lower level includes what listing details call a “Water Lounge,” with fireplace and wet bar, an adjoining office and a 12-seat home theater with professional-grade media equipment. The “Water Lounge” and office both have a major sweep of floor-to ceiling glass panels that glide open at the touch of a button to a monumental water feature that includes an island terrace and a cascading wall of water while a remarkably expansive, sun-baked roof terrace amps the whole place up with unobstructed and — regardless of what one actually thinks or feels about the aggressively contemporary architecture — thrilling views that sweep across the entirety of the L.A. basin from downtown to the Pacific Ocean.
Mister Klein’s portfolio also include a 9,856-square-foot triplex penthouse atop the south tower of the cluster of swanky and sharply angled green-glassed Richard Meier-designed buildings that face the Westside Highway and Hudson River in New York City’s far West Village as well as a couple of rather spectacular oceanfront estates in the Hamptons. In an exceptionally posh cranny of East Hampton, he keeps a shingle-sided cottage-type mansion on a two-parcel estate that spans more than five acres and stretches from the ocean to Georgica Pond (above), and in nearby Southampton, the slim, spiky-haired septuagenarian presides over a fairly recently completed and liberally glassed contemporary extravaganza on not quite seven oceanfront acres along one of the historically blue-blooded beach community’s most exclusive and expensive streets. Property records show Mister Klein acquired the Southampton spread at a cost of $28.9 million. The property then had a hideous, castle-like mansion of unfortunate proportions and grotesque embellishments that was gut renovated before it was razed to make way for his sleek new house. A not-quite 3.5-acre parcel across the road, which borders Shinnicock Bay, was purchased by Mister Klein at the same time for $999,999 and, by our quick and rudimentary calculations, brings the total size of the estate to 10.15 acres. The seller of both parcels was former WorldCom director and (in)famous beach party thrower Francesco Galesi, but the plum property has an a fun and illustrious provenance that, along with additional details of Mister Klein’s house, y’all can read all about here in a 2013 article in the New York Times. Mister Klein went through three of the world’s most vaunted minimalist-minded architects — John Pawson, Michael Haverland and Fred Stelle — and buckets of money — around $45 million, so the scuttlebutt goes — to build what is arguably his most epic but not, by far, his only gleaming, high-maintenance minimalist residential monument to his half century of rip-roaring sartorial success, business acumen and enormous fortune.