Our New York home comes with a creative and entrepreneurial legacy. In the 1980s, Soho was a wild jungle. The Cable Building at 611 Broadway once housed the cable that dragged the streetcars up and down Broadway. (The giant wheels are still here in the basement.) The exterior was designed by Stanford White, of McKim, Mead & White, the preeminent American architectural firm at the turn of the 20th Century. This team would go on to design the former Pennsylvania Station, the Brooklyn Museum, and the main campus of Columbia University, as well as renovate the East and West wings of the White House.
A honeycomb of artists and designers worked behind its beaux-arts facade, among them Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. By the '80s, the penthouse had become the studio of Giorgio Sant'Angelo, a brash, mercurial risk-taker and supernova of the '70s fashion world who loved color and innovation, and rejected traditional design. Born in Florence, he'd studied sculpture with Pablo Picasso and apprenticed with Walt Disney in Hollywood. Once in New York, he began to make jewelry and was discovered by Diana Vreeland, who hired him as a stylist. Out of their collaboration came some of the most iconic fashion photographs of the '60s: the model Verushka wrapped in fur in the desert, and psychedelic flower makeup around one of Twiggy's eyes. At the penthouse, a long line of fans would come to request Sant'Angelo's designs: Lena Horne, Faye Dunaway, Cher, Farrah Fawcett, Isabella Rossellini (who would later wear a Sant’Angelo to the Oscars), Mica Ertegun, Bianca and Mick Jagger.
When Chandelier moved in seven years ago, the penthouse had been abandoned for many years. His colorful entrepreneurial spirit lives on, in a space designed in collaboration with artists Alex Purdy and Camille Walala. The library is filled with objects from our travels including a 600 year-old samurai kimono, a Chinese aquarium, and a David Hockney room divider. Our furniture was handmade by our friend Shin Okuda from Waka Waka in downtown Los Angeles. And as a nod back to Giorgio Sant’Angelo, we still play Cher every now and again.
Sant'Angelo's glamorous runway shows were held in the space that is our design studio. The Chandelier Library was once a workshop for his patternmakers and seamstresses.
The Penthouse is about people. This space is designed to foster creatives, entrepreneurs, and dynamic thinkers, to support cultural connections in our communities, and to inspire events, experiences, and people that make the world a brighter place. Once a month in the Chandelier Library, our Truth-tellers and Troublemakers Salon Series invites counterculture icons and intellectual or artistic luminaries to make a little mischief and share their perpsective with the public, investigating how culture and industry shape each other while shining a light on important, strategic causes, great people, curious brands, and iconic companies.