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Designer Apartments Bring Fashion Home

Source: Fashion Wire Daily - August 1, 2006

Designer hotels are old news, Karl Lagerfeld, Todd Oldham, Vera Wang, Betsey Johnson and Heatherette are just a few of the folks who have designed hotel interiors.

But residential designer apartment buildings? That's a new trend.

No longer content to simply make their mark designing clothing and accessories, a trio of fashion's finest are taking their vision one step further by putting their stylish stamp on co-ops, condos and rental apartments, thereby ensuring that fans can live the fashionable lifestyle 24/7.

"I jumped at the chance because my parents are both architects and I grew up with a love of all design, whether it be fashion, industrial or residential," said designer Peter Som on the phone from his New York office last week.

Som oversaw all aspects of the interiors at 485 Fifth Avenue, The Lofts at Bryant Park, a "collection" of luxury residences in midtown Manhattan that is set to open in Spring 2007.

From the expected furnishings, upholstery and wall coverings to the communal second floor garden to a three-story winding staircase in the lobby, whose filigree lace metalwork is a reinterpretation of Som's signature chrysanthemum patterned fabric from his Spring collection, each of the 104 residences, which range from one to four bedrooms, bear Som's sophisticated imprint - in addition to acres of lacquered cabinetry, stone surfaces and marble mosaics.

"I definitely try and translate how I feel about clothing into architecture," said Som. "It's all about everyday elegance, really beautiful materials and being functional and easy, but still classic. Those are the key words I think about when designing my clothes, so it was really a matter of taking those ideas and interpreting it into something a bit more permanent."

Jade Jagger, creative director of the Garrard jewelry line, lent her name to JADE, a luxury condominium in New York's Chelsea, which is set to open in December of this year. Every detail of JADE's 57 apartments were inspired by Jagger's jetsetting lifestyle - she has homes in New York, London and Ibiza - and several of the design elements were directly inspired by her experience as an accessories designer, including the central located "pods," freestanding lacquered cubes that open, jewelry-box style, to reveal the kitchen, bathroom and storage space within.

In Brooklyn, meanwhile, shoe designer Kristen Lee has just put the finishing touches on Pied-A-Terre, a private apartment in a fully renovated, turn-of-the-century factory building. The elegantly decorated 1200 sq-ft. two bedroom apartment features traditional black and white fixtures and furniture offset by light mint green details and ebony stained bamboo floors, and is available to fashion and film industry insiders for short- or long-term rental.

"I was always going, going, going, as everyone is," said the Los Angeles-based Lee via e-mail. "So it's nice to have a very comfortable, private place to come home to [when visiting New York]. I designed it to be interesting and chic yet comfortable and soothing - an absolute must in New York City!"

Source: www.fashionwiredaily.com - August 1, 2006