Monday, August 17, 2009

The Tangier Estate of Yves Saint Laurent Goes on the Block

SELLER: Estate of Yves St. Laurent and Pierre Bergé
LOCATION: Tangier, Morocco
SIZE: 900 square meters (approx.), 5 bedrooms 4+ bathrooms
PRICE: Upon Request
DESCRIPTION: The former home of world-famous fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, this elegant villa occupies a coveted spot nearby the Kasbah in a quiet and well-protected residential district just five minutes from downtown. Refined interior design by renowned decorator Jacques Grange accentuates an atmosphere of impressive space and architectural clarity. Beautiful gardens surround the main house, which opens through a Moorish-style entry flowing into a lobby with white Moroccan arcades. The main living room is finished in blue chintz in an English style and offers 180-degree views over the garden and sea...

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: it has come to Your Mama's attention that the storied Moroccan mansion of French fashion legend Yves Saint Laurent and his one-time man-friend turned bizness partner and lifelong companion Pierre Bergé has been listed for sale with an undisclosed asking price. It always puzzles Your Mama why a property would be listed for sale without a price attached but we suppose, as the old adage goes, if you have to ask the price you can not afford it anyway.

Monsieur Saint Laurent was a mover and shaker not only in the fashion world but on the high flying international jet setting scene where he and his glammy posse made regular rounds to notoriously naughty nightclubs like Regine's and Studio 54 in New York City. In between his hedonistic pursuits he managed to put out collection after collection after collection, first for the legendary haute couturier House of Dior and later under his own eponymous label that survives long after his retirement in 2002. In 2008 the famously heavy bespectacled genius met the great seamstress in the sky, reportedly dying of brain cancer at his house in Paris just days after being united in a same sex civil pact of solidarity with Monsieur Bergé.

Messieurs Bergé and Saint Laurent shared many residences over the years including apartments in Paris and New York, a lavish spread in Normandy (that's it France puppies) and of course, in Morocco where all wildly rich jet setting queens played and partied in the 1960s and 1970s. For many years the couple reportedly owned a home in Marrakech, but in 1998 they purchased a Moroccan mansion in the seaside town of Tangier from a very wealthy gal named Sheika Fatima bint Fahd bin Salem Al Sabah of Kuwait.

Listing information provided to Your Mama by a gentleman we'll call Willie Wantsyoutoknow reveals the main house measures approximately 900 square meters which our bejeweled abacus indicates converts to around 9,700 square feet. The property, dubbed Villa Mabrouka (House of Luck), sits high atop a cliff overlooking the Strait of Gibralter and the distant coastline of Spain and includes 2 (or so) acres of extensive and lush gardens created by legendary landscape designer Madison Cox that tumble down the hillside to the water's edge.

While there are plenty of classic Moroccan elements of Villa Mabrouka including white washed walls, shaded arcades, tiled floors to cool the tootsies, soaring ceilings that draw the intense heat upwards and a sprawling 6,500 square foot roof terrace, it's really a mish-mash of sometimes conflicting styles with interiors that were all did up in a somewhat spare, eclectic, somewhat unexpected, and if we're being honest, a not entirely appealing English Country style manner by otherwise faboo French designer Jacques Grange who among other projects is responsible for the recent and seriously swank re-make of the The Mark in Manhattan as well as projects for illustrious ladees like Paloma Picasso and Princess Caroline of Monaco and billionaire bizness barons like Ronald Lauder and François Pinault.

Villa Mabrouka is approached through a courtyard garden that opens into an entrance hall with arcades and black and white checkerboard floor tiles. There are a couple of sitting rooms in the house including the Blue Room which is all done up in blue chintz and the Yellow Room in, surprise, yellow chintz. Other public rooms include a dining room with bamboo walls, and office and a library that, according to listing information, exudes an English club atmosphere and a Colonial era fireplace. That's not exactly the mood we'd be looking for is Tangier, but apparently it is what Messieurs Saint Laurent and Bergé preferred.

There are, according to listing information, three bedrooms on the main level including two master bedrooms with verandas and private poopers as well as a third bedroom that also includes a private pooper. There are two additional bedrooms that share a bathroom on the garden level where the professionally equipped kitchen is located. We're sure some of the children will complain about the kitchen being on a different floor than the dining room, but remember puppies, Messieurs Saint Laurent and Bergé probably had a good sized retinue of slim young local boy-men to bring them their dinner and drinks so schlepping up and down stairs with a plate full of food wasn't exactly a concern of theirs.

Other amenities include a heated swimming pool carved out of the mountain rocks, an adjacent two-floor, 650 square foot pool house with shower and terlit, a large garage, a separate 1,200+ square foot staff quarters for four, and a small guard's house because no one leaves their estates in Tangier without guards.

Some of the children may recall that in the fall of 2007, before Monsieur Saint Laurent went to meet the great seamstress in the sky, the pair sold their 2 bedroom and 2.5 pooper pied-a-terre at the Pierre in New York City to Valentino's man-mate Giancarlo Giammetti for $7,500,000. In the 2005 the couple listed their beloved Chateau Gabriel, their Proust inspired country retreat in Deauville, France with the most amazing interiors done, also, by Jacques Grange. The property was first listed at twenty million Euros, but in the fall of 2007 the two men decided to keep 15 acres and a small Russian dacha style cottage on the property and re-listed the remaining 52 acres and the including the Napoleon III era house with an asking price of twelve million Euros which at the time translated into about $17,800,000 according to a report from the time in the Wall Street Journal.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks like a mish-mash of modern and traditional, but due to the lack of interior pics, hard to tell if it was done nicely. The views and groupnds are gorgeous, but I was not impressed by the house itself.

Miami Beach Condos said...

Gorgeous place, certainly worthy of a name like Yves Saint Laurent. You're probably right though, if the price is unlisted and needs to be requested then it's largely out of reach.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

The reason for the plethora of English chintz is that Saint Laurent believed a house should reflect its past. This particular house had been built and owned by an English family, hence the Anglo echo.

angeleyes said...

Nice Mama, thank you. Your description and photos of this villa's blufftop location overlooking Gibralter with acres of beautiful landscaping extending to the water's edge is spectacular. The 6,500 square foot roof terrace to better enjoy it all also seems the perfect place to host wonderful and memorable parties. I agree the range of decor choices is odd, but relatively easy to change. People who won't list their property for a specified amount always give me pause for thought because the most reasonable explanation is that they're aware the asking price is too high. But, that's nothing new in the world of rich celebrities.

Lillian said...

Just hearing that Madison did the gardens was enough - the place must be amazing. Thank you for listing this.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely place, such a change from all those over enormous, hotel like Californian eyesores!

Anonymous said...

Are there any more pictures of this place available?

Anonymous said...

That ugly all-square "sunroom" with dreary looking blinds that is shown from the outside and inside is just as bad as any dreary Califonia hotel. I don't see much of fabulous in this building - am I missing something? Or, ya'll just praising the house because the name YSL makes you weak in the knees and minds?

Ed said...

I agree. Tangier is certainly more exotic than L.A. or Chicago or anywhere in the U.S. but other than the views of the Medit., from the photos here there really isn't much to make it seem like that great of a house. In fact, kinda the opposite. It seems disjointed and even a little schizophrenic.

Sebastian Flyte said...

I have always enjoyed my drunken gay life in Tangier but even in my state I cannot see how this monstrosity could interest any but the most urbane. My teddy agrees.

Anonymous said...

Tangier is a magnificent city but has had terrible problems with human waste disposal at their beaches. The beach closest to the harbor has been shut down for almost a decade because of horrendous amounts of waste.

Kieran said...

Barbara Hutton Lived in Tangier

Anonymous said...

Tangier...I can hear the boys screaming from YSL's back room LOL....Awesome home. I sure hope he doesn't think the YSL name is the marquee name it once was.....Price Upon Request for a Tangiers property - thats a good indication he is selling more NAME then actual market value.

Anyone remmember the killer YSL facial scrub for men - circa 1979 or so? Best male product ever....

Mars said...

Wow. Wow. Wow.

You know I think I've seen all his homes in various mags and the man has never failed to charm my senses. This is so beautiful that I want to make zillions immediately just to buy it.

Rowdy Ventures said...

No matter how hard I try, when i look at this house all I can picture is that wicked Kate Hepburn tryin to shut up poor lil' insane Liz Taylor all just cuz Monty couldn't resist them young YOUNG arab boys.

I'm with anon 9:23pm on this one...shades of suddenly last summer indeed!

Anonymous said...

'a small guard's house because no one leaves their estates in Tangier without guards'

Tangier is incredibly safe. There is actually very little crime.

Anonymous said...

This house belonged to my great-aunt, who sold it to YSL, as you had mentioned. Only thing, though, she was more than just a "wealthy gal". She was a princess, a member of Kuwait's ruling family.