Friday, October 10, 2008


[Karl Lagerfeld's New Vermont Home]

News outlets across the world today hummed with word that fashion legend, Karl Lagerfeld had just purchased a new estate. In Milan? Luxembourg? St. Moritz? Well he has at least one residence in each one of those locations already and for heaven's sake, why would he ever be that predictable? Monsieur Lagerfeld's new property happens to be situated in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Indeed, the small, yet lovely state has experienced plenty of celebrity over the past few centuries. The Vanderbilt lineage erected multiple summer manses, the Vonn Traps fled Austria, heading into Vermont's Green Mountains, which were of course, filled with the sound of music, while Greta Garbo was infamous for her nude swimming off the shore of Lake Caspian in the North East Kingdom. But fashion darling, ingenue and taste maker Lagerfeld purchasing an estate for his personal use? Unheard of!

For the sake of logical thinking, one must assume that an investment in real estate is a smart decision for any person during such a volatile economic time. Perhaps Lagerfeld intends to sit on the investment, increase its value by association and set it free once the markets begin to re-inflate? Only time will tell.

However, according to Women's Wear Daily [], Lagerfeld plans on using it as the central grounds for an upcoming Chanel advertisement campaign.

Therefore the house must be colossal, right? Above the two million dollar mark, sure?

Nope, hardly.

Following some thorough insider communication with local Realtors representing Sotheby's and Christie’s estate management based in Vermont, I quickly learned that Lagerfeld's piece of property wasn't listed through a commercial brokerage. Rather, it was obtained by Lagerfeld through a private transaction. But to think, who in their right mind would have the nerve to show Lagerfeld a few pictures of a home in Vermont, imagining that the man would have enough time or interest to purchase the modest plot?

Kudos to the messenger for their audacity.

While the brokerage information remains private, I was able to obtain a copy of the listing's details. Apparently, the home was sold for a paltry $575 thousand - hardly a fair comparison to his newly redecorated apartment in Paris (see Vogue, October 2008). While I cannot send out the link directly, here are some of the features that the modest property boasts:

Price: $552K (Down from the original listing of $624K)
Square Feet: n/a
Lake Front: NO
Property Style: Federal, two-story, shingle roof, brick exterior, 3-car garage
Land Description: Common Acreage, Lake Access, Lake Frontage (the house however, is not on the waterfront), stone foundation, mountain view
Bedrooms: 4
Baths: 4.5
Stories: 2
County: Grand Isle
Amenities: Decks, covered porch(s), Outbuilding(s), spa/ hot tub
Year Built: 1843
Broker's remarks: Beautiful brick Greek revival. Huge kitchen, paneled library w/dental molding, 2 FP, pegged random width HW floors. New tile in master bath. New shower in 1st floor bath (master suite possibly?). In-law/teen wing over garage w/ bath/claw foot tub. Decks w/ great west lake/mtn views. New/newer stainless in kitchen. Newer Buderus boiler & hot H2O htr. 345ft owned, shared lakefrt (4 fams total). Boathouse w/engineered H2O system on shared lake land. Town H2O @st. Apple & pear trees. Realtor owned. GI being re-appraised
Directions to the house? I-89 to exit 17, through South Hero then Grand Isle, 2.6 miles past A&B Grocery. On Westside before drawbridge.

**The property was realtor owned, listed in the VT historic registry


Aside from the surprising choice of geography and proximity to the famed lake monster of Vermont, Champ, Lagerfeld's recent acquisition is far from extraordinary.
Perhaps I am failing to acknowledge the likelihood that Lagerfeld's purchase was made as an intelligent investment, rather than for the sake finding a place to park the roadster during fall foliage tours of New England. Prove me wrong though, perhaps this time next year Anna, Caroline Roitfield and Aggy will be flying in on choppers to view Lagerfeld's newest collection?

For the man with an extra apartment in Paris (one for cooking, so to avoid the strong culinary aromas), nothing seems impossible.

No comments: