Esprit Eighties Fashion Abode


Eighties' favourite clothing brand Esprit behind mansion on the market for ten years. It was worth the wait. A humongous mansion in the US state of New York that has bizarrely been on and off the market for a decade is finally changing owners for $US70 million.

For the vendor, the billionaire founder of cult 80s and 90s fashion label Esprit, patience has paid off to an astonishing degree - the transaction is one of the most expensive this year in an enclave known for its rolled-gold real estate and high-rolling buyers.

The Esprit executive was almost successful at selling the Southampton compound named Linden Estate ten years ago to Australian supermodel Kristy Hinze, who has starred for Victoria's Secret and Sports Illustrated, and her internet billionaire husband Jim Clark, an entrepreneur and computer scientist who founded browser Netscape.

However, the contract crumbled, according to Curbed, who quoted a Haute Living magazine story from August 2012 and an interview given by Hinze, who grew up in Queensland, about how much they loved the Southampton area.

Southampton is counted in the famous shoreline known as The Hamptons.

"We're really happy here. Who wouldn't be? It's certainly gorgeous - there's a reason everyone comes here. The Hamptons are special, beautiful. The area has its own different light," Hinze told the magazine, adding that she and her husband wanted to provide their young daughter Dylan with a New York education.

Back then, reports were the Esprit moguls and the Clark's agreed on $US49 million for the estate at 160 Ox Pasture Road, before it went south with little explanation or press follow up. Curbed reported the title never changed over. But the blunder has now proven to be pay dirt.

The Esprit estate had at times been a rental - on one occasion, it was leased for $650,000 a month - but the keys are now on route to an unnamed international businessman who has inked the sale contract, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The listing agent told the Journal the price makes Linden Estate among the Hamptons' biggest deals of 2022 and the most paid for a Hamptons' home not overlooking the water (where the stratosphere of buyers want to be).

Esprit folded in Australia in 2018, closing 67 stores. It launched locally in 1981 and fast become a favourite throughout the 80s and 90s for its fresh, simple and functional fashion that seemed to suit the Aussie climate and laidback tastes. But Aussies sales soon slumped to 2 per cent of its global share, prompting closure.

The vendors Jürgen Friedrich, now 80, and his wife Anke Beck-Friedrich started apparel company Esprit Holdings in 1976 and he ran its European division. They paid $US8.5 million for Linden Estate 20 years ago and embarked on renovations worth tens of millions.

It first came onto the market in 2008 for $US60 million, whittling down in price over time; when the offer from Hinze and Clark landed in 2012, it had been on the market for the full four years.

The residence, which spans 16,700 square metres, returned to the market in 2013 with a slashed asking price of $US45 million.

The new owner will luxuriate in the pool with a slide and waterfall, take steam showers, choose from 12 bedrooms and roam 3.6 hectares of fountain-dotted gardens so vast, it's like parkland. Also included is a grass tennis court, a paddle court, two pavilions with kitchens and a carriage house with an adjoining greenhouse.

The agent, Corcoran's Tim Davis, looked after the listing in conjunction with Sotheby's International Realty agent Harald Grant, with an asking price of $US69.95 million.


By Emily Power www.nine.com.au

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