Angelina Jolie Had to Have Basquiat’s Former Studio
After eight months on the market, it was Angelina Jolie of all people who got the lease for 57 Great Jones Street, a former carriage house in Noho that was also the last place Basquiat lived and worked, from 1983 until his death in 1988. It was apparently a no-brainer. “As soon as she walked through the space she fell in love with it,” says John Roesch, the broker at Meridian Capital Group who represented the landlord, along with Garrett Kelly. “She made sure she got this deal.” (She also, per the Commercial Observer, asked, “What do I have to do to get this done now?”)
She got the deal, so now we get Atelier Jolie, a new venture she describes as a “global family” of underrepresented tailors who will use only upcycled material. “We hope to create a community of creativity and inspiration, regardless of socio-economic background,” Jolie (Angelina) wrote on the Jolie (Atelier) site. It will be “a place for creative people to collaborate with a skilled and diverse family of expert tailors.” It will also be, she writes, “a place to have fun.” The details beyond that are vague, but at least it now has an address and is, apparently, hiring.
The 6,600-square-foot building, which was listed for $60,000 a month, had been on the market since November. Roesch said that Jolie was “very hands-on” about closing the deal, visiting the space multiple times over six months. “I would think you would usually have the team handle the whole thing, but she wanted to make sure she got the deal done,” Roesch said. (He did not disclose how much Jolie paid to rent the space.) There was apparently competition, too: Roesch says there had been multiple offers, but “we decided that Angelina’s concept would be the best fit and use for the building.” And that concept is tailoring.
Jolie says that she would do her best to “respect and honor” the artistic legacy of the building, which is often tagged by graffiti artists in tribute to Basquiat. After all, as she insisted, “I’m more of an artist than a businesswoman.”