Sotheby's Realty, Stylish Properties Outside of St. Louis

André Leon Talley’s White Plains Home For Sale With Sotheby’s International Realty

[Author’s Note: The following blog post is a rewrite of an article initially published by The New York Times.]

André Leon Talley, Vogue’s pioneering creative director, resided in a magnificent colonial home in White Plains, N.Y. for 18 years. This remarkable house is now available for $1.25 million with Bonnie Stein, an associate broker at Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty in Rye, N.Y. With its distinctive character and stunning leopard carpet throughout, the property has captured the attention of buyers.

The house, situated on nearly 1.2 acres of picturesque land at 75 Worthington Road, spans 3,600 square feet and features 11 rooms. The annual taxes amount to around $26,000. Recently, a portion of the street was renamed “Honorary André Leon Talley Way” to honor his groundbreaking contributions as the first Black creative director of Vogue Magazine. His larger-than-life presence and influential role in diversifying fashion media made him an icon.

During his time in the house, Mr. Talley utilized every room except for the kitchen, which had a walkout to the patio. Cooking was not his forte. The study adjacent to the kitchen became his most cherished space, furnished with Truman Capote’s sofa, an item he acquired at an auction but preferred to keep off-limits to others.

One of the four bedrooms served as a linen closet, while another served as a guest room rarely used by anyone but Mr. Talley’s close friend, Alexis E. Thomas. Their friendship began in 1996 when they met at a fundraiser, and it was André who noticed her mismatched shopping bag and promptly gifted her a Fendi tote.

The house offered André Leon Talley solace, nestled on a private road. The porch became his haven, where he spent countless hours conducting interviews and Zoom meetings. The serenity of the surroundings made it the perfect setting for his creative pursuits.

A Christie’s auction a few months ago featured most of the house’s contents, including furniture, clothing, artwork, jewelry, and personal items. The proceeds, totaling over $3.5 million, were shared between the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem and Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, N.C., where Mr. Talley grew up. The house, dating back to 1854, boasts an unfinished basement, a shed in the yard, and a circular driveway without a garage. It has been well-maintained, with recent renovations such as relocating the underground oil tank and installing brand-new basement stairs.

In late 2020, a dispute arose between the owners of the house, George Malkemus and Anthony Yurgaitis, who were longtime friends of Mr. Talley. The disagreement over ownership led to lawsuits and countersuits. However, the matter was resolved in early 2022 through a confidential settlement agreement.

Shortly after the resolution, Diane von Furstenberg’s limited liability company, Helping Les Amis, purchased the house. Ms. von Furstenberg, one of André’s closest friends, stepped in to prevent any possibility of eviction, exemplifying the true essence of friendship.

The White Plains house held a special place in André’s heart, often referred to as his sanctuary. He also owned a house in Durham, N.C., which he purchased for his grandmother, who played a significant role in his upbringing. The serene environment outside the city allowed him to recreate the southern atmosphere he cherished. André devoted considerable time and effort to cultivating a beautiful landscape adorned with azaleas, hydrangeas, ferns, and Japanese maples.

Inside the house, visitors can admire several fireplaces, Dutch doors, and beamed ceilings, along with remnants of André Talley’s unique taste. The distinct leopard carpeting, a print he found irresistible, covers the stairwell and part of the second floor, adding a touch of his personality to the property.

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