Auckland born Monique Laloli spends her workdays editing the photos of high-end real estate in New York City; with many of these homes belonging to the rich and famous. She has worked on many properties including a 1930’s Long Island estate that once belonged to the Vanderbilts and Whitneys. Decorated with an amazing degree of opulence, the asking price was $27 million.
Earlier this year, Monique worked on the photos that helped sell legendary fashion designer Herbert Kasper’s home in Manhattan.
Kasper, known simply by his last name, lived in Manhattan until his death in 2020. He was 93 years old and one of America’s midcentury fashion stalwarts. Kasper was only 28 years old when, in 1955, he received the first of his three Coty fashion awards. He had a passion for fashion and a talent for making inexpensive clothes look exquisite and expensive. Perfect for the modern woman that needed high fashion pieces that were both feminine and practical tailored to the demands of a multi-faceted day.
The designer was also an avid art collector, with his Upper East Side home featuring pieces by Constantin Brancusi, Jean Dubuffet, Henri Matisse, Robert Mapplethorpe, Fernand Leger and Ed Ruscha.
The building was constructed in 1908 and resembles the 16th-century Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. Kasper injected dashes of modern flair into the old-world character of his residence, invigorating the aristocratic rooms.
The bright blue bedroom featured a chrome four-poster bed and a wing chair. The silk-walled library was filled with an extensive book collection and Chinese antiques.
Leger’s red, purple and orange Cubist composition Femme a la Toilette (1925) glows on the baize-green silk walls.
Kasper bought the apartment in 1979 and kept the prewar layout largely intact, though he made renovations to the bathrooms and kitchen. Many of the original architectural features, such as the moldings and fireplace mantles, were restored. Diane von Furstenberg described Kasper as a gentleman who designed beautiful American sportswear. He introduced her to editors when she first came to New York.
Monique has been working with MW Studio editing high-end real estate photos for 9 years and she still finds each job very fascinating. She notes it’s always interesting to see how people decorate and furnish their homes, especially when money is no object.
One of her favourite properties she recently worked on belonged to the late David Bowie. The legendary British musician initially purchased the property in 1999 for $3.81 million. David Bowie’s former long-term home was in a building that was constructed in 1886 and was initially home to the Hawley & Hoops Candy Factory.
In 1999 it was converted into a full-service condominium building. It is situated in the SoHo/Nolita area of the city, an area that Bowie truly loved. He was said to have felt at home here and enjoyed strolling through Washington Square Park and browsing the local bookstores. The apartment measures just over 5,000 square feet, along with over 1,000 square feet of outdoor space that encompasses three terraces. The bedroom suite is more than 1,000 square feet with a fireplace and a dressing room. It also features a 56-foot-long great room and a library. The property was owned by a trustee linked to Bowie’s estate and recently sold for $16.8 million, 5 years after his death and having been on the market for less than a month.
Monique spent the height of the global pandemic home in New Zealand, something that she is incredibly grateful for. As an only child she was able to spend time with her Mother and assist with things that the Pandemic made challenging like acquiring the necessities from grocery stores. As time went by, she returned to New York to continue with the job she loves and which was certainly made easier by being in the same time zone as her clients.
Monique still gets a rush of excitement when she sees jobs she has worked on featured in major publications such as the New York Times and Architectural Digest and enjoys being able to share stories about her work with elocal readers. Being able to create editorial feature-worthy images has become a forte of Monique’s, and as such, she is an integral part of the selling process.