Sotheby’s Sells the Iconic Yves Saint Laurent Villa

Iona Bielby 

British fashion and interior designer Jasper Conran, has purchased Villa Mabrouka in Tangier, Morocco. Founded by Yves Saint Laurent and partner Pierre Bergé, the property has been sold by Sotheby’s at an undisclosed price. 

Anne-Gaël Rio,  The interior of Villa Mabrouka, Tangier.

Anne-Gaël Rio, The interior of Villa Mabrouka, Tangier.

The villa was bought by Saint Laurent and Bergé in the late 1990s. Saint Laurent would live the last decades of his life here. The timing of the villa’s sale is an interesting one, for it follows the white glove sale for Pierre Berge’s collection at Sotheby’s Paris only last October – a collection which raised a record-breakin $31.3 million. 

Upon his death, Bergé left instructions for the fate of the villa, nicknamed “The House of Luck”. According to the wishes of Bergé, the proceeds of the sale will go towards the non-profit organization, Fondation Jardin Majorelle that Bergé and Saint Laurent cofounded. This organisation oversees the Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakech as well as the Berber Museum, where proceeds from the sale will also be sent. 

Guy Marineau,  Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent at their house in Dar Es Saada, Marrakech, Morocco.  Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris, 1977.

Guy Marineau, Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent at their house in Dar Es Saada, Marrakech, Morocco. Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris, 1977.

Jasper Conran buys the property with a rich design history, for upon buying the villa, Saint Laurent and Bergé asked designer Jacques Grange to decorate the interior. Grange’s clientele is vast and impressive, ranging from princesses to celebrities. His style is one that revolves around instinct and a playful sense of ‘anything goes.’ The result are consistently quirky yet elegant interiors that seem to embody the elusive quality of creative genius. Everything just works. So much so, that before Bergé, Jacques Grange also held the title of the highest total at an auction in a single-owner sale reaching £25.1 million. 

According to WWD, Grange said of Saint Laurent and Bergé’s residence, ‘The theme was an eccentric Fifties Englishman who had come to live in Tangier…It was like decorating a house for characters out of a play by Tennessee Williams.’ The house boasts a mixture of modern and traditional Moroccan style. Walls in white stucco, arches and black and white chequered floors create the ambiance nostalgic to the 60s. Each room is dominated by a different colour and boast chintz furnishings, rolling lawns and a swimming pool with fountains designed by landscape gardener, Madison Cox. 

Villa Mabrouka, Tangier , Sotheby's.

Villa Mabrouka, Tangier, Sotheby's.

As his retreat from the busy and grey Paris, Saint Laurent’s villa certainly reflects the tranquillity and the simplicity of a not-so-secret-secret getaway. The exact plans for the villa’s future are currently unknown, but no doubt will be honoured as the dreamlike haven it is. 

 

Bibliography

Diderich, JoelledJoelle. "Jasper Conran to Buy Yves Saint Laurent's Moroccan Villa." WWD. March 01, 2019. Accessed March 06, 2019. https://wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-scoops/jasper-conran-to-buy-yves-saint-laurents-moroccan-villa-1203063857/.

"From the Archive: Jacques Grange's Paris Flat (2009)." House & Garden. February 08, 2018. Accessed March 07, 2019. https://www.houseandgarden.co.uk/gallery/jacques-grange-paris-flat.

Munyal, Panna. "Villa Mabrouka: Yves Saint Laurent's Morocco Home Has a New Owner." The National. March 05, 2019. Accessed March 07, 2019. https://www.thenational.ae/lifestyle/home/villa-mabrouka-yves-saint-laurent-s-morocco-home-has-a-new-owner-1.832475.

Sansom, Anna. "Jasper Conran Buys Yves Saint Laurent's Villa Mabrouka in Tangier." The Art Newspaper. March 05, 2019. Accessed March 06, 2019. https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/jasper-conran.

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