Actress Angelina Jolie’s new fashion business has opened in a historic two-story Lower East Side building once owned by Andy Warhol and occupied by street art pioneer Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Cutting the ribbon in December, Atelier Jolie is both a high-end retail boutique and art space, billed on its website as “a place where creatives can collaborate with a skilled and diverse family of tailors experts, modelers and craftsmen from all over the world. world” in a letter written by the Oscar-winning actress.
It also has a cafe opened in partnership with Eat Offbeat, an organization that hires local refugee communities to prepare regional dishes from Syria, Sri Lanka, Venezuela and Senegal.
The cafe serves a wide assortment of dishes showcasing foods from around the world, including chicken yassa and katarica curry bowls as well as a variety of fair trade coffees and teas. He even takes orders on GrubHub.
The retail space is occupied in part by current students and graduates of the Parsons School of Design. Shoppers, who can visit by appointment only, will find items ranging in price from a $495 jacket with a trio of interchangeable collars to a $195 silk A-line skirt, according to Harper’s Bazaar.
$15 plain white T-shirts are also available, intended to be customized in-store with a variety of complementary paints, screen prints and patches.
Profits from the sale of the patches are donated to charitable causes as well as the artists who created them, the outlet said.
Jolie admitted that she would “probably lose money, maybe even for a while,” at her store in a December interview with WSJ Magazine.
“If I can finally implement some of the things that I see as improvements and break even, that will be a huge win,” she said.
Before the “Girl, Interrupted” star, 48, took over, the graffiti-covered building at 57 Great Jones Street was leased to Meridian Capital Group for a whopping $60,000 a month. . However, it was not immediately clear how much the actress was paying to rent the space, reportedly signing an eight-year term.
The Civil War-era structure has a rich history, even predating its roots in the art scene.
Built in the 1860s, the building once served as the headquarters of the infamous Five Points Gang leader Paul Kelly.
From 1970 to 1990, the building was owned by Andy Warhol Enterprises Inc., which rented the second floor studio to legendary neo-expressionist Jean-Michel Basquiat, who lived and worked there from 1983 to 1988.
Basquiat died of a heroin overdose at 57 Great Jones Street on August 12, 1988 at the age of 27. Since his death, Basquiat’s reputation as an artist has skyrocketed, with several of his works reaching over $100 million at auction.
Atelier Jolie candidly acknowledges the sensitive history of opening a commercial business in such a prestigious building, saying on its website that it is “a privilege to be in this space.”
The team also took care to retain as much of its historic appearance as possible, preserving its familiar front panels adorned with peeling, sun-beaten stickers and graffiti of varying quality.
Al Diaz, a Brooklyn artist and longtime friend and early collaborator of Basquiat, was contacted by Jolie’s assistant after his team discovered a graffiti wall he had created as part of an exhibition of ephemeral art organized in the space in 2018.
Curious to learn more about her origins, the assistant invited Diaz to lunch at the expensive restaurant Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria right next to 57 Great Jones, a meal Jolie herself attended.
“For someone who came from where she came from, Hollywood royalty, she was completely normal,” Diaz told The Post on Monday, describing the “Maleficent” star as “graceful.”
He said she was “vague” about what she wanted to do with the building – “maybe kept,” he added.
“When she described it, it seemed more art-oriented, but it’s really more fashion-oriented,” he said.
When asked what he thought about a business venture opening up shop in the former home of his friend, known for rejecting the commercialization of his work, Diaz shared a pragmatic perspective.
“She uses the historic character of the building, but so would anyone else who moved into this space,” Diaz said.
“Let’s be real: This is a highly desirable space that some would like to see turned into a museum, but that seems a little unrealistic,” he said.
“It takes money to get in, considering what it costs. It would be nice if it was a museum, but I don’t see anyone getting up and doing that.