Italian fashion designer Brunello Cucinelli buys a house in Los Angeles – DIRT
A vintage residence nestled in a notoriously celebrity-filled enclave near the base of Los Angeles’ Runyon Canyon, in the foothills just above Hollywood, has changed hands for the first time in nearly 40 years as part of a a secret $5 million off-market deal.
Tucked away in a historic, almost invisible cul-de-sac behind secure gates and a trimmed hedge, tax records show the 1920s Spanish Colonial Revival residence was owned for decades by veteran showbiz executive Robert A. Geary . The new owner is the erudite Italian luxury fashion designer Brunello Cucinelli.
Cucinelli, whose eponymous brand sells tasteful, ultra-luxe products including $700 woven leather belts, $1,200 cotton hoodies and $3,700 cashmere sweaters, launched his business in the mid-1970s, selling brightly colored cashmere sweaters, and took it public in 2013. The success of the IPO made him a billionaire, a famous philanthropist who donates 20% of his profits to the Brunello and Frederica Cucinelli Foundation.
Since the property was not listed on the open market, details are scarce. Tax records indicate there are five bedrooms and three bathrooms on just over 3,800 square feet spread over two floors that sit atop an arched loggia that overlooks the manicured backyard and pool. Inside, the living room features a 20-foot vaulted and stenciled ceiling, and there are sweeping views of the downtown skyline to the Pacific Ocean.
Susan Andrews and Justin Roberts of Compass handled the seller side of the transaction, while Brent Watson and Marco Salari, both of Coldwell Banker Realty, represented Cucinelli on the transaction.
Given its proximity to Hollywood and Burbank studios, Beverly Hills, and the Sunset Strip, the neighborhood has long attracted Tinseltown movers. Hollywood icon Raymond Burr’s former estate is just down the street – it’s now owned by composer Harald Kloser, and some of the other neighbors Cucinelli can send his housekeeper to for a cup of sugar or an egg include film and television producer Alan Ball, who bought his massive spread about eight years ago from Sheryl Crow, Katey Sagal, who acquired her home earlier this year for $5.825 million, and the former of “Pretty Little Liars” Julian Morris, who snapped up his home from Sam and Aaron Taylor-Johnson earlier this year for nearly $7.2 million.
The Los Angeles house is considerably smaller than Cucinelli’s main house in the medieval hamlet of Solomeo, halfway between Rome and Florence, in the Italian province of Umbria. Earlier this year, the charming 68-year-old billionaire gave The New York Times a tour of the sprawling 33,000-square-foot villa, where he keeps a collection of rare books, a piano he can’t play and dozens of busts of the world’s great philosophers, scientists and artists.