A Mayfair house once considered the London home of the Gucci fashion brand — and where designer Tom Ford served as Gucci's creative director — has been listed for sale for £55 million or to rent for £40,000 a week.
The Neoclassical mansion in Grafton Street was chosen as the global headquarters for the Gucci brand which, in 1993, was bought from Maurizio Gucci by Bahrain-based investment fund Invescorp.
US designer Tom Ford was named creative director and Domenico De Sole named CEO in 1994.
A year later Maurizio Gucci was shot in the lobby of the fashion house's Milan headquarters by his ex-wife Patrizia Reggiani Gucci and it was decided that a global headquarters would be found for the brand.
The relocation came to fruition in 1998 when the Gucci fashion brand moved from Milan to the property in Grafton Street, Mayfair, which had been given a two-year makeover that saw rooms fitted with bespoke Gucci furniture including black calfskin sofas and chairs.
Creative director Tom Ford took over what is now the mansion's first-floor drawing room — with 20ft-high gold-leaf decorated ceilings, vast windows and Georgian fireplaces — using it as his office.
Visitors to the space during Ford's years at the Gucci helm included fashion royalty Alexander McQueen and Vogue editor Anna Wintour, following in the footsteps of Queen Victora and the first Duke of Wellington who were entertained there by Lord Chancellor Lord Brougham more than a century earlier.
While Ford and Domenico De Sole left Gucci in 2004, the property remained the brand's headquarters until June 2010.
The Gucci Mansion was transformed back into a private home by RIBA award-winning architects Donald Insall Associates whose previous projects included the restoration of Windsor Castle from 1992 to 1997 after a fire destroyed 115 rooms.
The Grafton Street property is now on the market for the first time since its refurbishment. It has four 'VIP' bedroom suits and four staff bedrooms, entertaining spaces, a spa complex, a penthouse-style office which leads to a sun room on the uppermost level.
“The former Gucci mansion [...] is now Mayfair’s finest house currently for sale or let,” said Gary Hersham of Beauchamp Estates who are marketing the property.
“[The mansion] is perfect for a family who like Gucci want a palatial residence in the heart of Mayfair,” added Mr Hersham.