Kimberly found the apartment by chance. A friend told her there was an open house at Mae’s old apartment, so Kimberly went. Although she wasn’t looking to buy an apartment at the time, she fell head over heels. “It had high ceilings, incredible views and, most importantly, the Mae West connection,” she says. “The vault, the mouldings, the tiles, the windows, everything was frozen in time. In less than 15 minutes I was planning my move here.
Mae had made the apartment famous in her own right because she was often photographed there. An article published in Architectural Summary in 1994, she looked back on her 48 years at home and quoted her as saying, “There’s always only been one way, the one that’s right for me.” Kimberly found a challenge in passing this same edict. How does she make for herself the place that suited Mae West, while paying homage to the star?
“I tried to find the balance between honoring his memory and having my own style of design,” says Kimberly. “Her fabulous place was all white and gold, which isn’t me.” Instead of making the apartment a museum the way Mae West wanted it to be, Kimberly went all out to make it what she wanted. She also celebrates the star by hosting space fairs – at which a glass is always raised to her – introducing a younger generation to Mae as often as she can and displaying some of her “wonderful treasures”.