Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts Honoring Thom Browne & Andrew Bolton

Andrew Bolton & Thom Browne holding Hector stand in front of their home
Photo by William Abranowicz

Last night, Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts gathered at a private venue in Manhattan to honor Thom Browne and Andrew Bolton with their 19th annual Ambassador to the Upper East Side Award.

They were both honored for their “remarkable impact” on the city’s landscape, their “remarkable contributions to the fabric and culture of New York,” and their contribution to preserving the majesty of the Upper East Side through the renovation of their home on Sutton Place, a Georgian townhome overlooking the East River designed in 1920 by Mott Schmidt for Anne Vanderbilt.

“We are thrilled to accept this award from an organization dedicated to protecting the history and culture of this part of New York City.”

Andrew Bolton

Alina Cho and Kent Barwick served as Honorary Chairs for the celebratory benefit dinner. FYI, Ms. Cho will be honored with the Media Award in honor of Eugenia Sheppard at the CFDA Awards on November 6.

Amy Fine Collins, Franny Eberhart, David Kleinberg, Alina Cho, Jill Kargman, Sharon Hurowitz
Photo by Marilyn Kirschner

Co-chairs were Amy Fine Collins, Alexandra and Philip Howard, Jill and Harry Kargman, Christian Keese and Larry Keigwin, David Kleinberg, Ann and John Pyne, and Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch.

Architect Tim Campbell wearing Thom Browne
Photo by Marilyn Kirschner

Among the approximately 165 guests were Emily Rafferty, the first woman to serve as president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a position she held from 2005 – 2015, Harold Koda, the fashion scholar and former curator-in-charge at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, longtime Upper East Side preservationist and President of the Board of Directors for Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts Franny Eberhart, and noted architect, Tim Campbell.

“We feel honored and humbled to receive this recognition for the years of effort we put into protecting the original design intent of this remarkable building, working closely with our friend, David Kleinberg.”

Thom Browne

Founded in 1982, Friends of the Upper East Side is an independent, not-for-profit organization. They have been vital in designating the neighborhood’s 131 individual landmarks and seven historic districts, encompassing 1907 protected buildings.

“Thom Browne and Andrew Bolton’s home beautifully illustrates how architecture, fashion, and art are intimately connected”

Anna Marcum, Executive Director, Friends of the Upper East Side Historic District

In 2019, Browne and Bolton paid 13 million to the estate of Drue Heinz for the 7000 square foot Georgian-style mansion built a century ago for heiress Anne Harriman Vanderbilt. It was featured in Architectural Digest last November.

Harold Koda
Photo by Marilyn Kirschner

The couple worked closely with designer David Kleinberg, and they made a great effort to update only as needed, with “deep consideration for its provenance and original planning, according to a previous press release. Elsie de Wolfe, Renzo Mongiardino, Harrison Cultra, and Georgina Fairholme have all lavished their expertise on this house.

Honorary Chair Alina Cho with Co-Chair Jill Kargman & publicist Nancy Chilton
Photo by Marilyn Kirschner

The invitation suggested “Festive Attire,” but when it is an occasion honoring Thom Browne, “festive” generally means head-to-toe Thom Browne because you need to wear the clothing and the accessories together.

Amy Fine Collins wearing Thom Browne
Photo by Marilyn Kirschner

Among the guests in Browne were the designer’s muse, Amy Fine Collins, looking cool as a cucumber in a sleeveless tan chino cotton dress with subtle embroidery accessorized with a Thom Browne shoulder bag and shoes.

Emily Rafferty President Emerita Metropolitan Museum of Art wearing Thom Browne – Photo by Marilyn Kirschner

Emily Rafferty wore Thom’s tweed skirt suit paired with a matching bag and spectator pumps. Sharon Hurowitz, a devoted fan off to Milan for a few spring 2024 shows, chose a Thom Browne trompe loeil dress accessorized with his signature pumps and black “Hector” bag.

Nancy Chilton, whose company handles press for this event, wore a Thom Browne dress with Roger Vivier pumps. Zack Weiss and Tim Campbell were just a few of the guys wearing a Thom Browne pantsuit.

Sharon Hurowitz talking to Thom Browne
Photo by Marilyn Kirschner

Browne and Bolton, who have been together for over a decade, are considered “American fashion’s reigning power couple .”Indeed, if there is a creative “marriage made in heaven,” this is undoubtedly one of them. The couple admittedly inspired one another. I would love to be a fly on the wall in their mansion just to hear their conversations.

Zach Weiss wearing Thom Browne talking to Nancy Chilton also in Thom Browne
Photo by Marilyn Kirschner

Meanwhile, 2023 is a great year for the duo. Thom Browne succeeded Tom Ford as Chairman of the CFDA in a unanimous election effective January 1, 2023. Andrew Bolton, who wrote and edited a forthcoming coffee table book featuring Thom’s extraordinary designs, is set to receive Fashion Group International’s most significant honor: their Superstar Award.

Photo by Marilyn Kirschner

It will be presented to Andrew at FGI’s annual Night of Stars, which takes place on October 17 at the Plaza Hotel. In homage to the groundbreaking talents of the global fashion industry, the 2023 event will be themed “Legends and Leaders” and held for the first time at the Plaza Hotel.

Coincidentally, an extensive article, “How Thom Browne’s Gray Suit Conquered American Fashion,” appears in the New Yorker’s September 25 issue, available online. Written by Rachel Syme, with photography by Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari, it discusses how the designer’s eccentric tailoring, which has long had a cult following, is now filtering into the mainstream.

“I can’t stand things that are very vanilla. I get bored by things that are just normal”:

Thom Browne

While I’ve been following Thom for decades, it was still revelatory and highly amusing. What made me smile was when Rachel asked whom the duo liked to entertain at home. Bolton let out a small laugh. “No one,” he said.

Bolton recalled that when Anna Wintour first came over, she said, “Why did you buy such a pretentious house? You never have anybody over. It’s just going to be you and Thom rattling around.”

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Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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