Moody Fashion Designers Sink Their Teeth Into Fort Greene

If a vampire were moving to Brooklyn, where might he live? Maybe a brooding Dumbo loft. Perhaps one of the gothic penthouses just auctioned off at One Hanson Place. Or a new condo in Williamsburg, to hide among the palid waifs and rockers. Certainly not a quaint brownstone in Fort Greene.

Yet that is precisely where Robert Geller and his Elvira, Ana Lerario Geller, have set up their coffins. The fashion designers met a few years back while working at Marc Jacobs–who also has a new neighbor–but now each have their own line. Mr. Geller’s Clockwork Orange-inspired duds caused GQ to remark that his “dark dandyism” would look right at home on Count Dracula, the kind of outre style that gets a guy named best Menswear designer by the CFDA, as Mr. Geller was in 2009. Meanwhile, Ms. Geller gives “the cool girl some chic options,” as WWD wrote in 2009. Putting their catwalk currency to good use, they paid an even $2 million for a four-story Italianate brownstone at 307 Adelphi Street.

Come to think of it, this is not so unusual a spot for the fashionable crowd. After all, supermodel Yamila Díaz-Rahi moved to the hood in March, buying a townhouse on nearby Washington Avenue.

As for the Gellers’ darker side, there is still something rather moody about a stately brownstone. “Greeted by 12-foot exterior double doors paneled in solid walnut and fitted with gold-plated door knobs, the foyer opens to a mahogany banister and spiral handrail accenting walnut stairs,” says the listing from  David Ogden and Kristin Hurd of Heddings Property. That’s downright Transylvanian! 

At 22 feet wide, the home has five bedrooms, four baths and has been divided into an owner’s duplex on the garden and parlor floors with two one-bedrooms above. Other original details include “pocket doors, ceiling medallions, arched doorways, and original plaster ceiling moldings.”

It is all the work of Mark Melvin, who bought the place in April of last year for $1.1 million. In addition to the historic details, he added modern touches, such as the de riguer high-end chef’s kitchen and a Bang & Olufsen speaker unit system with 12 beolinks. Perfect for pumping industial music throughout the home.

It appears the Gellers have found a buyer for their former castle, as well, a one-plus-bedroom condo at the Philipe Stark-designed FiDi conversion 15 Broad Street. The 1,880-square-foot spread on the 22nd floor came on the market last May for $1.875 million, and as of April 22, it has been off the market, according to StreetEasy. Robson Zanetti, Jake Fay and Andrei Diakov of Sotheby’s had the listing.

The Gellers picked up the home for $1.595 million in 2007, and the reason for the move seems clear from brokers’ photos of the bedroom sporting a crib, as well as a post on Ms. Geller’s blog. Looks like Brooklyn is about to get another baby dressed better than the rest of us.

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mchaban [at] | @mc_nyo Moody Fashion Designers Sink Their Teeth Into Fort Greene