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During Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week here last month, one of the higher-profile new looks wasn’t worn by a model sashaying along a catwalk. Instead, it was the “retro” makeover given to the lobby of the 42-story 1407 Broadway, a Fashion District mainstay since the days when this neighborhood was known as the Garment District. The lobby’s style was showcased in a lavish party that drew a big crowd—including, not incidentally, a plethora of models including the recent winners of “America’s Next Top Model.”

“1407 is an iconic building,” says David Lichtenstein, chairman of the Lightstone Group, which owns the 1.1-million-sf property designed in the International Style by Kahn & Jacobs. “It’s right outside of Times Square, and it is the building of the entire Fashion District. But the lobby was getting tired. The last time it was done was 57 years ago by William Zeckendorf,” who built 1407 Broadway in 1950 after acquiring the site during the war years.

Lichtenstein was determined to give the lobby a revamp that would restore its “New York edge.” He hired Joel Gevis of Gevis Interiors to give the space an Art Deco feel, with new metallic gold and silver ceiling applications, new down lighting and Alabaster chandeliers. The redesign also incorporate new lobby doors and a deep stone polishing to restore the luster of the floors and walls, according to a release.

Befitting the history of the building and surrounding area, the Lightstone Group hired sculptor Suzanne Couture “to do busts of what we considered the top 10 designers who’d ever lived in New York.” The sculptures were also unveiled at the Fashion Week party, and now are on display in the building’s gallery connecting the 1407 Broadway lobby to the 533 Seventh Ave. lobby.

It was Lichtenstein’s hope that the sculptures would be a catalyst in their own right for visits to the lobby, not merely admired in passing by tenants and their clients, and this has proven to be the case. “We’re getting a lot of interest; people want to come in and see them,” he says.

Lichtenstein says the lobby redo is part of an overall renovation of 1407 Broadway, currently the company’s sole Manhattan property. “We’ve replaced 3,000 windows already,” he says. “All the elevators are in the process of being replaced, and a lot of the floors. It looks better today than when Zeckendorf built it.” With nearly 300 tenants, 1407 Broadway is home of apparel showrooms and labels such as My Michelle, XOXO, Sag Harbor, Jou Jou and Mudd Jeans.

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