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For the third iteration of the Esquire House in Los Angeles, the men's magazine took an unusual approach to decor in its temporary base for events with advertisers and charities. Rather than hire event designers to evoke the target Esquire reader's luxury lifestyle in an existing home, the 2008 house really represents an upscale reader's high-end digs. That's because Esquire associate publisher Stephen Jacoby collaborated with his friend, L.A. designer Xorin Balbes, to custom design and build a 7,400-square-foot palace to the good life in the Hollywood Hills—in the hope of selling it to one of the magazine's well-heeled guests.
“It's a masculine house with a little bit of outrageous in it,” said Balbes, who's asking just under $13 million for the home, completed just a month ago. “I thought the Esquire man would be entertaining a lot.”
If so, his house is already getting plenty of practice. On Saturday evening, Esquire's marketing services director, Scott W. Lehmann, and event producer Liam Lynch of Authentic (formerly senior vice president of Momentum) opened the doors to 300 guests for a relatively intimate party celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Jaguar XK.
Visitors could examine a silver XK parked at the entrance or try their hand on a simulator in a room upstairs. Or they could simply imagine themselves living the Esquire man's good life, snacking on a generous spread of food—like Italian sausage and pineapple skewers and carry-out containers of noodle salad—and enjoying the view of city lights below while Michael Smith spun an eclectic mix at a glowing red DJ booth designed by Nolen Niu in the shape of Guess's signature triangle.
Stephanie Dauble, Jaguar Cars' national events manager, said the automaker had linked arms with Esquire as a way of courting a younger demographic in its 30s and 40s. Other advertisers, including Hugo Boss and Hennessy Cognac, were also represented in various rooms designed for and dedicated to them.
About 10 events for charity and advertisers are planned for the location during its run from September 25 through November 14.