The Esquire House Bait-and-Switch: A Case Study

The Esquire House Bait-and-Switch: A Case Study

How a man lives?

We’ve heard plenty about the annual tradition that is the Esquire House. The mag transforms a chic address into the ultimate bachelor pad or “How a Man Lives”…along with hundreds of his heaviest-drinking C-list celeb friends. Last year the spot was Charles Gwathmey‘s Astor Place Tower, so this year they returned to the west coast, with a location to-be-revealed somewhere in the Hollywood Hills. But when we got the above invite to the Jaguar-sponsored event last Saturday, we took one look at the iconic Julius Shulman shot and gasped in horror.

Was Esquire really going to turn the Pierre Koenig-designed Stahl House, aka Case Study House No. 22, into a den for men?

A quick spin on the internet revealed, no, not at all. The Esquire House is actually a 17,000 square-foot Italian villa, located on Doheny Drive above the Sunset Strip and is the “perfect setting for the Esquire bachelor to entertain friends, attend to his business, and live his sophisticated vision of the good life.” Designed and built by Dugally Oberfeld, and decorated by a dozen or more different designers, the house is for sale for $12.95 million, but we’re guessing you can’t move in until they steamclean the Champagne out of the rugs.

So what’s the deal with bastardizing the legacy of the hallowed Case Study program to advertise a place that’s the diametric opposite to the Stahl House, both in spirit and execution? True, Shulman’s shot is way sexier than, say, the twin Formula One racing consoles in the “Gaming Room.” But we’re guessing Esquire didn’t want to expose this bachelor pad for what it really is: A McMANsion.

Update: Damn, we hate it when our well-placed barbs are not so well-placed. The commenter below is right, we accidentally linked to the 2006 website for information. This year’s house is actually less than half the size of the previous MANstrosity, and was designed by Xorin Balbes, Paul Ashley, Norm Wogan and Temple/Home. But it is for sale for $12.95 million. We would never lie to you about that.

However! Our original point remains: If the house is so great, why show the Stahl House instead right there on the website? Why not show an awesome shot of the actual house? Heck, they could have even hired Julius to shoot it!