By Alexandra Fairweather & Lisa Graham
As real estate experts, we regularly visit the beautiful homes of tastemakers and movers and shakers. We have learned that there is truly an "Art of Living" that should be explored, studied, and ultimately mastered. Recently, we spoke with the beautiful Yesim Philip, former professional Turkish basketball player and founder of the luxury sport clothing line, L'Etoile Sport, at her gorgeous Upper East Side home to discuss how her lifestyle is a direct expression of who she is.
How did L’Etoile Sport come about?
Sports have been part of my life since I was six years old. I started playing tennis actively about five years ago and I couldn’t find clothes that were stylish enough to wear on and off the court. So L’Etoile Sport was born in November of 2011 before fitness apparel had become the new “sportswear.” Now sports are having a huge influence on women’s fashion.
Do you find that your experiences as a professional basketball player in Turkey have influenced your line?
I guess, playing basketball professionally made me aware of athletic clothing and what I need to perform better. I lived in these clothes 24/7, so it was important to create something feminine, functional, yet still elegant and classic.
What are the inspirations for your line?
I take things that are basic, integral parts of everyday life, then mix and mold them together so they are simple but at the same time completely different. So everyday clothes inspire me.
What are you most looking forward to with your new line?
Every season is exciting but I am most ex- cited completing a collection and finding perfection. I design for tennis, golf, launching activewear and cashmeres to complete the collection. Having all the parts of the collection in sync with one another is the fun part of it. My ultimate goal is to continue creative work and build a collection that stays true to my brand identity.
How do you define “The Art of Living ” and how have you expressed it in your home?
I believe in simplicity, timeless elegance, and perfection. I try to create that in my apartment with simple decor but jazz it up with my art. I want my art to pop out, not to disappear in a jungle of furniture. I try to balance the values of innovation and tradition, if that makes sense.
Do you have a favorite feature of your apartment?
Benches under Jenny Holzer photographs. My husband thought at first they were mismatched, but he loves them now.
How would you define your style?
I think my style represents simplicity with timeless elegance.
Do you find that your line, L’Etoile Sport, influences your design at home?
I feel like they are the same. I like simplicity with a modern twist yet still classic.
Do you have a favorite piece of art in your apartment?
I love a Louisa Fishman painting in our living room and Jenny Holzer photographs.
Do you have advice for people who are designing their home?
It is important to have your own touch in every aspect of the design of your home. Even though you may get help from a designer, make sure that designer shares the same point of view as you.
Do you have a favorite neighborhood in New York City?
It will sound like a cliché and not cool, but I love my current neighborhood and love being close to Central Park.
Why did you decide to live on the Upper East Side?
We used to live in the West Village, but when I got pregnant with our second child and found out it was going to be boy, we decided to move closer to the park so he can enjoy the free space it offers.
What are your favorite spots on the Upper East Side?
Central Park, Central Park, Central Park. I am heavily involved with the Central Park Conservancy and without the park I'm not sure if many of us would still be living in the city.