Misty Copeland opens her New York apartment up to Architectural Digest, revealing a penchant for African American art. | Video by Architectural Digest


LOCATED ON THE UPPER WEST SIDE of Manhattan, Misty Copeland‘s three-bedroom apartment was recently showcased by Architectural Digest (AD). She gave the design magazine’s audience a video tour. The home’s theme, she said, was works by artists fo color.

In nearly every room, works by African American artists are on display. Nathaniel Mary Quinn‘s work hangs in the living room. There is a piece by Deborah Roberts on view in the guest bathroom. The “primary” bedroom is appointed with upholstered suede walls and a small work by Lorna Simpson. All three artists are known for their mixed-media collage portraits.

A prima ballerina, Copeland has transcended her field becoming a cultural icon. She joined American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in 2001 and was named a principal dancer in 2015, a historic achievement. Copeland is the first African American woman to be promoted to the position since the New York company was founded in 1939.

She has performed lead roles in Firebird, The Nutcracker, Giselle, Swan Lake, and Romeo & Julie; nabbed endorsements with Under Armour, Coach, and American Express; and had a Barbie doll made in her image.

Copeland shares the apartment with her husband Olu Evans, a lawyer. The couple worked with Los Angeles-based Brigette Romanek to design the home they bought two years ago. Romanek encouraged them to embrace color and infused the home with “relaxed grandeur” and “livable luxe.” The design is sophisticated and durable. “We live hard! We are not delicate people. We needed things that would age well,” Copeland told AD.


The guest bedroom features a painting by Asuka Anastacia Ogawa. | Screenshot from AD video


The entryway/central corridor is painted a glossy blue-grey lacquer, which Copeland said reminds her of the pink “candy-coated” walls Mariah Carey showed off years ago on MTV Cribs. Copeland is particularly fond of the white galley-style kitchen. She said she is a food lover and “practically lives in the space,” playing music and drinking wine while she cooks. One of the bedrooms has been converted into a lavish dressing room. Housing red carpet gowns and floor-to-ceiling shoe shelves, the light-filled “closet” comes complete with a glass chandelier and glam space.

Over the past several months, Copeland and her husband have been settling into their newly designed apartment, staying close to home. To maintain her fitness, Copeland has been going to the gym in their building, exercising with a movable ballet barre, according to AD.

ABT performances are paused due to COVID-19 and the company announced in June that the fall 2020 season is cancelled. In response to the uncertainty faced by unemployed dancers at ballet companies around the world, Copeland co-founded Swans for Relief to help.

In the apartment, the largest works on display are by women artists. A painting by Asuka Anastacia Ogawa is a powerful presence in the guest bedroom. Employing solid fields of color and flat picture planes, the Japanese-Brazilian artist portrays androgynous children in chimerical dreamscapes.

Another portrait by Nigerian artist Ndidi Emefiele graces the main entryway. She makes images of women with disproportionately large heads, a symbolic assertion of their intelligence, agency, and determination.

“This I think is probably my favorite piece. Ndidi Emefiele,” Copeland said during the AD tour. “It’s just so incredibly powerful. I feel like I see something new in her everytime I look at this piece of art.” CT


FIND MORE about Misty Copeland on her website


FIND MORE Last month, AD featured the New York City loft of Bernard Lumpkin and Carmine Boccuzzi, which is filled with their collection of contemporary works by Black artists


Misty Copeland shows her favorite work by Ndidi Emefiele. | Screenshot from AD video


“Misty Copeland” by Greg Delman, the “first authorized photographic tribute” to the prima ballerina, was released earlier this year. In addition to being a barrier-breaking ballet dancer, Misty Copeland is a published author. “Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger, and More Graceful You” and “Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina,” are among her titles. Children’s books include “Firebird” illustrated by Christopher Myers, and “Bunheads” is forthcoming later this month. Two volumes published in 2019 explore the work of Deborah Roberts. “Deborah Roberts: if they come” accompanied her first exhibition at Stephen Friedman Gallery in London. “Deborah Roberts: The Evolution of Mimi” documents her exhibition at Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. Fully illustrated with a introduction by Elizabeth Alexander, “Lorna Simpson: Collages” features 160 collage portraits inspired by vintage photography from Jet and Ebony magazines.


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