In the case of hip-hop clothing designer Marc Ecko, it's hard not to blame the real estate. The NY Posts reports that Ecko has been forced to give up control of his own trademark in a move to stave off a total meltdown. He signed over a 51 percent interest in the Marc Ecko brand to Iconix, a New York company that owns brands like Joe Boxer, Candie's, Rocawear and London Fog for $63.5 million in cash plus $90 million in financing for a newly formed joint venture.
Ecko's penchant for lavish spending led him to invest in some pretty pricey properties. He is currently trying to lease out space in his 280,000- square-foot headquarters in Midtown. The building includes everything from a recording studio to a basketball court. As Ecko told the Post
, he's had "a crazy, wild ride." Part of that wild ride also includes his 30-acre estate in Bernardsville, New Jersey. The estate known as Stronghold was bought by Ecko and his wife, Allison for $7.4 million in 2005. Since then they've spent in excess of $20 million in construction costs to renovate and update the home. The estate, which was originally was built by Prudential Insurance founder and US Sen. John Dryden in 1899, is not for sale but it might not move quickly if it was placed on the market. It's the sort of white elephant which has a tendency to linger in the MLS.
While the construction on the house was taking place Ecko and his family stayed in a four-bedrom Colonial home next door. That home was listed for sale in March for $1.299 million. The home is on five acres and has been renovated with a gourmet kitchen. It includes a master bedroom suite with a walk-in closet, a downstairs recreation room and a bonus room with daylight windows and a full bath. It remains on the market with a reduced price of $1.099 million.