Step Inside Misty Copeland’s Glamorous New York Apartment

Ballet dancers engender wild enthusiasm among fans, but only rarely do they break out of the niche-y confines of their underappreciated art form to capture the general public’s imagination and create anything approaching mainstream buzz. Mikhail Baryshnikov, legendary star of the 1970s–’80s stage, was probably the most recent example of a classical dancer turned household name. It took a few decades, but a fresh contender has finally emerged with the requisite charisma and promise of similar career relevance and longevity. Misty Copeland, the first Black female principal dancer at the world-famous American Ballet Theatre, sprang onto the internet’s radar in 2014 in an emotionally moving and thrillingly athletic Under Armour campaign (Google “I Will What I Want”), which went viral, garnering more than 10 million views on YouTube and catapulting Copeland from ballet’s best-kept secret to bona fide cultural sensation.

The Reem Acra dress Copeland wore at her wedding reception in 2016 hangs in the dressing room.

Lelanie Foster

Copeland, wearing a Dior dress and cuff, Jamie Wolf bangle, and Ben-Amun earrings, at a window of her New York apartment, which was designed by Brigette Romanek. Fashion styling by Kah Li Haslam. Hair, Jeff Francis using Harry Josh Pro Tools for Ray Brown. Makeup, Victor Henao using Chanel for Bernstein & Andriulli.

Lelanie Foster

Copeland has amassed nearly two million Instagram followers; been the subject of a documentary (A Ballerina’s Tale); written several books, including her best-selling memoir, Life in Motion; performed dazzlingly onstage with Prince (who was a mentor) and Taylor Swift; had a Barbie doll released in her image, commemorating her pivotal role as the iconic Firebird; and accomplished all of this while continuing to sell out New York’s massive Metropolitan Opera House whether she is cast in the lead in Swan Lake, Giselle, or Romeo and Juliet.

Using her mighty platform to inspire and advocate for dancers of color and to educate the dance world about systemic racism, Copeland has organically morphed her artistry and stardom into activism. Along the way, she herself has become a celebrated global symbol of perseverance and triumph in the historically white world of ballet. If anyone deserves a delicious place to put her feet up after a long day on pointe, it is the famously humble, driven, talented, globally influential, beloved, and sweet-natured Copeland.

The dressing room was designed in collaboration with California Closets.

Lelanie Foster

The dressing room was designed in collaboration with California Closets. Chandelier by Aerin from Circa lighting; chair by CB2.

Lelanie Foster

Two years ago she and her husband, lawyer Olu Evans, purchased their dream apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and enlisted in-demand, L.A.-based AD100 interior designer Brigette Romanek to completely reimagine the classic three-bedroom. “There are things we just cannot do on our own, and we realized how necessary it was to have a professional team,” Copeland says of the decision to hire a designer. “I did not comprehend how many layers there are to creating a beautiful home that feels organic.”

Evans, who took the lead in overseeing the project, says, “We wanted a person of color. There was a comfort level there, a vernacular. With Brigette we spoke the same cultural language. I enjoyed that connection,” he continues, adding, with a nod toward his other half, “I’m always drawn to strong women.”

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