A Fashion Icon’s Artistic Home in North Haven


This intriguing house, on the well-named Sunset Beach in North Haven, belonged to China Machado (real name Noelie Dasouza Machado). She was the daughter of a Portuguese father and a Chinese mother who grew up in Shanghai. After World War II ended, the family went traveling. China wound up in Paris modeling for Hubert de Givenchy. Eventually she became the best paid runway model in Europe, earning $1000 a day in the mid 1950s. She then married and moved to New York, where she became friends with the great fashion photographer Richard Avedon. In 1959, she was the first non-white person to appear on the cover of a major American fashion magazine, in the February issue of Harper’s Bazaar. Of course, the cover was controversial; she later found out that Avedon threatened to quit working for Harper’s Bazaar unless they used the photos. Ms. Machado later became the magazine’s Senior Fashion Editor, then Fashion Director, and eventually ventured into other endeavors in publishing, fashion, and television. She continued modeling as well until her death at age 86 in December 2016.

All photos via Corcoran

Ms. Machado purchased this house in the mid 90s with her second husband, where she every year threw her “Party for the Roses,” with a hundred guests each June to view the pink rose gardens.

The house is very interesting, we must say. Many of the walls are enlivened with hand-painted designs in what we would call Chinese shan shui designs (although it’s hard to see them clearly). We’re not sure about the kitchen. We love the freestanding antique furniture pieces, and we think we like the mosaic hex tile floor, but it is a bit bathroomy. (Her bathrooms also feature the hex tile.) The house itself is a typical 90s shingle style, with four bedrooms, four bathrooms and 0.94 of an acre of land. Of course there’s a pool, with a pool/guesthouse as well. And you have your own beach. As the listing points out, “All those amazing sunset pictures you have seen from North Haven’s shoreline were taken here, from Sunset Beach.” Indeed.

Asking price for the property, repped by Mala Sander of Corcoran, Rima Mardoyan Smyth of Douglas Elliman  and Beate Moore at Sotheby’s, is $9.8 million. 

What do you think of the place? You can’t deny it’s unique, like China Machado herself.

For more, click here. 121 Sunset Beach Road, North Haven