When socialite and designer Tiana Torii and her husband, Nobu Torii—the great grandson of the Suntory founderbillionaire Nobutada Saji—first purchased this home in Honolulu, Hawaii, they sought out to create a Japanese-inspired residence that respected and reflected Japanese culture in both subtle and overt ways. Tiana, who led many of the design decisions for the home, also wanted the spaces to showcase her love of high fashion and art in a playful way.
This stunning, single-family home, known as Casa di Alta Moda, or the House of High Fashion, recently listed for $23 million and is located in a private gated community with incredible ocean views. The clifftop home has five bedrooms and six bathrooms and spans nearly 8,795 feet on a half-acre plot of land.
When the couple first walked through the home a few years back, they loved the location, but gutted the house and spent the next two years redoing the residence to their exacting standards. The home has just about every amenity you could want, like a saltwater infinity pool, Jacuzzi and a commercial-grade movie theater with French linen walls, but it’s the design details that truly stand out. There’s also a Snaidero kitchen designed by Ferrari’s design company, Pininfarina, which has exquisite views over Diamond Head.
“I wanted the house to be Japanese in every essence but with a modern twist,” Tiana tells Forbes. “I did it in a way that people who truly understand Japanese history and culture would understand all the hidden meanings. An obsession with details and quality are shared values of Japanese and French culture, which is why there has always been a mutual love and respect between the two countries.”
The couple, who both have Japanese roots, spend half the year in Paris and are relocating to the East Coast to reduce travel time. Tiana is a regular at Paris fashion shows and part of the fashion world, so she wanted to incorporate that aspect of her life into the home in unique ways.
She outfitted the home with custom furniture from major fashion houses, including a custom Bottega Veneta daybed; a Fendi desk; benches, leather consoles, tables, chairs and a wall installation, all from Louis Vuitton; and Hermès stools. She even upholstered chairs using fabric from a Chanel jacket with an Hermès Petit H handle and uses these handles in her closet as a nod to French culture. She’s also collected pieces and fabrics from boutiques over the years; for example, she upholstered a wall with Chanel Lesage fabric and another with Louis Vuitton canvas. She also sourced furniture from classic luxury designers, like Mies van der Rohe, B&B Italia, Molteni, Eames and Cassina, to name a few. Future buyers can enjoy all of these pieces, as the home is being sold fully furnished without art.
“I chose classic furniture pieces that would never go out of style as a backdrop for the fun and vibrant art,” she says. “Many of the fashion and art pieces are to brighten up the house. They are whimsical pieces that are fun and make me happy. Most of the art I chose are from Japanese artists who were influenced by Western culture, because Hawaii is a mix between the two. The underlying theme of the house is East meets West.”
There’s art from the likes of Noguchi, Masami Teraoka, Takashi Murakami and Hiroyuki Matsuura. Tiana collects art from Japanese artists who fuse Eastern culture with Western culture.
“‘Japonisme’ is a French term for the influence of Japanese art and architecture on western artists in the late 19th century, from Monet to Vincent Van Gogh to Degas,” she says. “They were greatly inspired by Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints. Even the Bearbricks are a fusion of East meets West. Japanese company Medicom Toy has collaborated with brands like Chanel and Fendi. During these collaborations, they were directed by Karl Lagerfeld who loved Japan and Japanese pop culture.”
The home is very private and safe, with 24-hour security and automated German metal shutters for a lock-and-go lifestyle. Residents are a short drive from the beach and Honolulu’s best shopping, dining and entertainment.
“Living in Hawaii is truly paradise and the ocean views are rejuvenating for the soul,” she says. “I spend so much time in Paris that the influence of Western design naturally fused with the lightness of Hawaii. As a designer I wanted to bring all these other elements into the home in an omakase style that would blend history, art and fashion.”