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Bradfield is one of the most prominent society decorators in the city.


Bradfield grew up on a farm in South Africa, where he was primarily raised by his family's manservant, Oblong. Following stints as an actor, model, and soldier in the South African army—military service was compulsory at the time—he relocated to New York in the 1970s, and soon became noted decorator Jay Spectre's right-hand at his fabled design firm, Jay Spectre Incorporated. After Spectre's death in 1992, Bradfield went out on his own. Known for his heavy use of acrylic and the color white, he's designed residences, yachts, and jets for a long list of corporate barons and aristocrats.

Of note

Like his mentor, Bradfield is very hush hush about his client list, which includes a number of CEOs and financiers. Some of his more public projects have included the Gertrude Vanderbilt-Whitney estate in Old Westbury, Long Island, the late King Hussein's mansion in Maryland, and—fittingly—the official residence of South Africa's ambassador to the UN. But these days the South African expat is in the process of branching out. In 2006, he opened a branch of his practice in Dubai. He also recently received his first commission to design the interior of an entire condo building, the Costas Kondylis-architected 985 Park Avenue.


A quintessential dandy with a distinctive winged haircut that hasn't budged an inch in about a decade, Bradfield was married to a woman in his younger years. The gay interior designer now lives alone in an elaborate apartment on East 61st Street that houses his collection of centuries-old military uniforms.

True story

In September 2006, Bradfield threw himself a wildly over-the-top 60th birthday party, featuring cookies emblazoned with his portrait, a dozen 18th century footmen, and—in what struck a number of people as a bit tasteless—a coterie of men in blackface posing as tribal African warriors.