“We wanted a home that looked as though it could have been here for 100 years,” says Jean Shafiroff of the nine-bedroom weekend and summer Southampton retreat designed for her and her husband, Martin, by celebrated local Hamptons architect, John Laffey. It is here that ELYSIAN proudly launched the 2021 Winter Issue, with Jean herself as the national award-winning magazine’s “cover girl.”
MANY GUESTS GATHERED AT THE 15,000-SQUARE-FOOT SOUTHAMPTON MANSION, set on two acres just one block from the ocean, as the bright sun set in a cloudless sky, drawing a seasonably chilly day to a gentle close. They had gathered at Jean and Martin Shafiroff’s invitation to launch the 2021 Winter Issue of ELYSIAN magazine—which features Jean on the cover—and also to carry on the couple’s philanthropical support specifically for homeless animal charities, a theme in the newest issue of the national award-winning magazine.
Although the couple call home their lavish Upper East Side Manhattan apartment, the high-profile couple realized their ambitions style of entertaining needed to expand the footprint of their Hamptons home to exponentially support their charitable efforts on behalf of causes that include animal welfare and the support of local medical institutions.
“One day, my husband came to me with these architectural plans,” Jean explained. The couple, who have been married 40 years and have two daughters, retained the land and several antique marble fireplaces and in a full-blown construction that began in 2015, leveled everything else and expanded their original 5,000-square-foot retreat threefold. What rose in its place is a marriage of bold and subdue, modern and classic, featuring a Patrice Dangel bronze chandelier illuminating the natural light-filled grand foyer. Early 20th century Art Deco-inspired carpets offset African tribal-inspired prints and luxurious fabrics by John Rosselli, Pollack, and Kravet that upholster comfortably overstuffed sofas, chaises, and armchairs, and vintage Suzani textiles on the walls. Fine art by such distinguished period artists as the Victorian English painter John Godward and 16th century Flemish artist Bernard Van Orley (equally known for his Dutch tapestries) offset the works of contemporary artists, such as New York artist Keltie Ferris, known for her large-scale canvases. Celebrated New York interior designer Brian J. McCarthy, formerly of the legendary design house Parish-Hadley and one of Architectural Digest magazine’s notable AD100, who designed Jean and Martin Shafiroff’s Upper East Side apartment was given trusted free license to materialize his vision—with the usual exception of no animal skins.
Animal cruelty causes is high on Jean’s list of heartstring causes and here she and Martin have hosted, among many charity events, the Southampton Animal Shelter Gala and Unconditional Love Gala, for which Jean, who is owned by an Antiguan rescue dog named Rosita, has served as honorary chairwoman. One of their two daughters, Elizabeth, has followed her mother’s footsteps by founding a charity, Global Strays, which aims to reduce the suffering of animals in impoverished regions in Latin America.
As “New York’s First Lady of Philanthropy,” being one of the city’s most gracious hostesses is not enough. Jean has served as national spokesperson for America Humane’s “Feed the Hungry COVID-19 Program,” which has raised over $1 million to feed hungry animals all over the country. She also hosts her own Lifetime Television show, Successful Philanthropy, based on her book of the same name, in which she expounds on the importance of “how to make a life by what you give,” focusing on underserved populations, women’s rights, health care, and animal rights.
Among the guests who attended to show their support were…
DOG RESCUE ADVOCATES ALSO PROFILED IN ELYSIAN’S WINTER 2021 ISSUE…
In last weeks’ Newsletter, we profiled CATHY BISSELL, founder of the Bissell Pet Foundation, which, since 2011, has grown and evolved a network of animal welfare organizations in all 50 states. She is also co-founder of LostPetUSA, a searchable nationwide database established to help reunite lost pets with their families. Read about Cathy, one of the Inspiring Women in ELYSIAN’S Winter 2021, to learn more about her life commitment to dogs and cats in need.
Kimberli Scott, at any given time, is personally owned by a dozen or more dogs and cats—all of which she has personally rescued and found as strays, “and yet,” she says, “sometimes I think they found me.” Each needy animal has come into her life unexpectedly, in different ways, and become “forever” members of her family. Along a road that began in her childhood, Kimberli has learned to address the wide variety of medical needs and deep trauma animals have suffered and accommodates them with a state-of-the-art pet facility she has built alongside the home she shares with her husband. “All the time, energy, compassion, and expense I spent, has paid off more than I ever could imagine. After all, you can’t put a price on the love of a dog.”