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"I wanted to bring back the original vision of The Plaza," he said, "to what it was during Truman Capote's Black and White Ball ... that old-world charm, with the original detail and glamour."
The apartment has four bedrooms, five baths and a grand staircase bathed in red carpet. One of the apartment's most glamorous features is its iconic dome, which is one of the Plaza's most famous features. Underneath the dome, Hilfiger built his own "Eloise Room," named for the famed children's-book character who famously wreaked havoc at the Plaza. The room is painted with murals by Hilary Knight, who illustrated the original "Eloise" books.
Hilfiger said he is selling because he is spending more time in Greenwich, Conn., where he is completing a three-year renovation of a 22-acre estate. The estate is built on the highest point in Greenwich, he said, and overlooks Long Island Sound and New York City. He said Greenwich has become his "main residence" and that his younger children are now attending school there.
He added, however, that it's a good time to sell in New York.
"I think it may be the strongest market in the world right now," he said. "Everyone in the world, whether they're from Qatar or China, wants a luxury apartment in New York."
Hilfiger's apartment is also filled with iconic art—including several important paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol. But Hilfiger said the art is not for sale. He said much of the furniture and furnishings—including pieces once owned by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor—could be included in the sale under the right terms.
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While other developers are building giant glass condo towers nearby, with higher views and more modern styles, Hilfiger said they will never build another apartment like his.
"They're never going to build a building in front of this view of Central Park," he said. "Or the view of Fifth Avenue. And they will never build another Plaza."
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He said that when it comes to purchasing real estate, he has always operated under the same principal: "You start with location, location, location. And when you couple that with fabulous properties, you have it all."
Hilfiger is listing his property with I. Dolly Lenz, the New York megabroker who recently founded her own real estate firm, Dolly Lenz Real Estate.
—By CNBC's Robert Frank. Follow him on Twitter @robtfrank.
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