New York real estate stalwart and self-described “Queen of Retail,” Faith Hope Consolo, died unexpectedly at the age of 73 leaving behind a legacy of success and determination, according to her peers.
Consolo, the chairman of Douglas Elliman’s retail division, was known throughout the New York real estate scene and abroad for her star-studded track record, which included deals with A-list retailers like Zara, Cartier, and Versace, and more, making an indelible impression on many with her outsized and often effusive personality.
“She had a thick skin, which you have to have in this business if you want to survive,” said former partner and right-hand man Joseph Aquino. “But under that thick skin she had a big heart. And if you were in the inner-circle you saw that heart every day.”
While Consolo’s personality may have been her defining feature for most who knew her, according to Steven James, CEO of Douglas Elliman’s New York City division, underlying her charisma was an unbridled determination.
“It must have been an enormous challenge for her beginning, and over the years, to be a woman working in a man’s world of commercial real estate,” said James. “She was kind of a leader in that regard…She was determined to move forward; she was in a field she liked and loved, and was damn good at it. She carved a path for a lot of women.”
Before joining Douglas Elliman in 2005, Consolo worked as the chairman for Garrick-Aug Worldwide for 20 years and was known publicly for her motto, “You Need Faith.”
According to James, even despite an embattled retail market toppled by the rise of e-commerce, Consolo not only continued to find success in her field, but stood out as a beacon of optimism throughout.
“‘The retail part is still going to be there. I believe in it,’ she would tell me,” said James. “[She said] both the internet and the storefront both have a part to play. Most people are just saying the opposite, but she actually proved that.”
Consolo was found in her apartment on the Upper East Side on December 23. Reports claim the cause of death was a heart attack, but an official cause of death is still unknown.