Faith, hope and a little satire

Twitter account parodies Elliman’s retail maven

Feb.February 12, 2016 09:00 AM

@FakeHopeConsolo eats “deals for breakfast, tenants for lunch, landlords for dinner and sexy junior brokers for dessert.”

For the past month, an industry insider has been lighting up Twitter by parodying Faith Hope Consolo, mimicking the retail broker’s grandiloquence and showing a knack for lampooning both New York City brokerage and one of its more notorious personalities.

“I only drink tea to impress British clients when they’re in town,” Fake Hope tweeted Jan. 22, in reaction to news that Starbucks was shutting down its Teavana tea bars in the city.

The real Consolo chairs the retail division of Douglas Elliman, and is one of real estate’s most divisive figures. Her client list includes Cartier, Zara and Louis Vuitton, and she’s a fixture at industry and society events. But she has faced criticism throughout her career for being a press hound and for allegedly taking credit for other’s deals, as The Real Deal reported in a 2008 profile.

On Twitter, the real Faith Hope Consolo bills herself as the “Queen of Retail” and a “celebrated expert [who] creates retail corridors worldwide.”

Fake Hope’s Twitter avatar is a shapely brunette wearing a figure-hugging red cocktail dress and clutching shopping bags. “She” cuts a snobbish, self-indulgent caricature of the genuine article.

“I gave my assistants the day off (first & only). Now to figure out this infernal ‪@nespresso machine,” Fake Hope tweeted on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, in response to the City of New York’s question about how people were giving back.

In mid-January, Fake Hope tackled news that Macy’s would look to unlock real estate values: “I won’t even buy sheets at Macy’s, obviously they should turn it into luxury condos to unlock value for PE guys!” she tweeted. And she turned her nose up at a post about artist Frank Stella’s East Village studio selling for $22 million, tweeting: “Too bad this is in the east village, otherwise could be home to one of my euro luxury retailers!!”

Reached by email, Fake Hope told TRD:  “I’m just someone in New York City retail real estate…. I only know [Consolo] from sightings at events and the endless press releases.” Fake Hope insisted the parody account wasn’t intended as self-promotion or as a personal vendetta, but to have some “fun with the ridiculousness of our industry!”

Faith Hope Consolo’s take on her cyberspace counterpart? “This is a ‘free for all’ world and hiding behind a computer is simply too easy,” Consolo told TRD. “How many ‘wannabees’ are there out there? A very sad commentary on life in the ‘too fast’ lane.”

The Twitterverse is full of real estate impersonators. RFR Realty’s Aby Rosen has one (@BabyJRosen) as do Related Cos.’ Chairman Stephen Ross (@SteveRossFake) and Glenwood Management’s Leonard Litwin (@LeonardLitwin). Edward J. Minskoff Equities’ 51 Astor Place office building “tweets” from a parody account (@51deathstar) and 432 Park Avenue’s parody account (@432ParkAveNYC) has “Bow down, bitches” in its bio. And of course, there’s a yuuge crop of fake Donald Trumps.

Fake Hope, who has just 38 followers compared to Faith Hope’s 4,439, takes cues from the retail broker. Both have a (somewhat inexplicable) fixation with food halls lately. On Jan. 26, the real Consolo tweeted a link to her “Faithful Shopper” column, headlined “All Hail the Food Halls.” Fake Hope recently shared a link to a TRD article about New York City food halls, tweeting: “Didn’t ‪@cbrenyc do a food hall deal recently? My press agent would’ve gotten you a picture and a quote!”

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