MILAN The Roberto Cavalli The brand is poised to enter a new era under the wings of Hussain Sajwani, founder and chairman of Dubai-based Damac Properties, which acquired the company from Clessidra SGR in 2019 through his private investment firm Vision Investments.
While the fashion brand now headed by CEO Ennio Fontana and under the creative direction of Fausto Puglisi is about to organize its first parade in three years as part of Milan Fashion Week On Wednesday, Sajwani arrived from Dubai to unveil another ambitious project on Monday.
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Property development company Damac is planning a 70-story residential building located on Dubai Marina, overlooking the Palm Jumeirah, called Cavalli Tower, which will be furnished with items from the Roberto Cavalli home division.
The project replaces a former hotel complex unveiled by Damac and Roberto Cavalli in 2018, before the acquisition, which was to mark the foray of fashion brands into the hotel industry.
New scenarios in the wake of COVID-19 called for a review of this project and one residential complex felt more in tune with Dubai’s current landscape.
The residential project will offer 485 luxury units offering various high-end services, including a seafront view; access to a sky pool and garden, as well as to an infinity pool for residents of one of the 70 apartments in the upper part of the tower, labeled super luxury. Designed by architect Shaun Kill, the skyscraper is to offer amenities such as a butler, babysitters, personal trainers, as well as chefs and home medical support.
Damac is investing $ 545 million in real estate development, which is expected to be completed in four years.
There is no greater publicity for Roberto Cavalli than the tower seen here, Fontana said, pointing to the scale model installed in the center of the room at Hotel Principe di Savoia.
Dubai is the hottest place in the world, it’s an epicenter. There’s nothing else that could support the brand more than that, Fontana argued.
According to Sajwani, the project reflects the company’s commitment to the Italian fashion brand.
In January 2020, two months later [after the acquisition] COVID-19 burst The trip was fun, we had some challenges, we had to move the offices from Florence to Milan as the latter city is the fashion hub, but today we are very satisfied with the team of competent, dynamic and motivated management, said one executive, praising Fontanas’ work at the head of the company.
His goal is to make the Roberto Cavalli brand as good as it was back then and even better and more.
Asked about the extent to which he is committed to investing in the company to boost its growth, Sajwani said Damac had no [fixed] amount, because a company was quite capable and determined to invest. It all depends on Cavalli’s developments, how fast they can scale and how fast they can sell, but they were very ambitious.
We bought Cavalli and there was a lot of good stuff, but one of the incredible gems of the brand was its design and interior. [department], I would rate the interior and furnishings at Cavallis as some of the best in the world, Sajwani added. The pragmatic entrepreneur has a proven track record of real estate developments for Italian fashion houses, having partnered with Versace and Fendi. On Monday, he unveiled this development, known as Aykon nine elms with interiors by Versace Home, is due to open in the first quarter of next year in London’s South Bank district, in Nine Elms, not far from Battersea.
The new Cavalli tower is expected to attract buyers from Europe, China and Russia, reflecting Dubai’s changing scenario following the health emergency. Sajwani said the real estate market is doing very well in the Middle Eastern city with prices rising by up to 50 percent, thanks to local handling of the health crisis, which has boosted confidence and is expected to benefit the region with increased tourist flows and growth in retail sales.
Fontana praised the support of Sajwani and Damac in shaping the brand’s next phase.
The relationship that Cavalli has with Damac is getting stronger every day. We have had incredible support from Damac throughout the last year and a half to rebuild the team and start growing again, we feel like a new family thanks to Mr Sajwani who visits us very often, explained the General manager.
Expressing enthusiasm for the real estate project and the upcoming fashion show, Fontana sees these developments as marking a new era for the brand.
The latter implies greater concentration in the men’s clothing market, which is seen as essential to attract Asian consumers. Until now, the brand was considered a brand for women and although we will continue on this path, with the most beautiful women wearing Cavalli on the red carpet, we want to develop menswear as well, he said. .
For this, he referenced the brands recent merger with Mike Tyson, who starred in the video showcasing the Puglisis men’s flamboyant offer for spring 2022.
Describing him as an icon in his own right, Fontana said that Tyson is fighting for the masses against the strong powers and that Cavalli currently has a similar goal to reclaim our ring, our market.
Although the United States is a priority for the executive, as the country has historically been the most prosperous for the brand, he proposed that a top priority be winning the interest of Russian consumers, while Sajwani said that he saw untapped potential in the Middle East, as well as Asia, which the company pledged to address after strengthening other markets. Over the past year and a half, the company has made deals with local partners to open Roberto Cavalli flagships in Europe, the Middle East and India, while six more units are in the pipeline, including a store in the Miamis Bal Harbor area which is scheduled to open in December.
President de Damac stressed that the world is changing rapidly and current challenges include increasing competition from Asia. Today, the big advantage over Asia and China in terms of manufacturing is a narrowing gap, he proposed. Twenty years ago the middle class didn’t buy Chinese goods, now they are, so the market is shrinking in the high end and you have to be more flexible and nimble, he suggested.
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