Versace Condos Lead to Missoni Flats

First it was Versace. Now, it’s Missoni who’s coming to Manila.

It is teaming up with Century Properties to create a new luxury apartment complex in the city, making it the second time this year that Century has teamed up with an Italian fashion house to co-brand a property. Century has already begun construction of a condo called the Milano, a 53-story development whose interiors were designed by Versace.

“I really believe in designer luxury,” said Robbie Antonio, managing director at Century Properties. “Missoni’s ethos is one of vibrancy and energy, like ours, and that, coupled with the fact that Milano has been successful for us, made this happen. It was very appealing to work and collaborate with him, because it will be his first condo in the world.”

Missoni isn’t entirely new to the real-estate game. Headed by husband-and-wife team Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, it worked with Rezidor Hotel Group in 2005 to create a line of hotels called Hotel Missoni. Since then, hotels in Edinburgh and Kuwait have opened under the banner, with another three slated to open — in Antalya, Turkey; Jebel Sifah, Oman; and Ilha de Cajaiba, Brazil — by 2014.
Meanwhile, Mr. Antonio hasn’t limited himself to Italian designers as celebrity hook-ups. He’s hosting Paris Hilton this week, working with her on “designing and creating the concept” behind a clubhouse for the company’s Azure condos in Manila.

“She’s a workhorse,” said Mr. Antonio. “She worked 10 straight hours on Monday and same thing on Tuesday. And we’ve a design meeting with her today.”

He met Ms. Hilton and her father earlier this year through a mutual friend and pitched the idea of a collaboration, he said. The club, which will be called Paris Beach Club at Azure, will be centered around a manmade beach in the middle of the complex.

So far, Mr. Antonio says, these celebrity tie-ins are paying off. The Milano building is already 75% sold, he said, with units starting at $100,000 and with penthouse units going for around $1.7 million. It broke ground in January and will be completed by 2015, he predicts. The architectural renderings for the new Missoni project will be released “in the next couple of months,” and he expects sales to begin by November or December. He added the starting price for the units at the Missoni project will be around $100,000.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal earlier this year, Mr. Antonio said that more than half of sales at his companies’ properties come from overseas buyers, many of them Filipinos who are living and working abroad.

Manila is hardly the capital of high fashion or luxury — the per capita gross domestic product of the Philippines remains a paltry $3,500 — though Mr. Antonio believes its rapidly developing economy and the chance to do something new in a far-flung outpost are attractive to his collaborators.

“Manila is not London, New York or Paris,” he said. “But the idea of doing something groundbreaking is very appealing to them. Versace could have done something like Milano in China or Hong Kong. Missoni could have done something already in Europe like this. But doing something first in Manila makes it even more appealing, I think. This is a developing market and there are more opportunities that you wouldn’t get in the West.”


Scene Asia | August 17, 2011

Photos are artist’s renditions only. The images and details shown herein are intended for illustration purposes only. While the information are based on present plans, which have been created with great care and effort, the developers reserve the right to change proposed project features, amenities, prices and terms without prior notice. It is then recommended that the client confirm their accuracy and subsequent changes, if any. Further, the client holds the developers free from any legal and financial claims resulting from the information contained herein.