Brand-name fashion freaks love the Italian label Missoni for its manic mashups of psychedelically colored knits. But do they love it enough to live in it?
Century Properties Group, Inc. is betting $315 million they do. The Filipino real estate company has announced plans to build a 52-story, 645-unit condominum in Manila, decked out floor-to-ceiling in Missoni’s signature look.
Bold, dizzying prints will adorn everything from elevators to floating lounge chairs. The centerpiece, a bi-level skydeck, will feature a Jacuzzi, a library, a spa, a DJ booth, a dance floor, an indoor and outdoor gym, and a swim-up bar, among other luxury amenities—all designed to usher a blast of squiggly Italian style into the heart of Southeast Asia. The Acqua Livingstone tower is slated for completion in 2015.
This is not the world’s first fashion-brand condo. Century started construction on a 53-story residential development, with interiors by Versace, last year. Nor is it Missoni’s first attempt to spread its brand beyond the runway. Missoni has slapped its designs on a host of non-fashion products, including bottled water and baby strollers. It has also designed a couple of hotel interiors, with more in the works. Acqua is the label’s first residential project.
Wall-to-wall Missoni might sound like overkill for those of us in fashion capitals, like New York, Paris, and London, where we’re already up to our eyeballs in luxury goods. Manila is a different story. The Philippines are a relatively poor country, with a GDP that’s just $3,500 per capita. But the economy is growing. Experts believe it could be the world’s 16th largest economy by 2050—ahead of Australia, the Netherlands, and Switzerland—creating a golden opportunity for luxury brands. As Century’s Robbie Antonio told the Wall Street Journal, "This is a developing market and there are more opportunities that you wouldn’t get in the West."
The numbers seem to bear that out. Units hit the market last month, and buyers have already snapped up about a quarter of them, the developers say. Maybe this augurs more residential projects by fashion designers? Honestly, we hope not. We hate to think what John Galliano might do with a condo.
[Images courtesy of Century; h/t The Architect’s Newspaper]