We don’t call them fashion maisons anymore. Nowadays, many brands are known as luxury houses as they spread their wings across different domains such as design, furniture and homeware without straying from their core design values.
As Gian Giacomo Ferraris, CEO of Versace, explains: “Versace is a true fashion, luxury and lifestyle brand. Since the very beginning, it has encompassed many disciplines, not just fashion and accessories, but also design in the broadest sense.” So the venture into the interiors market seems to be a natural move.
As one of the first leading luxury houses to establish its own home collection and the very first to introduce the concept of a fashion luxury hotel, Versace has realised the business reality in a very early stage.
Collaborating with interior design companies or property developers has been a fast-growing trend in the industry. Branded residences are enjoying a steep rise in popularity, as fans of the brands show a notable interest in Bottega Veneta’s first residential design project Eisenzahn 1 in Berlin, or fashion luxury hotels such as Fendi’s first boutique hotel in Rome, or Palazzo Versace Macau hotel, set to open in 2017.
These projects are all furnished with the brand’s own home collections, and by making full use of the houses’ reputation as reassurance of style and quality, the interior collections become an extension of the brands’ aesthetics, appealing to loyal fans and new customers alike.
“Versace Home has been part of Versace DNA since the very beginning,” Ferraris adds.
“To bring it in-house is a natural step forward to pursue our strategy to increase and further develop of the company. Versace Home is an important asset for the brand.”
At this year’s Salone del Mobile furniture fair in Milan, it was easy to spot some familiar fashion big names that were showcasing new collections from their home divisions. On the other hand, collaborations are common. Fendi Casa presented the Velum lamps designed by the architect Marco Costanzi, and Berluti teamed up with furniture maker Ceccotti Collezioni to create the ultimate gentleman’s valet by Giuseppe Casarosa with a matching chair by Roberto Lazzeroni.
Meanwhile, some brands choose to take it in-house.
“Armani Casa is a natural extension of my lifestyle. I’ve always had a broad vision of aesthetics, and I decorated my home, my stores and my work spaces to my own taste. Then I began to design furniture as a continuation of this process,” Giorgio Armani says.
“I’ve always wanted to turn beauty into ease and comfort, creating a timeless, elegant and sophisticated style based on the principles of quality, comfort, functionality and excellent design. This is my philosophy in everything I do, from my fashion collections to interior design.”
The same passion is highlighted in Fendi’s furniture collection based on Italian designer Guglielmo Ulrich’s works to pay homage to the design legend. The collection was also on show at Salone del Mobile.
“This project marks another significant step for Fendi in the design world,” says Pietro Beccari, chairman and CEO of Fendi. “This initiative reinforces and reaffirms our legacy with design, while highlighting the strong relationship with Fendi Casa, which is, and has always been, a tangible statement of our true passion for design over the years.” For some, it is about extending the craftsmanship to the furniture line. Loewe’s creative director Jonathan Anderson reinvents a set of oak furniture from the early 20th century by applying a leather marquetry technique used in the maison’s Amazona bags collection and leather T Pouch bag.
Back in 2006 when Bottega Veneta first launched a furniture collection to showcase creative director Tomas Maier’s long love of the world of interiors, traces of the house’s savoir faire are evident.
The home designs are made with the same materials and craftsmanship as the brand’s luggage and accessories. The evolution of this furniture collection traces back to the house’s iconic soft-construction handbags.
“For me, there is a clear progression, from the handbag to the 24-hour duffel to the softconstructed suitcase to the hard-case luggage to the furniture collection,” Maier explains.
“Bottega Veneta wants to offer our customers furniture with the impact of an exceptional handbag or piece of luggage – something versatile, functional and beautifully crafted.”