MILAN, June 25 Italian fashion house Gianfranco
Ferre and Galadari Investment Office will build a luxurious $1.2
billion tower of at least 60 floors in Dubai, part of a joint
venture for the design and development of real estate.
The Gianfranco Ferre Stresa building in Dubai, a residential
and commercial complex due to be completed by the last quarter
of 2011, is the first project of the venture, which was signed
GIO Developments, part of Dubai-based Galadari Investment
Office (GIO), will build and manage the property while
Gianfranco Ferre, whose designer founder died suddenly last
year, will be responsible for the interior design.
The agreement will give Milan-based Gianfranco Ferre, which
is owned by IT Holding ITH.MI, minimum revenue of $23 million
and royalties of 10 percent on the sales of furnished properties
designed by the fashion house's creative team.
"We chose the name Stresa because it is a town that was dear
to 'The Architect' Ferre, it is where he had his summer
residence and liked to spend his free time," Ferre Chief
Executive Michela Piva told a news conference.
Designer Gianfranco Ferre died in June last year after
suffering a brain haemorrhage. His nickname, "The Architect" of
Italian fashion, reflected both his degree in architecture and
his trademark tailored suits and blouses.
The tower is also expected to house an exhibition of vintage
Ferre designs and could be a prelude to a possible Ferre
"One of Gianfranco Ferre's dreams is coming true," said
Tonino Perna, chairman of IT Holding, which will add 40 outlets
to the 45 shops its brands have in the Middle East by end-2009.
The tower is expected to have "60 floors plus", GIO Chairman
Rashid Abdul Wahab Galadari said, adding more details will be
unveiled in September.
Perna said the agreement allowed for the option of other
projects in India, China, Moscow and London.
Other Italian designers have branched out into property.
Giorgio Armani is working with developers on hotels and
residences in Dubai, Milan and Tokyo.
Perna said that in coming days Gianfranco Ferre will begin
selling its pre-collection, which will be presented at women's
fashion week in September and foresees orders "four or five
times higher than the previous year".
(Editing by Paul Bolding)