While the devil might wear Prada, the reality is that global fashion brands are looking to expand their growing influence into real estate. Though I almost cringe when someone mentions that ignominious term lifestyle, it’s hard to ignore the value shift in today’s consumer oriented population.
Out in the dumpster is God, country and family. Enter the mainstays of tech, cuisine, fashion, and above all while life imitates art with the venue moving over to the mall. Granted there are not many posh residential developments located inside these behemoths but the next best thing is to buy a fashion branded property. Living the dream no requires a lot of walk in closet space.
Here in Asia, there have been some early adopters such as Century Properties ties up with Armani/Casa in Manila. Though Bangkok is now catching the fever with the newly launched LAVIQ Sukhumvit 57 with Fendi Casa. Featuring 235 units, launch prices are in the neighborhood of USD6,800 a square meter.
Yet on the broader stage fashion icons have been much quicker on the trigger from Versace, Bulgari, Armani, Ralph Lauren are only part of the incoming tide. Oddly enough LVMH chose to use Cheval Blanc as its entry into hospitality, which seems to have been a Plan B approach in my opinion.
Of course there is a risk element for real estate developers and buyers as brands can fade or perhaps worse could come. Trump comes to mind, as does the ill-fated Fashion Café. Still the fashion gods have to take solace that creating a legacy once the founder are gone and buried is possible, just look at Chanel. Or in more common terms the ubiquitous Coronel Sanders who still adorns each and every KFC despite residing ten feet under.
Though looking back at where we started the Devil and Prada have yet to weigh in on real estate, so knows what will come of all the fashion and property marriages.