- Marjorie van Elven |
Roberto Cavalli has another interior design project in the pipeline. After designing the interiors of a villa and an apartment complex in Dubai, the Florence-based company has inked an agreement with Dar-Al Arkan, Saudi Arabia’s largest real estate developer, to decorate a series of high-end custom-built residential villas in Riyadh.
Named Mirabilia, which means “marvels” in Latin, the project will cost 600 million Saudi riyals (approximately 160 million dollars), and is to be completed by 2021. The two companies said in a statement that the villas are set to range from 300 square meters to 1600 square meters in size, featuring three to seven bedrooms. They will be located inside the Shams Ar Riyadh complex, a “city within a city” that will include houses, schools, restaurants, shops, clinics and even government offices and mosques. 1 billion Saudi riyals (around 266.4 million dollars) have been invested in the complex so far, with total costs estimated in 10 billion Saudi riyals (about 2.7 billion dollars)."We are thrilled to be entering for the first time as a group to the real estate sector in Saudi Arabia through such a futuristic project that personifies modern extravagance”, said Roberto Cavalli’s CEO, Gian Giacomo Ferraris, in the statement. He flew to Saudi Arabia to celebrate the launch of the project with Dan Al-Arkan, investors and government officials.
The villas, which will overlook the Wadi Hanifa valley, will feature floor-to-ceiling glass walls. Cavalli’s interiors aim to blend with the view, inspired by wildlife and nature.
Cavalli’s incursion in the Middle East’s high-end real estate market has been rather fast. The Just Cavalli villas, located inside a golf complex in Dubai, were announced mid 2017. In March 2018 the Italian company announced its involvement with the I Love Florence residential tower, also in Dubai. Cavalli’s line of home decor and accessories, Cavalli Home, was released in 2012.
Roberto Cavalli is not the only fashion designer venturing into real estate. Armani is the pioneer of such collaborations. After the success of the Armani Hotels in Dubai and Milan, the brand has taken over the interior design of Residences by Armani/Casa, a complex of 308 homes in Miami, to be finished by the end of this year. Century Spire, an enclave of luxury skyscrapers in the Philippines, is also in Armani’s pipeline in 2018.
In March, Miami’s luxury condo Acqualina announced that its lobby will be signed by Karl Lagerfeld. Across the pond, in London, Versace has been tasked with creating the interior design for Aykon London One, informally known as “the Versace tower”. It is scheduled to be completed by 2020.
Picture 1: courtesy of Dar Al-Arkan. Pictures 2 and 3: courtesy of Damac Properties