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Fashion & Accessories August 2014

International luxury brands get involved in the Chinese real estate industry

On December 2013, the Italian luxury brand Tonino Lamborghini announced that they were preparing to enter the Chinese high-end real estate industry. Dr. Gong, chief representative of Tonino Lamborghini Asia-Pacific “We (Lamborghini) will only focus on the high-end real estate projects in China, such as luxury villas or 5A class office buildings, and will only cooperate with a few domestic leading developers.”

However, Lamborghini isn’t the first luxury brand that announced entry into the China real estate industry, Armani beat them to it. In early 2014, the Armani Group made an announcement in Milan that the Giorgio Armani Interior Design Studio together with China Mind Group was investing in a luxury residential project in Chengdu. This project called Armani/ Casa Art Residence will be the first Chinese residential real estate project designed by an international luxury brand. The apartments are planned to start selling in the second half of 2014 with a target price of 30,000 – 40,000 RMB per sqm making them the most expensive in Chengdu.

Consisting of two 222-meter high-rise buildings each with 65 floors, the project will be situated in a prime location in the center of the city, adjacent to the Jin Jiang River, around which are major shopping and entertainment areas, notably, the Wang Jiang Park built in the Qing Dynasty which lies across the river and can be seen easily from the apartments. The project is expected to be completed in 2016.

In August, Armani published its first advertisement for the Armani/Casa Art Residence in many well-known print publications acorss the country, where an artist’s impression of the mysterious Twin Towers was officially published which pleased the local public. Talking the August issue of Esquire as an example, the advertisement uses the quote from Armani “I design a residence in which I would like to live” avoiding heavy and complicated words that traditional property promotions use in China. The picture shows architectural appearance on the left and Giorgio Armani on the right.

Armani’s partner Mind Group is an investment company with the primary business of cultural tourism, tourism real estate, eco-agriculture and cultural media. This project to build an “Armani/Casa Art Residence” was apparently initiated by the Armani Group. The group is specifically responsible for the two parts of this project.

  • Giorgio Armani will lead his Armani/Casa Interior Design Studio team to design the residential units, common areas and facilities within the twin towers that constitute the Art Residence by Armani/Casa.
  • The new development will reflect Giorgio Armani’s aesthetic sensibility and his hallmark sense of comfort and functionality. Each apartment will be equipped with Armani/Casa furniture and accessories, Armani/Dada kitchen and Armani/Roca bathroom.

Other than Chengdu, other cities also have examples of international luxury brands cooperating with the real estate industry. Although these luxury brands didn’t directly participate in building the real estate projects like Armani, their luxury design concepts and luxury furniture bring new and fresh concepts to the Chinese real estate market. For example, Tongde Plaza in Kunming used Giorgio Armani and Aston Martin luxury furniture in the interior design. BMW, LV, Porsche and other luxury brands have also carried out cross-sector cooperation with the real estate developments in China.

With the development of the Chinese real estate industry and the homogenization within the commercial real estate industry, the cooperation between the real estate developers and luxury brands has become a new sales concept and a way to stand out in the competitive market. For the brands, the developers can attract and facilitate consumers to buy their products, while bringing a more complementary experience from international design.

Store opening

3rd July, Louis Vuitton opened a new store in Chengdu IFS.


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