Both century and missoni have a lot in common- you have both worked through three generations as a family and share a commitment to excellence. how will this marriage of ethics influence the design process?
Our similarities are our passion for lifestyle and high-end design, which is why Missoni and Century Properties agreed to work together. We recognize that we share not only the same values, but also the same aesthetic and the same goals.
The success of your collaboration with versace has proven there is a strong market for luxury real estate in the philippines, but beyond economics. what made you want to work with luxury fashion brands and in particular missoni?
I value luxury in my personal life, and my work with Century Properties is a natural extension. I believe in injecting my personality into our projects and fashion, style and design are significant facets of my life; therefore, I wanted to work with solid fashion brands
The Missoni brand is heritage exudes style, elegance, and most of all, creativity. These are essential elements in luxury living, regardless whether the structure is modernist or colonial, or whether it is in Manhattan, Milan or Manila. The project was conceived with these values of Missoni in mind, and the master plan reflects this collaboration with Century Properties. From the design of the building- to the prints on the furniture you can see this. Colour is also an important design attribute, and you will see this in our model unit and amenities.
This venture only confirms the growing prosperity of the Philippines - do you think such a project could kick-start an art & cultural rejuvenation in Manila?
This is not the first project of Century Properties that introduces the glamour and style of global icons, such as Versace, and Manila’s burgeoning property scene. I am also having Paris Hilton design the Paris Beach Club in Manila. The collaboration with Missoni is already the next step in elevating the art and cultural scene – people in Manila are hungry for new and exciting projects that place the country on the map, and we are proud to be leading this movement.
I am also starting a foundation being designed to disseminate information, create general awareness, and engender appreciation of world class international artists, architects, interior designers and fashion experts either incorporated as part of the collection and/or directly involved in the foundation. The foundation would have direct impact on the immediate vicinity of the Philippines and across Southeast Asia by making works selectively available to institutions and individuals for study and examination. It is the first project to be ever designed by a Pritzer Prize architect in the entire Philippines.
This latest announcement comes hot on the heels of a long list of collaborations for Missoni in recent times. How are you going to ensure that the Missoni vision is realized with innovation and excellence in a new product area (residential real estate) for the family-owned Italian fashion firm?
Just like Century Properties, Missoni partners only with companies and personalities that share their values – vibrancy, beauty, creativity. Our track record as a company, and my own personal predisposition towards fashion, design and style will ensure that this collaboration is successful.
Fashion real-estate collaborations have become increasingly popular recently with brands like Armani, Gucci and Roberto Cavalli signing up to design residences and hotels around the world. How will your collaboration with Missoni push the boundaries?
The partnership is already pushing boundaries by being in Manila, instead of in top-of-mind emerging and established locations such as London, New York, or Hong Kong. In addition, Century Properties’ commitment to quality will differentiate this project from other collaborations, as we will solidify our imprint as a premier property developer.
Missoni is a self proclaimed lifestyle brand that encourages experiences of happiness, excitement, beauty, creativity, style and elegance. Missoni-philes across the world are rejoicing with news of such a collaboration. Are you expecting a lot of interest from international clientele?
Our premier developments are already in the sights of international clientele, and we are seeing a mix of Filipinos and expatriates who see potential in investing in Philippine branded real estate. We expect the Missoni project to be no different, as it caters to both the aspirational and the luxury markets.
How will the architecture of the building communicate with the Missoni aesthetic?
We will not just be communicating the Missoni aesthetic, the structure will embody it, and we want our clients to live this aesthetic even before they step into the building – it will be evident as viewed from the Manila skyline.
As a family business, what are you most proud to have achieved?
I am most proud of how we have extended the Century Properties family beyond my father and brothers – we build with people, families in mind. Our projects reflect how we view clients as part of the family, and this is one aspect that differentiates Century Properties from other developers.
Missoni has put its signature chevron pattern to work with everything from flip flops to pushchairs and now people will be able to live within the Missoni lifestyle experience. Who are you hoping to attract to the complex?
We are hoping to attract people who value luxury and style and a solid investment for differentiated property.
Both fashion and architecture are to do with outer and inner surfaces and integrate technology. Do you believe both fields of design share the intention of making our lives more practical along with educating us?
Fashion, as with any form of art, is about this value, and the integration with design will definitely enhance the experience of the end user.
You have an exciting array of projects in the works including a design collaboration with Paris Hilton for a beach resort in Manila. Are you looking to widen your portfolio internationally?
I developed the first ground up condominium in the world with I.M. Pei with Pei Partnership in New York City. Since then I have been aggressively seeking major brands to collaborate with. The Paris Beach Club at Azure, Milano Residences interior designed by Versace Home, and this new collaboration with Missoni Home fall under that cadre of ‘category killers’. We are opportunistic so I would entertain projects on behalf of the company if we deem that the market demands the kind of projects we endeavor in.
Missoni would prepare a pattern in a detailed way as you would prepare a building plan. How will this affinity for design translate to a living space?
A living space is also a pattern that takes into consideration the flow of space and the placement of pieces. Design in fashion and design in interior design go hand in hand.
Both fashion designers and architects address a basic human need for shelter but do you observe the construction of clothes and how fabric can go together to make volumetric forms within your design practice?
Our master plans take design details seriously, which is why we work with renowned brands from the beginning of each project. This ensures that even during the planning phase, all elements of a complex – from the cement to the fabrics – are harmonious and achieve the intended effect.
If clothes have ability to express the cultural identity of people, in what ways can architecture do the same?
Architecture has always reflected cultural identity, which is why different areas of the world have different structures. However, how it reflects culture now is different from how it was a thousand years ago. Back then, architecture and fashion reflected people’s wants. Now, it is a reflection of their aspirations.
Fashion and architecture are parallel practices and both these facets of design can shape our moods and feelings and influence our productivity. How do you address such issues when designing especially within a co-branded venture?
Choosing the right partner that shares the same values is critical in ensuring that we address our clients’ moods and design aspirations. Aside from the right partner, we identify the clients – what they want, how they live, why they would choose us. This guides us in every phase of the project, and the end result is always satisfied creators, investors, and end users.
Why are luxury brands so attracted by Manila as a ground force for new and exciting innovations?
Manila has always been an exciting place for fashion and design, but the momentum has really taken hold in the last couple of years. Filipinos have always had a natural affinity for luxury – we are aspirational as people, and global brands recognize this opportunity to establish themselves locally.
Who are your IDOL/s or people that influence you?
I look up to successful artists – who make a name for themselves, who exude a design aesthetic that appeals to my sense of luxury, who embody the joie de vivre for what they do. In fashion, I identify with Tom Ford and Hedi Slimane, who have parlayed their sense of luxury and beauty into successful careers. In the world of art, I commend Bernard Arnault and Francois Pinault due to their collection
Words by Kamaldeep Dhillon
Pictures courtesy of Rubenstein PR