By Elvira Pollina
MILAN (Reuters) -Italian fashion house Cavalli plans to open a $545 million ultra-luxurious skyscraper in Dubai in collaboration with real estate developer Damac Properties.
Damac founder Hussain Sajwani rescued Florence based Cavalli in November 2019 through his private investment company Vision Investments, which is part of the DICO Group, owner of luxury resorts, hotels and shopping malls.
"I am thrilled to be launching the Cavalli tower just a few days before Milan Fashion Week to illustrate the fashion legend's rebirth," Sajwani said in a statement on Monday.
The multi-million project, an important step aimed at reviving the luxury brand, which expects to reach break even in 2023, is "an effortless extension of (Cavalli's) vision beyond patterns, garments and sensational catwalks", Sajwani added.
The 70-floor tower will be located in Dubai Marina and have 485 units, with construction due to begin in 2022 and expected to be completed in four years.
As cash-rich customers demand experiences beyond luxury goods, more and more in the industry, including Italy's Armani and high-end jeweller Bulgari, are investing in hotels and real estate, particularly in big cities and exotic destinations.
Famed for its bold prints and designs, Cavalli has been struggling to revive its sales and gain visibility in an industry that is increasingly dominated by large conglomerates such as LVMH and Kering
Sajwani said that he was committed to rebuilding Cavalli, relaunching the brand in key markets including North America, and that womenswear would maintain a "leading position".
He added that he aimed to push the brand into other business areas "all the while carrying forward Roberto Cavalli's legacy by respecting its established fashion traditions".
Cavalli's General Manager Ennio Fontana said it would break even in 2023, but did not give details.
(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Writing by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Alexander Smith)