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In conversation with Mr. Valeriano Antonioli.
This newfound synergy between fashion and hospitality represents a paradigm shift in the way we perceive and indulge in luxury.

In a bold and innovative move that blurs the lines between luxury lifestyle and hospitality, fashion houses have begun venturing into the world of hotel management and restauration. These iconic brands, renowned for their creativity and attention to detail in the realm of fashion, are now extending their expertise to the art of curating unforgettable experiences in the realms of hospitality and dining.

Fashion houses are leveraging their distinct design aesthetics, branding prowess, and commitment to creating distinctive, immersive worlds to transform the hotel and restaurant industry. The result is a fusion of elegance, artistry, and impeccable service, promising guests a unique and unforgettable journey that transcends traditional notions of travel and dining.

As fashion houses continue to explore these exciting ventures, we can only anticipate a future where the boundaries between fashion and hospitality are further pushed, creating immersive and enchanting spaces that reflect the very essence of these iconic brands. Intertwining the worlds of fashion and hospitality, a pioneering venture has emerged – the inaugural hotel in a series of six, strategically nestled within Italy’s most renowned cities. These prestigious establishments, including Hotel Lungarno, Hotel Continentale, and Gallery Hotel Art in Florence, as well as Portrait Roma, Portrait Firenze, and Portrait Milano of the Portrait Collection, epitomize a harmonious fusion of elegance and opulence, all created by the Ferragamo family.

Each of these exceptional hotels boasts its own unique character, drawing inspiration from the rich tapestry of urban culture and historical charm that defines their respective locales. To dive more into hotel management in a fashionable way, BURO speaks to Mr. Valeriano Antonioli, CEO of the Lungarno collection.

When we planned this place which is the Piazza, when you look at it from the top, it’s the perfect square piazza and our intention was to be very inclusive and to make this Piazza available for whoever visits Milano to display innovation and beautiful things, we also do fashion presentations during fashion week like the one happening this week. We founded this place in 2014 and opened in December 2022.

How would you describe the Ferragamo hospitality in one word and what can you tell us about it?

I’d choose “Italian” and “Fashion” as our primary focus because our brand, ‘Portrait,’ is part of the Ferragamo family. This lineage has tethered our hotels to the world of fashion for generations. In fact, we stand as the exclusive fashion group that both conceives and operates hotels. While certain fashion houses may engage in management agreements with external entities for similar ventures, we take a hands-on approach, handling all aspects internally. Furthermore, we proudly represent the sole Italian luxury fashion hotel group. Our central location positions us right in the heart of the action, with every essential destination just a stroll away.

What links the story of the hotel to the fashion world?

The Ferragamo family has been deeply entrenched in the fashion realm since the 1960s when they laid the foundation for their inaugural boutique in Florence. We proudly count ourselves among the pioneers who helped shape Italy’s fashion landscape right from the outset, and for the past six decades, we’ve remained an integral part of this ever-evolving industry.

Why is it important nowadays for fashion brands to venture into hotel management and other luxury projects?

There exists a notable disparity in the pace between the fashion industry and the world of hotels. In the realm of fashion, everything moves at breakneck speed. To be a true fashion aficionado, one often finds themselves swapping out their footwear at least four times a year. However, when it comes to owning a hotel, the game shifts towards a different tempo. It’s about maintaining a timeless allure, staying true to your identity, and upholding the benchmarks of luxury. It’s an exceedingly rare occurrence, if not virtually unheard of, to witness a fashion brand extending its distinct identity to the realm of hospitality. Fashion, with its textile foundation, is characterized by its volatility and constant flux. Remarkably, even luxury brands specializing in jewelry and timepieces have found their footing in the world of hotels.

What about venturing in luxury resorts especially like the ones we saw this summer in St. Tropez?

At the core of our strategy lies the fundamental concept of brand databases. We continuously seek innovative avenues to engage with our customer base. Retaining clientele is paramount, and to achieve this, we are committed to offering them fresh, indelible experiences. This encompasses everything from the immersive hotel and dining encounters to crafting an entire lifestyle that orbits around our brand.

What was so special about Ferragamo’s living room? what does it still preserve? and how has it turned into a hotel lounge?

Twenty-five years ago, when we embarked on our journey with the Hotel Lungarno, our President, Leonardo Ferragamo, harbored a vision. He aspired to create a hotel that exuded the warmth and comfort of a home, where guests would be welcomed as if they were stepping into his own residence. The cornerstone of this vision is our living room, a space we prioritize to ensure that it radiates the quintessential Ferragamo hospitality.