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WWD Exclusive: Wearable is the New Livable


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In the last few years, luxury fashion brands—Fendi, Versace, Armani, Missoni—have crossed the runways and hit the elite streets of Miami, Manila and Dubai with their high-styled, branded concepts for residential living. The trend first caught on a few years ago and has continued to gain momentum, as “wearable” becomes the new “livable.” Affluent consumers don’t just want restaurants, bars, leisure facilities and turn-key chic—they also want a designer name attached to their designer property.

It’s a phenomenon that Marc Karimzadeh has covered as senior fashion features editor for Women’s Wear Daily in New York. Karimzadeh has spent the last 14 years of his career traveling the globe, covering everything from new pop-up shops in Soho to luxury fashion hotels and condos. Previews® Inside Out caught up with the Manhattan-based reporter right before the craze of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week heated up to ask him about the emerging intersection between fashion and home.

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Previews Inside Out You recently covered the story on Fendi’s first branded real estate project in Miami. Has it been surprising to see a fashion house like Fendi break into real estate? 

Marc Karimzadeh All fashion houses have codes contributing to their DNA. In Fendi’s case, there are the Roman roots, family, accessories, luxury and a distinct constructivist vibe and playfulness Karl Lagerfeld brings to the ready-to-wear. These values can also translate to the home, and since Fendi already has the Fendi Casa business, it seemed like a natural extension to break into real estate.


Credit: George Chinsee/WWD

Previews Inside Out I mean, you’ve got the Palazzo Versace in Dubai, too…it seems like the branded residence concept is starting to become a trend, no?

Marc Karimzadeh The trend for designer residences and hotels is definitely gaining momentum. Giorgio Armani is developing a new Armani/Casa Residences project with a César Pelli-designed tower in Miami. Versace has the Palazzo Versace. Bulgari, Missoni, Salvatore Ferragamo and Baccarat are just some of the names adding their touch to residences and hotels around the world.

Previews Inside Out Do you think we’ll see more of these kinds of concepts in the future?

Marc Karimzadeh Nowadays, designers talk about their brands in lifestyle terms. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more fashion brands expanding into hotels and residences. To them, it provides another way to tell their story. But they shouldn’t underestimate how savvy today’s consumer is. There has to be an authentic value to these projects. It can’t just be about adding your name to it.

Previews Inside Out As you were covering the Fendi story, what were you most struck by?

Marc Karimzadeh When it came to the décor, there was no mention of fur. Then again, it’s sunny, ocean-breezy Miami, so fur may not be the way to go.

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Previews Inside Out Where do you see the intersection between fashion and home?

Marc Karimzadeh Most fashion designers have a strong aesthetic sense and know a thing or two about the art of living well. Valentino has multiple homes around the world, including the beautiful 17th-century Château de Wideville outside Paris, where he loves to entertain. Donna Karan relaxes in both the Hamptons and Parrot Cay. Tommy Hilfiger has a ’60s-meets-disco home in Miami and recently bought Miami’s iconic Raleigh Hotel. Fashion and home also intersect in the value of original design. That said, fashion is more seasonal than the home. Home trends don’t change every six months, so fashion designers need to bear that in mind when they work on home collections.

Previews Inside Out We’re seeing a lot more fashion brands enter the home décor industry, too. How has the fashion world responded to concepts like Fendi Casa and others?


Marc Karimzadeh It’s been interesting to see how each fashion brand translates its aesthetic into residential projects. If there was initial skepticism from the fashion crowd about brands entering the home arena, strong collections by designers like Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani have put it to rest.

Previews Inside Out Switching gears a little bit, what has been the one thing that has surprised you most in fashion this year?


The Louis Vuitton pop-up.

The Louis Vuitton Pop-Up at Dover Street. Credit: George Chinese

Marc Karimzadeh When Dover Street Market opened in New York late last year, I was initially quite intrigued by the area it chose. Kips Bay isn’t exactly known for fashion retail, far from it, but Comme des Garçons is known for its pioneering approach to real estate and could perhaps even trigger a change of the retail landscape in and around Murray Hill.

Previews Inside Out You’ll be covering Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, of course. Which designers are you most excited to see?


Marc Karimzadeh Over the past decade, New York has seen a real renaissance of young talent, and it’s always exciting to see how they evolve their aesthetic, from Altuzarra to Alexander Wang. I will be on the lookout for new and interesting names. Equally, I am always fascinated by how established names continue to refine and renew their look.

Jonathan Saunders

Credit: Giovanni Giannoni

Previews Inside Out Which fall and winter fashion trends are you most looking forward to?


Marc Karimzadeh I am most looking forward to how people will interpret the shift toward oversize silhouettes. It’s been a great trend on the runway. Knits, too, are having a moment.

Previews Inside Out Maybe they’ll have a moment at home, too. Winter always seems like a good time to break out the heavy furs and cozy knits in the living room.

Marc Karimzadeh Especially if the room is outfitted in cool designer furniture.

Marc Karimzadeh is senior fashion features editor for Women’s Wear Daily. He can be reached at

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WWD Exclusive: Wearable is the New Livable

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