By and  on April 5, 2006

MILAN — From the living room to the sky, Italian designers are rolling out their furniture collections at the Salone del Mobile show here.

Bottega Veneta will launch creative director Tomas Maier's first furniture line for the brand with a showroom presentation today, the opening day of Salone del Mobile, and Versace is taking to the air with a licensing deal to do private jet interiors.

The Bottega Veneta installation includes signature leather pieces mixed with Scandinavian memorabilia from the Fifties, Chinese antiques and classic items from Thonet and Venini. The concept will be transported to a new project — a 1,700-square-foot, two-bedroom suite at the St. Regis hotel in New York. The Bottega Veneta suite there, complete with moldings and a fireplace, will mix the brand's limestone coffee table, leather-sheathed dining table and nightstands with the rooms' existing Louis XVI-style furniture. The suite will be ready in the fall.

"No one wants to furnish a home from wall to wall with the same brand, so it didn't make sense to show a Bottega Veneta total look," said Maier. "People want to diversify and use furniture as an accessory because if something is well designed, it's also versatile."

The Italian-made range includes console tables, limestone-top coffee tables, high and low bookshelves, glass partitions with mesh panels, woven leather poufs and dining tables. Most of the pieces are framed with gunmetal and are available in a light and dark brown and in black. However, the pieces can be made in custom colors and hides such as ostrich, python and even crocodile.

Maier also displayed table and floor lamps with shades made of 437 yards of linen cord. Retail prices range from $3,000 for a magazine holder to $12,800 for a dining table and soar to $30,600 for a four-panel partition.

The Versace license is with TAG Group, for designing and furnishing private jets with the brand's new Home Couture line, said Giancarlo di Risio, chief executive officer of Versace.

The company also unveiled its new Couture line, an exclusive collection of black-and-white, hand-sewn leather sofas embellished with Versace's Greek fret motifs and padded armchairs with sleek silver details. The line is positioned in the high end of the market — a Couture sofa retails at around 10,000 euros, or $12,124.Exclusive luxury seemed to be Di Risio's new mantra as he presented the maison's upcoming projects. After the jets, the company's next step in interior design will be yachts, and then the opening of a second Palazzo Versace Resort, in Dubai in 2008, and a third, in Asia in 2009, at a location still to be disclosed.

With TAG, which stands for Techniques d'Avant Garde, Di Risio said, Versace will offer "an opportunity for personalized interiors" of planes like Bombardier's Global Express and Boeing's BBJ. The first concept will be presented in July at an aeronautics exhibition in Farnborough, England. Di Risio said the average cost for the interior of a plane is about 10 million euros, or $12.1 million at current exchange. "The market we are looking at is of about 70 planes per year, in the range of between $30 million to $60 million," said Khezri. "This is not about image; we plan to do business," added Di Risio.

Di Risio made public new details and a rendering of the second Palazzo Versace Resort, scheduled to open in Dubai in early 2008. The resort, which will comprise more than 200 suites and luxury villas, will be located on Dubai Creek and feature a central body with two wings. The Dubai resort will be furnished from the brand's Home Collection, inspired by all the houses that belonged to Gianni Versace. For example, one of the two wings will be modeled after his house on Lake Como; other areas will resemble the designer's houses in Miami and New York.

There will be two private beaches, which, as reported, will be artificially kept at just the right temperature. Versace plans to set up a natural reserve with fish from the Red Sea in one of the pools, and give scuba-diving courses.

The Palazzo Versace Resort in Dubai is being developed with Australian property developer Sunland Group Ltd. and Emirates International Holdings. Sunland teamed up with Versace when the fashion company opened its first Palazzo Versace in September 2000 on Australia's exclusive Gold Coast tourist strip of Queensland. Versace has a licensing deal with Sunland for the Palazzo Versace projects.

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