Versace brings Milan to Manila

MANILA, Philippines -- For a fashion brand to be successful, it seems that a corporate mind should be present to provide the methodical support to the creative designer. Think of Richard Tan to Inno Sotto, Tom Bugbee to Monique Lhullier, Sergio Galeotti to Giorgio Armani. In the case of Versace, arguably one of the most up-market lifestyle brands in the world, it's Santo Versace to his brother Gianni Versace who, after the latter's untimely death, was replaced by their sister Donatella.

It was this sharp business acumen that was remarked upon by Robbie Antonio, Century Properties' managing director when he introduced Santo Versace last Saturday. Mr. Versace was here in the country to see the strides being made by the Milano Residences whose interiors will be sumptuously furnished by Versace Home, grace a lifestyle exhibition of the brand and bring the shine of his gold-flecked last name on the fund-raising event for the Operation Smile Philippines.

Mr. Versace, dapper in an all-black ensemble and a pair of black-framed reading glasses and avuncular with his close-cropped white-as-snow hair, was all business-y when he stated the purpose of his visit. "I am here tonight to celebrate along with you the project created with Century Properties, of which I am particularly proud: Milano Residences," he said. "It is a project that will allow future inhabitants to really know and live the Versace lifestyle."

The Versace lifestyle, he explained, is the fusion of fashion and art, "in an indissoluble way." Departing from his prepared speech, Mr. Versace noted that some of the pieces from the brand-be it a couture gown or a home accessory-are found in some of the most prestigious museums in the world, underscoring the cultural and artistic importance of Versace. "Art, beauty and charm belong to the Versace DNA."

Invited guests were able to have a glimpse of Versace objet d' art in a mini-collection that was exhibited in the lobby of the Pacific Star Plaza which serves as the home of Milano Residences' model suites. A crystal-encrusted cell phone, enchanting red-carpet gowns and ultra-chic tableware made an appearance. One actually hoped that there were more pieces, especially gowns (J. Lo's heart-stopping, open-chested piece designed by Donatella would have been great), arranged with a more thoughtful curatorial eye.

The real gems of the exhibition, however, were the model suites decked in all Versace Home finery. (Finery is too strong a word and might convey the notion of ostentatious design; if anything, Versace Home is all about contemporary taste, with the furniture having svelte, streamlined bones. The real opulence is evoked by high-gloss finish and velveteen upholstery.) Launched only in January 28 of this year, the Milano Residences has reportedly sold 70 percent of its inventory.

What made Mr. Versace's visit particularly meaningful was his support of the Operation Smile Philippines, an initiative that provides corrective surgery for indigents with harelips and cleft palates. Together with Century Properties chairman Jose Antonio and his son Robbie, Mr. Versace donated P250, 000 to the advocacy. The senior Antonio said that for every unit sold during the one-night event, P50,000 would be added to the donation purse. Capping the event was the rendition of "Hero" of Mariah Carey by Operations Smile singing ambassador Chadleen Lacdo-o. She took the hand of Mr. Versace who stood throughout the performance. He was visibly pleased.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippine economic growth slows to three-year low
    Philippine economic growth slows to three-year low

    Philippine economic growth in the first quarter slowed to a three-year low of 5.2 percent, well below forecasts, due to lethargic government spending and weak exports, officials said Thursday. "While growth in the private sector remains robust, the slower than programmed pace of public spending, particularly the decline in public construction, has slowed down the overall growth of the economy," Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told reporters. "Exports were the other source of the …

  • EM ASIA FX-Won near 2-month low on plunging yen, peso pares gains as growth weakens

    * S.Korea intervention spotted, won hits 7-year high vs yen * Philippine peso briefly weaker after Q1 growth disappoints (Adds text, updates prices) By Jongwoo Cheon SEOUL, May 28 (Reuters) - South Korea's ... …

  • Britain's tied visa rules fuel abuse of live-in maids, nannies

    By Katie Nguyen LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Susi, a single mother from the Philippines, left for a job in Qatar, she convinced herself it was a sacrifice worth making for her children at home. For more than a year, Susi's sacrifice involved waking before dawn and working past midnight, cooking, cleaning and looking after a Qatari family. Conditions deteriorated when Susi was brought to Britain by her boss. …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Philippines at four-month low after Q1 GDP miss

    BANGKOK, May 28 (Reuters) - Philippine shares hit a more than four-month low on Thursday after economic growth in the first quarter was slower than expected, while Thai stocks retreated after disappointing ... …

  • Philippine economic growth slows to 5.2 percent in 1Q

    Sluggish government spending slowed Philippine economic growth in the first quarter of this year, officials said Thursday. The country's gross domestic product grew by 5.2 percent in the first quarter, ... …

  • PSE to sell Makati and Ortigas offices
    PSE to sell Makati and Ortigas offices

    Set to move to a unified headquarters in Bonifacio Global City in 2016, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) has issued plans to sell their offices in Makati and Ortigas. PSE President Hans Sicat issued that PSE means to sell the offices, but that they may also opt to rent them out instead. …

  • ‘Inland areas could be exposed to tsunami-like waves’
    ‘Inland areas could be exposed to tsunami-like waves’

    While strong earthquakes cause tsunamis in coastal areas, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned that inland areas could also be exposed to tsunami-like waves, or seiche, if located near or around bodies of water. In a recent earthquake awareness seminar in Muntinlupa, Phivolcs supervising science research specialist Joan Salcedo explained that a seiche is a large wave similar to a tsunami, triggered by strong ground shaking from an earthquake or volcanic …

  • China gives ‘gentle reminder’ to Phl, warns small nations
    China gives ‘gentle reminder’ to Phl, warns small nations

    China gave the Philippines a “gentle reminder” last Tuesday that Beijing will not bully small countries but warned these nations not to make trouble willfully and endlessly. “Here is a gentle reminder to the Philippines: China will not bully small countries, meanwhile, small countries shall not make trouble willfully and endlessly. The Chinese Foreign Ministry also said that China would continue to build other civilian facilities on relevant maritime features in the disputed Spratly Islands …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options