Missoni, the Italian brand known for its vibrant zigzags, flowers and stripes, is putting its signature on a high-rise condominium here.
Acqua Livingstone, the world’s first residential project by Missoni Home, generated a lot of buzz in the foreign press. Harper’s Bazaar online even said, “It is in the somewhat surprising locale of Manila, Philippines.” Make that along the Pasig River between Makati and Mandaluyong, to be exact.
One of the six towers of Acqua Private Residences developed by Century Properties, it is a breakthrough in presenting the full Missoni lifestyle.
“If the craze is for the ‘it bag,’ why not the ‘it home’? This is very desirable. When people walk around (the Missoni Home-designed model units), they salivate over this unique product,” said Marco Antonio, Century Properties managing director and project head for Acqua.
Acqua Livingstone, with 645 units, posted 30-percent reservation after its soft launch last month.
Like most of its residential developments, albeit aspirational, Century Properties wanted to offer a unique theme. Robbie Antonio, managing director, who is also in charge of brand collaboration, said Missoni Home had done several hotels, but it hadn’t a worked on a condominium yet.
Vittorio Missoni, shareholder and marketing director of Missoni Home, was attracted by Acqua’s thematic integration of modern high-rises in a tropical rainforest setting. “It’s a neutral mood outside but it will be a colorful box inside,” he said of Acqua Livingstone’s interior design in the public spaces.
Edouardo Roda, general manager of T & J Vector SPA, the Italian manufacturer of home furnishing (of which Vittorio’s uncle is an owner), added that condominiums were uncommon in the Old World. Hence, Acqua Livingstone presented an opportunity for them to expand their portfolio. “We want to answer the needs of clients, not just offer pieces for bed, bath and soft furnishing. It’s a lifestyle,” he said.
Vittorio, son of the company founders Rosita and Ottavio Missoni, Roda, and Wanda Jelmini, creative director of T&J Vestor (matriarch Rosita Missoni’s niece), recently visited the country to launch the Missoni-designed model units and announce their plans for the public areas.
“All common areas such as the sales center, the hallway and the coffee shops are the expression of the color palettes that mostly reflect the truly iconic spirit and philosophy of the brand. Meanwhile, each apartment has been thought to express totally different facets of the kaleidoscopic and eclectic Missoni Home world,” explained Jelmini.
Missoni Home provided design solutions for four model condo units. Fresh and bright graphics make a compact unit more spacious and add spunk. For a small unit such as Dalia, Jelmini explained, “Bold Missoni Home patterns, including the iconic chevron and floral ‘Dalia,’ shower the space in a playful and pop way and also enhance the natural light in every corner.”
Neutral colors and smooth and shiny surfaces also visually enlarge a condo.
The Vevey Erbario model unit has a more sophisticated look, with its toned-down palette of gold with black, brown and beige, juxtaposed with classic floral patterns to complement the timber, mirror and glass surfaces.
Integrated furniture systems add space flexibility, while glass walls give the feeling of openness. The Magellano unit is designed with wardrobe/desk/entertainment modules, a hidden door and a sliding glass wall that lets in more natural light while keeping the privacy of each room. Modular twin beds set on a sliding mechanism sideboard can be made into a double bed. A striped mosaic detail in the main bathroom is a Missoni Home signature.
One can’t go wrong with the classic black-and-white color theme. The Bianconegro (“white and black”) unit is an interplay of black-and-white color stripes and geometric shapes on the mirror frames and walls that play against Missoni’s trademark pop floral prints.
“In fashion, Missoni is famous for its ‘put-together’ look or the mix and match of different geometries and patterns. Anyone can mix any pattern and color according to his/her own taste There are no tips to do it correctly: It is a matter of taste and balance. This is one of the characteristics of our brand skills and philosophy,” said Jelmini.
The 52-story condo’s highlight is the three-story Canopy at the crown of Acqua Livingstone, which includes an ampitheater, a piazza inspired by Italy’s Spanish Steps, bar, library and lots of indoor-outdoor spaces.
Roda said T&J Vestor has been customizing new materials, wall treatments, decals, furniture and products for outdoor living for Acqua Livingstone. He added it’s a challenge to produce weather-proof materials.
“We’ve been using stainless steel and nautical ropes used for sailing and special color mixes exclusive to us. Missoni has been known for woven fabrics. We are also developing outdoor fabrics, which use a new technique for printing.”
For this project, Missoni Home also customized a gold leaf, four-poster bed with fringes and variations of the Inntil sofa whose backrest embraces the sitters.
Asked about his personal favorites from Missoni Home, Vittorio cited pieces that are also found in Acqua Livingstone. The Nap modular sofa, comprised of a chaise lounge, sofa, ottomans and armrests, can be arranged in various combinations. Likewise, most pieces can be used on their own. “Tiamat is another favorite because of its uniqueness and beauty. Although unconventional, it really brings a lot function and aesthetic appeal to a space,” he said. Tiamat is comfortable because of its gentle roundedness.
The Missoni fashion heritage began in 1953, when Rosita and Ottavio Missoni opened a shop off Milan, selling knitwear. Vittorio credits his parents for their unflagging enthusiasm, which has driven the company’s growth. “My parents always had a passion for colors and talent in design, and they tried to create their own patterns—zigzag, waves and tie-dye.”
Missoni added that it has remained a family business and still manufactures in Italy, which is rare nowadays.
He added, “The Missoni identity can be translated into the home design—sunny, happy, colorful and mixing patterns and materials. The personality of Missoni is very Italian, which is family-oriented. Although we respect tradition, we still grow with the times.”
On Missoni Home’s popular pieces, Jelmini said, “Any object can be a nice gift and an eye-catcher like the cushions, poufs, candles, throws and the towel range. Their look is so different from the collections on the market and can bring a completely different and bolder style to a classic environment. These are easy ways to add an iconic Missoni pattern or splash of color.”