Bringing branded residences to Marbella

Bringing branded residences to Marbella. The collaboration between Sierra Blanca Estates and Fendi Casa marks a new milestone in Marbella’s luxury property market.

The collaboration between Sierra Blanca Estates and Fendi Casa marks a new milestone in Marbella’s luxury property market. Zoe Dare Hall speaks to their matchmaker’s Marketing Director, Anna Masello.

From the solid block of travertine marble that adorns the living wall without a single join to the wallpaper that is subtly imbued with the familiar Fendi logo, the residences at Epic Marbella are an elegant homage to the world-famous fashion brand.

The partnership between the project’s developers, Sierra Blanca Estates, and Fendi Casa, the Italian brand’s furnishings arm, brings something entirely new to Marbella. This is Fendi Casa’s first residential project in Europe and the first branded residences on the Costa del Sol.

 

Bringing branded residences to Marbella. The collaboration between Sierra Blanca Estates and Fendi Casa marks a new milestone in Marbella’s luxury property market.
Anna Masello, The One Atelier

 

The collaboration has also paved the way for two more fashion-branded partnerships for Sierra Blanca Estates, with Karl Lagerfeld and another world-famous name to be announced soon, all in an emerging area of the Golden Mile known as Marbella Design Hills.

The matchmaker behind these high-profile partnerships – which are arranged marriages of sorts, and destined to last a long time – is The One Atelier the go-to consultants for prime new branded developments around the world. We spoke with Anna Masello, Real Estate and Branding Director at the company.

“When the click happens between developer and brand, it’s not by chance. It’s a meeting of two companies looking for the same things,” says Masello. She describes The One Atelier as “the one-stop company” for branded real estate and the “guarantor” for the brand. “We start by creating the right match and we make sure the brand and developer are fully committed to all steps of the process,” she comments.

The speed of sales at Epic Marbella – with properties now selling for three times more than the project’s launch prices in 2019 – suggests that The One Atelier has struck upon the perfect match. “This is the fastest development we’ve ever worked on in terms of the time it has taken to all come together” says Masello.

That comes down, she thinks, to Sierra Blanca Estates’ track record in the super-prime Marbella market. “They have been playing a major role in Marbella for decades and they know their target audience well, so they know what brand will fit a particular project.”

Fendi Casa, meanwhile, are interested in being involved in a specific location or project. “Marbella is having an incredible moment. It has become the luxury capital of Europe – a place that attracts an affluent international market – and this project ticked so many boxes for Fendi Casa,” Masello comments.

And for buyers, it’s about wanting to be part of the brand’s community. “There’s a sense of wanting to belong to a certain world,” she says. The connection continues post-sales, too, with some owners choosing to have their homes styled by Fendi Casa. They also benefit from access to exclusive experiences such as Fendi fashion events in Milan. “We make sure the buyer’s dream is complete. It’s a personal 360-degree experience for them,” says Masello.

Sierra Blanca Estates’ collaboration at Epic Marbella began in 2016. And although Fendi Casa faced the challenge of it being Marbella’s first branded residence scheme, they had the reassurance that construction was already underway on the project’s first non-branded phase. “It meant matching the brand with the developer here wasn’t a speculative move. It was another guarantee of the type of environment they were building,” says Masello. “When one brand enters into this kind of partnership with a developer, it lends an air of legitimacy to the developer and the location that makes other brands want to follow.”

The One Atelier’s job is to “read the codes of the brand and translate them into a design language for the residences. We match the aesthetics of the place with the brand,” Masello adds. “Fashion brands evolve and launch new trends, but certain pillars remain. Our role is to identify the aesthetic that will remain timeless.”

With Fendi Casa she identifies “the timeless feeling, like when you approach Palazzo della Cività in Rome and see the beautiful travertine. When we were choosing the material that would underpin the beauty of the Epic apartments and the arch when you enter the resort, we knew it had to be this light travertine stone”.

The brand’s essence continues throughout the residences, including in the detailing in the kitchens and the walk-in closets in the bedrooms. “That link with fashion is there. The beautiful wood, bespoke metal handles and velvet-covered shelves, all approved by the brand, feel as though you are in a boutique,” Masello comments.

At times, The One Atelier’s role is to instil a sense of balance. “We always bring it back to the fact that if the development is successful, the brand is successful, so the numbers need to work,” says Masello. Sometimes investment in a statement piece is necessary. “As a consultant, we need to push the developer when we think it’s worth it, and we need push the brand if the requirements are too hard to match.”

The Karl Lagerfeld-branded scheme of five villas is the first luxury residential project the fashion brand has been involved with (Aqualina in Miami has a Karl Lagerfeld-designed lobby, but they were not involved in branding the residences). It’s also the first real estate project since the designer passed away, but The One Atelier had the benefit of collaborating with Caroline Lebar, the company’s head of image and communications, who worked closely with Mr Lagerfeld for more than 30 years, and Pier Paolo Righi, the company’s CEO and a close friend of the legendary fashion designer.

Together, they could translate Karl’s passions into interior design, such as his love of books. “Our design team, led by Andrea Boschetti, and the Karl Lagerfeld team have created a statement floor-to-ceiling library in each villa with the books exhibited horizontally in the way he loved,” Masello explains. As a reference to Mr. Lagerfeld’s passion for mirrors, the facades of the villas feature specially designed reflective ceramic tiles, and each villa is subtly different from the next. “Each is a one-off jewel,” says Masello.

As with Fendi Casa, the demand from buyers is confirmation that The One Atelier have struck the right note. “It’s visionary to arrive in the market with this kind of product. It’s very niche and totally different from anything else you can buy in Marbella. It’s a liveable piece of art.” This particular marriage, she adds, is one between culture, art and property. “And the feedback,” says Masello, “suggests we got it right.”

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Malaga's first ultra-luxury residences. Sierra Blanca Tower is located on Paseo Marítimo Antonio Banderas, the seafront boulevard in west Malaga that skirts a residential area undergoing significant re-development. The tower sits on a frontline beach plot of 50,000m2 with panoramic views across the city and Mediterranean coast and within easy reach of the city’s many attractions.

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Five exclusive homes, perfectly integrated into the lush nature of Marbella’s Golden Mile. KARL LAGERFELD VILLAS stems from Karl’s passion for architecture, interior design and constantly pushing the envelope of innovation. The lifestyle-oriented environment harmoniously incorporates the local landscape through elevated architecture and a focus on sustainability.









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