The king of haute couture meets Florida real estate.
Residential real estate in South Florida is about to meet the king of haute couture. The Miami-based Trump Group recently announced that Karl Lagerfeld—the head designer and creative director of Chanel and Fendi—has attached his name to their new luxury condominium project in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida. The Estates at Acqualina, set to break ground later this year, will feature lobbies designed by the fashion maestro himself.
Developer Jules Trump—who runs The Trump Group with his brother, Eddie (no relation to The Donald)—said that Lagerfeld was an obvious choice when it came to designing one of the property’s most intimate spaces. “Karl Lagerfeld’s name kept coming up as the icon of timeless beauty,” Trump explained in an interview with Fortune. “So we approached him through a mutual friend. We wanted something extraordinary, and we went to a man who’s extremely extraordinary.”
Although The Trump Group declined to provide details on the features and furnishings Karl has envisioned, the style icon stated in a promotional interview that he wanted the lobbies to feel “fresh and silvery.” Lagerfeld drew inspiration from a range of sources: “The construction, Florida, the mood of the moment. All kinds of elements.” And while the prolific designer has been known to dabble in an array of extracurricular projects—from directing Magnum commercials to creating a collection of fountain pens—he was drawn to the Acqualina project for one prudent reason in particular: “I [designed] too many houses I never used, and I cannot make another house for myself.”
Scheduled for completion in 2020, The Estates at Acqualina comprises two 50-story ultra-luxury condominiums with 265 fully-furnished residences. The development follows the sell-out success of the Mansions at Acqualina—the Estates’ sister project that debuted last fall. Catering primarily to well-heeled families—with prices ranging from $3.9 million to $40 million—the new property will include five dining options, a dog park, and 24-hour valet service. The Estates will also feature bowling lanes, an ice-skating rink, and a Wall Street Traders’ Club room complete with ticker tape and a board room.
2016 may not be the most auspicious year for high-end real estate in South Florida. A report published this past April by Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants found that the average sale price in Miami Beach and the Barrier Islands fell 7.5% in the last 12 months, to about $905,000—and prices for the top 10% of condos plunged by 14.5%. But Jules Trump says he is confident that Lagerfeld’s star power will only ramp up the enthusiasm that prospective buyers have already expressed.
“We’ve already got about one third of the building reserved already, so we’re optimistic,” Trump said. “And the announcement about Karl has perked up interest considerably.”