Lagerfeld checks into the hotel business

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Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld announced Monday he planned to launch his own branded hotel chain, with the first property set to open in the Chinese gambling hub of Macao in 2018.

The 83-year-old German-born designer has already collaborated with luxury Parisian address Le Crillon and the Metropole in Monaco, but the new business will see him and his company design entire hotels.

Leading fashion houses from Dior to Diane von Furstenberg have developed a lucrative side-business away from the catwalk by designing suites and other interiors for hotel owners.

Lagerfeld intends to follow the example of rivals such as Armani, Bulgari and Versace which have gone one step further and opened properties under their own names.

His first hotel is being built with a local partner in the luxury Lisboa Palace Complex in Macau, but the Lagerfeld group is “in the process of studying other opportunities to open other properties around the world,” it said in a statement.

The current artistic director at Chanel will also lend his talents and trademark to luxury residences, restaurants and private clubs, the group said, as part of a push into the interior design business.

The Lisboa Palace Complex in Macao — an enclave that is the only place in China where gambling is legal — will include casinos, restaurants and various hotels, notably the Versace Palace.

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