But some licenses are structured so that condo boards can strip off a designer’s name if the brand ever winds up in the discount bin, said Gil Dezer, the president of Dezer Development, which is behind the Residences by Armani/Casa Miami, a 308-unit beachfront high-rise in Sunny Isles Beach. Developed with the Related Group, the condo opened this winter and is about 90 percent sold, for prices that average $1,200 per square foot.
Yet Armani also has the option to sever ties if it comes to believe the building, a sail-shaped structure designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, is not being maintained properly. “They can’t go and paint the building pink if they want to,” Mr. Dezer said.
Armani, like other fashion houses, would seem to have much to gain from joining luxury housing developments. Besides collecting a licensing fee for the $750 million project, Armani was reimbursed for design work, including $850,000 for gold-toned, custom-built sofas that ring the lobby, Mr. Dezer said. Plus, each buyer has been handed a $25,000 gift certificate for an Armani boutique.
“Their motivation is to sell furniture,” he said.
The premium for developers may be less quantifiable, but “there is definitely a value in putting brands on buildings,” added Mr. Dezer, whose portfolio includes the nearby Porsche Design Tower, a 132-unit spire.
Like some other high-end automakers, Porsche has branched into apparel and accessories in recent years, including shirts, pants and watches.
Similarly, the lifestyle collection from the British sports-car maker Aston Martin is packed with sweaters, jackets and leather bags, so it may come as no surprise that the company is following Porche down the same track with a new 391-unit, 66-story condo.