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Fri 25 Jun 2010 04:45 PM

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Elisabetta Gucci sued over branded hotel in Dubai

Gucci Group files a lawsuit against Paolo Gucci's daughter and her partners.

Elisabetta Gucci sued over branded hotel in Dubai
DUBAI HOTELS: Italian fashion houses are opening branded accommodation in Dubai at a time when hotels have been hurt by a glut of rooms. (Getty Images)

Elisabetta Gucci’s plan to open a global chain of hotels under her name may be blocked by the luxury goods company founded by her great-grandfather.

Gucci Group, owned by France’s PPR, filed a lawsuit this week in Florence, Italy, against Elisabetta Gucci and her partners “seeking injunctive relief in order to protect its rights,” Gucci Group said in an e-mailed response to questions from Bloomberg News.

The daughter of late fashion mogul Paolo Gucci, who designed the Italian brand’s trademark stirrup, plans to open an 87-suite property in Dubai’s Media World district by the end of the year, according to Lorens Ziller, managing director of her EG Hotels company.

Branded EG Hotels by Elisabetta Gucci, it will showcase furniture designed by her and built by Formitalia.

“Elisabetta Gucci is doing her job,” Ziller said in a June 23 interview. “She cannot cancel her name or her background. If she has a famous name or a famous background, that’s not her fault and we are not trying to use it as much.”

The Dubai hotel will be the first of 40 to open across the world in the next 15 years, according to Ziller. Gucci’s partner is Baitek International Investment, owned by Saudi Arabian investor Abdulla Al Sayegh. The website of Elisabetta Gucci, born in 1952, states that she has no connection with the fashion house.

“Gucci wants to make clear that it has no relationship to Elisabetta Gucci Hotels and that it is not involved in any project whatsoever with Elisabetta Gucci Hotels,” the company said in the e-mail. “If necessary, Gucci will take any needful step to protect its rights.”

Ziller, contacted by Bloomberg on Friday, said he spoke with Elisabetta Gucci the night before and she has no comment to make on the lawsuit at this time.

Italian fashion houses are opening branded accommodation in Dubai at a time when hotels have been hurt by a glut of rooms. Armani Group in April opened Armani Hotel Dubai in Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Palazzo Versace, a 213-room property incorporating the designer Gianni Versace SpA’s brand, is 60 percent complete, Arabian Business reported in March, citing developer Emirates Sunland Group.

EB Hotels is counting on drastically lower hotel rates than those charged at Armani Hotel, Ziller said. Daily rates at the Elisabetta Gucci’s hotel would start at 1,500 dirhams ($408) compared with 4,000 dirhams per night at Armani. A night’s stay at one of Armani’s 160-room hotel can cost as much as 40,000 dirhams.

PPR, then called Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, completed its $9 billion purchase of Gucci in 2004.

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Frank Forsberg 10 years ago

Gucci Group can and should make sure that the name Gucci shouldn't be used for advertising, branding etc. but I see no way on earth that they can deny her to put her name on a letter which we all know will be used to attract investors, guests, media etc. I know the difference between them but sometimes subconsciously treat them as one, now imagine someone who doesn't know. I feel sorry for the French group that paid all that money to acquire the name.

Mr. BAT 10 years ago

Hi I'm sorry Elisabetta but you're going to have to change your last name. You see, PPR bought the Gucci group and therefore anyone with that last name has to change it into a number, this way we are sure it is not associated with the brand. In fact anyone with the letter G in the last name has to change it into a random number or face a prolonged jail term

Lee Xiang 10 years ago

Is that a sarcasm? Did U ask yourself who owns names like Givenchy (from Hubert de Givenchy), YSL (from Yves Saint Laurent) etc? or why she didn't use her name in Europe or North America (business wise of course)? because the business laws are well developed there unlike UAE which is developing them as we speak and doing the best they can. That is why she is doing this. Armani opened hotel in Milan right? Why couldn't she do the same thing? She inherited a ton of money that came from that name sold to the french group who should fire both their lawyers therefore can not use that name for commercial purposes. It says right there in the contract. Now does the legal system in UAE have the capability to enforce that contract?