By Rebecca Bundhun  www.thenational.ae

Elisabetta Gucci may be the daughter of the late fashion mogul Paolo Gucci and the great-granddaughter of the founder of the company, but the prospective launch of her eponymous hotel in Dubai has reignited a long-running feud between the family and the global fashion house of the same name.

The fashion company, no longer owned by the family, has expressed outrage over the fact that many have associated the planned Elisabetta Gucci hotel in Dubai with the Gucci brand.

“Following the news that appeared in the last few days in some international media titles and the alleged involvement of Gucci fashion house with a certain hotel project, 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,” Gucci said in a statement. “If necessary, Gucci will take any needful step to protect its rights.”

Gucci was under the family for more than 70 years before being taken over by Investcorp and is now owned by the French company PPR.

Elisabetta Gucci Hotels and Resorts announced this month that it planed to open its first hotel in Dubai within nine months.

The company said it was aiming to open about 40 properties worldwide over the next 15 years.

The Elisabetta Gucci website states that she “has no involvement with fashion herself or the main designer brand”. But because of her provenance and the recent trend of fashion names branching out into the hospitality sector, some have naturally connected the hotel with the Gucci brand.

“With Elisabetta Gucci using the brand name around the world and in Dubai, it is definitely going to send out messages and perceptions that this is the Gucci fashion luxury brand,” said Ian Michael, a professor of marketing at Zayed University in Dubai.

“Coming just after the launch of the Armani hotel, the luxury consumer joins the dotted lines, now thinking that Gucci the luxury brand is taking on Armani and entering the Dubai market.”

Elisabetta Gucci’s company, which has its luxury boutique hotel under development in Dubai Media City, said it had no plans to cross over into the products in Gucci’s domain.

“Elisabetta Gucci does not want to have anything to do with fashion but, by working with her father, she developed her passion, which is interiors and luxury and lifestyle,” said Lorens Ziller, the managing director of Elisabetta Gucci Hotels and Resorts.

Mr Ziller said the hotels would be branded EG Hotels by Elisabetta Gucci to help distinguish the name.

It is not the first time in the dynasty’s turbulent history that the name has sparked a dispute.

Paolo Gucci, who played an instrumental role in the growth of Gucci and created the famous double “G” logo, became embroiled in a long-running trademark battle having set up a business branding goods under his own name after he was fired by the company, which was already known for its family feuds.

Some years after Paolo Gucci’s death, Gemma Gucci, another of his daughters, and his ex-wife Jennifer Gucci, ended up in court and were barred from using the family name on a range of products on the grounds that doing so “infringed and diluted” the Gucci trademark.

rbundhun@thenational.ae

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