By Rebecca Bundhun www.thenational.ae
Elisabetta Gucci is determined to plough ahead with her first hotel in Dubai within the next nine months, despite legal action being taken against the daughter of the late Paolo Gucci by the famous fashion house.
Gucci, which is no longer owned by the family, last week took steps to sue the hotel company for its use of the name, asserting that there was no connection between the hotel and the fashion house.
“Gucci filed a lawsuit in Florence, Italy against Elisabetta Gucci and the parties involved seeking injunctive relief in order to protect its rights,” a spokesman for Gucci said.
However, the hotel company, which intends to open an 87-room boutique property in Dubai Media City, seems to have reacted by being more cautious with the use of the name Gucci in its branding.
Yesterday, the Elisabetta Gucci website referred to the hotel as the “EG Hotel by Elisabetta Gucci” and the company as “EG Hotels and Resorts by Elisabetta Gucci”. This followed Lorens Ziller, the managing director of EGHotels, saying previously the name of the company was in fact “EGHotels, with the addendum ‘by Elisabetta Gucci’,” and adding that changes would be made to the website, which had referred to the Dubai property as the “Elisabetta Gucci Hotel” “EGHotels will carry on with its expansion plans in the Middle East, Russia and China as previously announced and will eventually, if damaged or hindered by any means by interference of third parties or the Gucci fashion house, seek injunctive relief to defend its rights,” Mr Ziller said.
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 is the great granddaughter of Guccio Gucci, the founder of the Gucci company. EGHotels aims to open about 40 properties worldwide over the next 15 years, it said.
Mr Ziller reiterated that the hotel company had nothing to do with the fashion industry and the fashion brand Gucci.
“EGHotels are surprised to hear about the controversy between the fashion house and Elisabetta Gucci two years from the official launch of the project since it is evident that the two brands are completely different in logo, design and business application areas,” he said. “Elisabetta is the daughter of the fashion designer Paolo Gucci but has no connection with the famous fashion house.
“She is the fourth generation of the Florentine dynasty and she has dedicated her time to her passion, which is the study of luxury and lifestyle living. Her interests are far from fashion business and all she wants is to create a lifestyle concept that lasts in time, applied to hospitality and residential living.”
Mr Ziller said Elisabetta Gucci had a “legal right” to use the name. “If certain press have … misinterpreted our communications or mistakenly attributed or connected the fashion house to our hotel projects, it is entirely their responsibility and based on incorrect assumption,” he said.
Other members of the Gucci family, including another of Paolo Gucci’s daughters, Gemma Gucci, and his ex-wife, Jennifer Gucci, were barred from using their names to brand products after the cases went to court.