Ferdie Ong, Living Innovations founder and general manager, achieved quite a feat when he brought together three Italian luxury brands under one roof in Manila.
Legendary designer Giorgio Armani’s furniture brand Armani/Casa, luxury-goods makers Bottega Veneta and Fendi Casa have never before shared space in a single showroom. Except when Ferdie became their exclusive distributor in the Philippines and he managed to convince them to do so. (Armani was the hardest to convince, he discloses in a whisper.)
“It’s a bit different from what we typically do, but now that we’re into fashion furniture, we decided that for our first execution, it would be these iconic brands,” he says.
Living Innovations’ new boutique shop, called Sovrano, is located at Shangri-La at the Fort in BGC, Taguig. It features an elegant approach to designing your spaces with an Italian flair.
If you’ve bought a unit in a place like Shangri-La Properties’ Aurelia Residences in BGC, touted to be one of the most luxurious condominiums in Metro Manila, you would want your pieces to reflect the spaces in your home. The pieces in Sovrano can do exactly that.
Ferdie knows about such homes and what fits them perfectly. His clients are some of the country’s most discerning homeowners — after all, he brought to Manila brands such as Minotti for the living room, Gaggenau and Bulthaup for the kitchen, and Bang & Olufsen for visual and auditory pleasure, among other home brands through Living Innovations.
“Filipinos have a sense of individuality on how luxury is perceived in their eyes and these brands are another choice for them to consider,” he says. “Compared to bags and shoes, these furniture pieces give the customer more color and wider patterns and luxurious materials to choose from, not to mention their established presence in the world of design.”
Ferdie says that mixing the three brands can result in fantastic interiors because Armani/Casa, Bottega Veneta and Fendi Casa “complement each other in their own distinct way.”
He describes Armani as very clean with straight lines but really nice textures, Fendi as very colorful but elegant, and Bottega Veneta as carrying over its leather heritage in creating subtle luxury through craftsmanship.
Walking us through Sovrano, you can easily see what he means. Armani/Casa reflects Giorgio Armani’s signature designs — elegant, simple, disciplined shapes, linear but soft, an expression of subtle luxury. His furniture pieces define perfect proportions and refined finishes.
Ferdie says, “Italian high-fashion brand BottegaVeneta is widely renowned for its use of leather and intricate intrecciato pattern. The brand’s distinct use of noble materials to create their fashion pieces was extended to the same refined designs seen in their interior and furniture pieces.” He mentions how, apart from designs that make it unique, “Bottega Veneta makes sure fine luxury is seeped through its impeccable craftsmanship.”
Produced and distributed by Luxury Living Group, “Fendi Casa paved the way for the Roman fashion house to launch its line of furniture and home décor accessories, specifically upholstered furniture with an elegant, sophisticated and timeless look.”
Ferdie specifically chose the furniture from this Fendi Casa that would provide a contrast with the other two brands — vibrant yet still elegantly made.
After almost two decades of Living Innovations and bulking up its portfolio of brands, Ferdie still adds a personal touch to the pieces that go in each of his showrooms and Sovrano is no exception. “Of course, there’s input from me, but I let each brand point me in the right direction,” he says.
Always humble and candid, Ferdie has for a long time been guiding the taste of people seeking luxury brands for their homes. He helped define and continuously redefine Manila’s landscape of home living with the idea of choosing the best.
“We see the trend of elegance, luxury and following fashion trends as going forward,” he says.
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Visit the author’s travel blog at www.findingmyway.net. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @iamtanyalara.