Fashion house checks out of Missoni hotel

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THE five-star Missoni Hotel is to lose its prestigious Italian fashion house name after the company confirmed they would be pulling out of Edinburgh.

The hotel will be rebranded at the end of June, ending a five-year partnership between global hotel company Carlson Rezidor and the Italian design empire.

Rosita Missoni will no longer be creative director of the Missoni Hotel on George IV Bridge. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Rosita Missoni will no longer be creative director of the Missoni Hotel on George IV Bridge. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

However, the company has insisted the hotel will not close its doors, but will remain in Rezidor’s portfolio.

It will also keep its current name until the end of June 2014 “at the latest” while a new name is agreed upon.

The two parties said they would cease to work together “by mutual agreement” because of “different long-term business strategies”. Rosita Missoni, founder member of Missoni, will no longer be creative director following the end of the partnership.

It is understood the change will not affect staff at the hotel.

Carina Svensen, hotel general manager, said: “We will continue to operate as a five-star hotel, offering an experience that will reflect our local culture here in Scotland.

“We will still be a design hotel at heart, in an enviable location in the capital city and all of our beautiful interiors, style, five-star level of guest service, management team, staff and our ethos will remain.”

From the day it opened nearly six years ago, Hotel Missoni has been ranked among the finest of the city’s hotels.

The fashion clan, one of the best-known names in Italian luxury goods, chose Edinburgh in 2009 for the first outpost of its design hotel empire.

The Capital was hand-picked as the first location ahead of planned developments all over the world. At present, the Missoni is one of two hotels in the fashion house’s portfolio, the other being in Kuwait.

Previous guests to the Edinburgh hotel have included Lady Gaga and Kings of Leon, Snow Patrol and the family’s It Girl Margherita Missoni.

Graham Birse, of Edinburgh Napier University’s business school, said: “The Missoni helped in instilling a sense of style and glamour to that location. The staff and level of service will remain the same, but the question will be in maintaining its reputation while it rebrands.

“Given its established reputation and central location I doubt the owners will have too many problems attracting a new branding partner if that is their wish.”

The hotel building was the centrepiece of a controversial £50 million development, on the corner of George IV Bridge and the Lawnmarket, which took four years to get under way after the council approved plans to remove an eyesore office building, which was initially built in the early 1970s to provide offices for the then Lothian Regional Council.

It was later named best new place in Scotland by the Civic Trust, receiving praise for its “high quality” design.

Previously it was used as offices for the Scottish Parliament.

MILAN ROOTS

MISSONI was started near Milan in 1953 by Ottavio “Tai” Missoni and his wife, Rosita.

They met in 1948, when Ottavio competed in the 400 metre hurdles at the Olympic Games in London. Rosita had been sent there by her family to study English.

Ottavio designed the tracksuits for the Italian team, while Rosita, a skilled seamstress, worked in her family’s embroidery company.

Using old knitting machines, their trademark stripes and zigzags caught the imagination of the fashion world within

a few years.