Rafaella Carnevalle in Yerevan to design first boutique hotel in Fendi, Feragammo style and conduct Xcat boat race in Sevan

19:56 • 09.12.17



Tert.am has interviewed  Rafaella Carnevalle, a successful Italian entrepreneur who is now a manager of Moda Milano, a family business based in Milan. Carnevalle currently works on the design of famous hotels, recreation areas, corporate offices and other facilities in different parts of the globe.

Thank you for this opportunity. As you are here, I think you have certain plans and projects in Yerevan. Can you tell us a little bit about them?

I think we need to meet many times to speak about all the projects that we want to implement. Number one, it is really impressive for me because it’s my first time in Armenia, and so far, it has been so exciting … Of course, I have to thank someone a lot for it, his way of convincing me to come and to visit Armenia. I had heard a lot about Armenia - I knew where it was - but I didn’t actually know what it was (Armenia). I knew that the Armenian people are extremely proud, and definitely very knowledgeable; their historical roots are well-known and a get a bit close towards us, i.e. - Italy.

But of course, it was a big surprise when I discussed that with Mr. Dino Awadisian. He is, of course, a very prominent businessman, but what really captured my attention was the way he was talking about this country, i.e. – where it should go, and what he wants to do for this country. There are ideas for hospitality development which is already part of this business. And I really liked the idea not because I’m used to challenges in my life but because I loved the way he was proposing that.



And I am here now; I have been visiting the city, and of course, I visited the Roman temple which was just taking me back to my history, my country, and I felt even more the close connection between this country and mine. I have seen most of this city, and I think that it has really a lot to do and show to everybody. We are here to start, and I think it is going to be a very beautiful journey.

Why did you choose Armenia?

Actually, I’ve only chosen to be part of this project. The way this project was proposed to me was so capturing. Actually, the emotions Mr. Dino was conveying to me, his way of talking about this initiative and the way of seeing someone so dedicated to a country really attracted and convinced me. We receive so many requests from other countries around the world, because we got a certain experience.

Almost 13 years ago, my family decided to open a branch in Dubai. We are a Milan-based company, Moda Milano, which is, of course, a family business. It was decided from the beginning that I would be the one in charge for the UAE expansion. Of course, that expansion was not limited only to the UAE; it covered all the GCC countries. It was a beautiful challenge, because everything was just happening there. I saw the country developing and growing and becoming an international hub. We have been doing the most beautiful projects over there – government projects, private projects etc. At the moment, for example, we are working on a beautiful project for the government to build a 600-villa hotel complex in Masdar City, the greenest city in the UAE. It is a big challenge, as I think it is the first eco-oriented hotel in the world, which is now under construction.

I came into the luxury brands from a fashion background, which was definitely a big experience for me. My mother worked for Valentino for more than 11 years; then she launched her own brand, and we have been producing haute couture for the most important people in the world, mostly royal families. Our experience, and my experience personally, is coming from that level, and I believe in luxury lifestyle. And this is what Dubai gave me the chance to implement. I have been the chief PR officer of our official council for two years; it's been an amazing experience because I had to bring together all our designers around the table and explain to them what it is [to do business] in the Middle East. I had to bring the most important university of fashion in Dubai to grant scholarship to the Arab new talents. So, these two years were really beautiful and intensive.

I understand you have friends in Armenia. Can you share your impressions of them?

Oh, I have made friends with great people since I came here. And it's so beautiful and so exciting. Of course, friend number one is Mr. Dino Awadisian, because he has been the one that brought me here, and I think I will be grateful to him for the rest of my life. And of course, the people around him have been really wonderful. I have met beautiful people here; I assume all the Armenians are the same.

I would like you to speak in more detail about your projects in Yerevan. I know that you are involved in the Xcat project. What can you tell us about it?

Actually, we have two beautiful projects. One of them, which deals with hospitality, is going to be unique in its kind. It will not be like the brand of hotels in Dubai; it's going to be a beautiful boutique hotel. And the land that I have seen is just stunning. I am not allowed to say where it is, but it is really going to be a very beautiful boutique hotel. We are now in the process of deciding the brand name, because as you know a boutique hotel has to be really related to an important brand. It may be Fendi or Ferragamo.


Really? Do you think it is possible?

- Why not? We are just in the process of deciding it now. It is definitely going to be something that will change the prospective of this country and the way this country attracts new tourists and new business people. I believe this will change a lot, and this is one of our beautiful projects. Of course, along with the this, we are going to have also retail [trade centers] and a special FMB restaurant in this beautiful box. It will definitely be a unique experience for Armenia, and I am sure we will really make it happen.

And what is the difference between boutique hotels and ordinary hotels?

What matters in a boutique hotel is the service. It is not going to be just a big hotel, because the people we are going to cater for will need privacy. They need really to be taken care of, and they need certain standards; then the design has to consider certain criteria –the room layout, the ceiling design and color, scheme and comfort. There will be a variety of services – different kinds of restaurants, as well as retail stores. Our client is very often a specific kind of tourist or a businessperson who needs a last-minute service. The concierge service is going to be extremely important. Booking a private jet ticket or a helicopter ticket at the last minute will be possible. And we will arrange the booking of theatre tickets from all around the world. These are going to be some of the services that a boutique hotel has to give, and definitely, we will implement them.

What do you think should be the most important thing in a hotel? What is the standard of a high-class hotel?

I am a very creative personality. As I enter a hotel, I need to have the feeling that it has a certain lifestyle, and I need to identify myself with that particular lifestyle. It's a kind of character. And I think it's the same with the people.

What impresses you most of the time you meet different people is definitely the character.

Character is what charms us. Any place I enter needs to kind of attract me and give me messages. I love to see a corner with a certain piece of art and have lots of people around. Everything has to be very clear, as I need to feel that this place really belongs to be. A real boutique hotel is having to give you the homey feeling.

I want to talk a little bit about XCAT. I have heard that you are planning to bring them to Armenia, particularly to lake Sevan. Is it possible?

I think with the people I met everything is possible. Yes, that's a beautiful project. I love engines, and I love speed - although my look doesn't give that impression. But I really love XCAT.

Xcat is also racing, i.e. – the kind of sports that you can compare with F1 (though there are very very fast boats there). You know it started as a hobby for me, because my cousin is a pilot; this year he really distinguished himself as he was named the Pilot of the Year. And I became passionate; I can love anything in the world just because someone is transferring to me the passion for it. I have been just following XCAT in the past year, and I really fell in love with that concept. And yes, you know, again I met the right people, this time Mr. Dino. He is in all places because he's man of challenges. We hosted him in the last race of XCAT in Dubai. And my boat got the third place in that championship. Our competitors were, of course, top racers. The winners were the Dubai team, which belonged to the royal family of Dubai, and the Abu Dhabi team, which belong to the royal family of Abu Dhabi. Both of them are the greatest clients of mine and very good people, and I really adore them. For me, it's unfortunately a kind of dual life between the UAE and Italy, and then I found myself competing with both of them. Now I have promised them a really tough competition for next year.

Do you expect this to be a unique kind of investment in Armenia?

I think it's going to be fantastic for Armenia. Especially for next year, XCAT has a very rich and strong calendar of boat-racing. We are going to cover several countries, which I believe will be a big added value to Armenia; that's why I believe that XCAT will bring the whole world to Armenia. We have teams from all over the world – Australia, Russia Italy etc. And the teams bring with them so many people, including the media, and also the pilots who come with their families and friends a few hundreds of people will gather together here. Armenia is going to be under the world spotlight, and I think this is the most strategic solution and idea that could be invested here.

What is your key to success in interior design?

It's my passion for it. Without passion you can't do anything. It's my passion, and it's the way I live. And the way I live is the way I communicate with my clients who are not just clients - actually my friends. I started my career only working in royal palaces in the GCC countries. I got so close to those people that my relationship with them developed into friendship. We learned a new way of living which is their way. The most beautiful thing for me is that they allow me to transfer that passion. They never obligate me, and they never restrict me; they just let me do what I wish to do. It's just because I love what I do; I am addicted to it. I can do many things, but this is what I love to do every day. And then from royal palaces, we moved into hospitality, into hotels, and I found it extremely interesting for me. Our team has so many architects, and each of them, of course, does his own job. We have designed the most beautiful restaurants in Dubai. We have designed restaurants around the world – in Miami, New York, Mexico, Shanghai, Hong Kong and other cities. This is just vibrant, you know, and I can't really live without it. But we are not just interior designers; we are architects and do also our plans. We are now designing an amazing, beautiful gulf club for the royal family in Oman. It's all about how much you love it. And I love it so much.

Which is your source of inspiration. Tell us about your approach to design and philosophy.

My philosophy is that I love beauty, and I love perfection. I am a perfectionist, so everything for me is harmony and balance. Everything inspires me. And you too, are inspiring me in a way. Being here is inspiring me; meeting people is inspiring too. I love people, I love cultures. Don't forget that my father is a historian, and since younger ages, I have been travelling a lot around the world. And my father has been always telling me, 'Whenever you travel, don't think about yourself, don't think about where you are coming from; just listen to the people, smell the streets, look at the details, look at the children, the way they approach you. Look at the way people talk to you.' This is about how you build experiences. When I have to start a project, I generally sit with my clients (they are clients at the beginning, then they become friends) and just ask them 'What do you want?' 'What do you want to see in this place?', 'What do you want this place do give you?' Then I just concentrate on them, listen to them. I spend some time with them, and then - it’s just a second: the project is up.

Has Yerevan inspired you?

Of course, it has. I know what we are going to do, and what it [our idea] is going to look like. How can a place full of culture, history and roots fall short of inspiring you

Have you noticed many Italian restaurants in Yerevan? Have you tasted their dishes, their pizzas?

Well, I have to tell you something. In this, I am very Italian. Leave the pizza to the Italians … No, I haven’t tasted any pizza here. You have magic foods, so don’t please go to the pizza. But I am sure it’s going to taste good …

And my last question. Where can we see the results of your work in Yerevan?

Very soon; I will be back to Dubai and later leave for Italy to set up what is missing in our network. And the project is already on, by the way. Surprisingly, you will very soon have the most beautiful and magic boutique hotel that the whole world will be talking about.

 

Tigranuhi Martirosyan





Загрузка...

LATEST NEWSAll Today news

18:10 • 20/07

Conte to sue Chelsea over his sacking

18:02 • 20/07

Russia fears hypersonic missile leaks

17:37 • 20/07

Armenian president hosts delegation from Ernst & Young

17:05 • 20/07

Michael Douglas reveals adventures of 101-year-old father

16:44 • 20/07

Stronger democracy-building to make Armenia internationally attractive – opinion

15:53 • 20/07

Artsakh’s direct engagement in peace talks ‘indispensable’ to future progress - Pashinyan  

15:10 • 20/07

Bitcoin to soar as ’digital gold’ of the future

14:56 • 20/07

Six US senators seek to restrict loans to Turkey over 'pastor' ruling

13:47 • 20/07

Armenia must raise ‘landlocked country’ status on United Nations' agenda - expert

12:04 • 20/07

‘Architects of Denial’ team to be Honored at 2018 ANCA-WR Gala

11:56 • 20/07

Armenia to join NATO military exercises in Georgia  

11:37 • 20/07

Four indicted with murder in slaying of rapper XXXTentacion

11:24 • 20/07

Armenia needs snap parliamentary elections until April, says vice prime minister

10:13 • 20/07

Hraparak: Fifty country leaders invited to La Francophonie summit in Yerevan

09:34 • 20/07

Eleven dead as US 'duck boat' capsizes in Missouri

09:13 • 20/07

Trump invites Putin to visit US in autumn

18:51 • 19/07

Ruben Vardanyan buys 50% of Atlanta business forum’s shares

17:19 • 19/07

Putin attacks at Trump's summer critics

16:58 • 19/07

Lewis Hamilton extends contract with Mercedes until 2020

16:52 • 19/07

Yerevan to host Sixth Watermelon Festival on July 22

16:18 • 19/07

Iranian, Armenian foreign ministries hold consular meeting in Tehran

15:57 • 19/07

FIBA bans 13 players after basketball brawl

15:31 • 19/07

State Revenue Committee to ease tax burden for SMEs

14:54 • 19/07

British police halt attack against Theresa May

14:19 • 19/07

Royal Family nicknames revealed

13:58 • 19/07

BBC launches live news streaming on Yahoo Japan

13:47 • 19/07

Kim Kardashian makes million dollars on new fragrance line after spending $0 on advertising  

12:35 • 19/07

Serious test to Armenian-Russian alliance: Pashinyan condemns unannounced drills as sabotage ‘targeting state sovereignty’

11:35 • 19/07

Ryanair cancels 600 flights over cabin crew strike in Belgium, Portugal and Spain, affect potentially almost 50,000 passengers

11:11 • 19/07

Australian PM says Pope must sack archbishop over child sex abuse scandal

10:31 • 19/07

Turkey announces end to state of emergency after two years

10:17 • 19/07

Facebook defends Holocaust deniers’ right to be wrong

10:09 • 19/07

Israel approves controversial ‘Jewish state’ law

09:55 • 19/07

NATO chief says Georgia, not Russia, must decide on NATO membership

09:49 • 19/07

Trump holds Putin ‘responsible’ for election meddling

09:32 • 19/07

UK House of Lords ratifies EU-Armenia agreement

09:11 • 19/07

Khachatur Kokobelyan: United States is interested in boosting investments in Armenia  

18:15 • 18/07

Armenian society ‘enthusiastic’ about new government's social reforms – expert

17:36 • 18/07

Trump says there is 'no time limit' for North Korea to denuclearise

17:26 • 18/07

Richard Mills: US considers increasing assistance to Armenia

16:24 • 18/07

Aerospace titans Boeing and Airbus top $110bn in orders at Farnborough

16:02 • 18/07

Russian pranksters' call with Juncker reveals what EU chief thinks about Trump

15:52 • 18/07

Liverpool agree on world record fee for Roma’s Brazilian goalkeeper

15:43 • 18/07

Battle of jets: Putin's lavish plane interior - including gold-plated toilet - is revealed... so how does it compare to Air Force One?

15:25 • 18/07

Trump-Putin summit ‘good restraint’ for powers capitalizing on conflicts – debate

14:02 • 18/07

Russian military base conducts full-scale exercises in Armenia ‘without prior warning’

12:06 • 18/07

Harrison Ford Eyes ‘Call of the Wild’

11:43 • 18/07

Armenian vice premier attends high-level UN political forum in New York

11:08 • 18/07

Google to face Giant Android fine

10:55 • 18/07

Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh 'must enter into political-military cooperation pact'  

10:25 • 18/07

Building collapse in Delhi suburb killing at least two

10:15 • 18/07

Hraparak: Russia has special message for Pashinyan after Brussels summit

09:41 • 18/07

Trump reverses remark on Russia meddling

09:34 • 18/07

Zhamanak: Emergency minister to run for Yerevan mayor?

09:13 • 18/07

ANCA seeks US-Armenia social security Agreement

17:50 • 17/07

Government to submit ‘specific proposals’ to EU, says prime minister’s spokesperson

17:15 • 17/07

Spain captain Ramos proposes to girlfriend

16:58 • 17/07

Armenia’s ‘velvet revolution’ featured in museum exhibits

16:16 • 17/07

George Clooney made $322 million last year to become highest-earning actor in world

15:55 • 17/07

Rolls-Royce building future-style flying taxi 

15:25 • 17/07

President: We have positive outlook on Armenia’s great future

14:27 • 17/07

Pashinyan, Ter-Petrosyan discuss developments in Karabakh peace

13:57 • 17/07

Trump praises Turkey’s Erdogan for ‘doing things the right way’ in defense spending

13:45 • 17/07

Brent crude oil recovers in Asia trade after slumping to 3-month lows

13:28 • 17/07

Russia to ease citizenship rules for Armenians

12:46 • 17/07

Zhamanak: Fight against corruption ‘wasted effort’ to resolve past crimes

11:48 • 17/07

‘Don’t hold US-Russia ties hostage to internal politics’, Putin says after meeting with Trump

11:29 • 17/07

Henry Morgenthau III passes away  

11:19 • 17/07

Judges becoming ‘increasingly independent’ in Armenia, says president of Supreme Judicial Council

09:57 • 17/07

From a 35-arch ancient aqueduct to an eye-popping 20-mile road crossing: World's most incredible bridges revealed

09:29 • 17/07

Flying volcano injures 23 in Hawaii

09:20 • 17/07

Trump under fire after Putin summit

17:59 • 16/07

Trump sits down with Putin after denouncing past US policy on Russia

17:49 • 16/07

How Israel, in dark of night, torched its way to Iran’s nuclear secrets – The New York Times

17:17 • 16/07

Mission: Impossible-Fallout: Critics praise dangerous stunts performed by Tom Cruise who injured his ankle on set

16:53 • 16/07

Pashinyan 'politically inclined to peer-to-peer dialogue’ – diplomat  

16:07 • 16/07

French President Macron meets plenty of fans at World Cup final

15:55 • 16/07

Amazon Prime Day deals ‘deceptive’

15:14 • 16/07

No Armenian-Azerbaijani ministerial talks agreed in Brussels – MFA spokesperson

14:31 • 16/07

Ucom offers more Viasat Family channels to subscribers

14:05 • 16/07

Switalski: EU needs Armenia's 'specific proposals' to revise mutual agenda

12:46 • 16/07

Yerevan city council fails to secure quorom to elect new mayor

12:10 • 16/07

Erdogan: Turkish citizens ‘saved dignity of democracy’ during 2016 coup attempt

10:39 • 16/07

Two fans die as France's World Cup celebrations are marred by police violence

10:33 • 16/07

Italy to allow migrants to land in Sicily

10:05 • 16/07

Iran nuclear deal: US rejects EU plea for lifting sanctions

09:34 • 16/07

Trump calls EU 'foe' of the United States

09:18 • 16/07

France named 2018 FIFA World Cup winner

15:48 • 14/07

Facebook, Twitter, Alphabet to testify at US House hearing

15:15 • 14/07

Armenian parliament vice speaker thanks Poland for support to Genocide recognition efforts

14:25 • 14/07

11 Armenian companies named conscientious taxpayers  

13:50 • 14/07

Nancy Sinatra, Frank Sinatra's first wife, dies at 101

13:16 • 14/07

Two suspects released in Hrant Dink murder case

13:08 • 14/07

Armen Sarkissian issues congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on French national holiday

12:51 • 14/07

Armenian man killed in gang attack in Tbilisi

12:30 • 14/07

Congressman Sherman continues pressure to secure new US-Armenia tax treaty

12:14 • 14/07

168 Zham: Will Pashinyan meet Europe’s expectations?

11:06 • 14/07

Ronaldo back to Madrid

10:59 • 14/07

Elegant Melania Trump meets with Elizabeth II

10:38 • 14/07

Hraparak: Armenian authorities agree on timeframes of snap parliamentary election