Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani has signed a deal with a wealthy Dubai firm to build a chain of luxury hotels.
Armani is intent on expanding out of the clothes market
The designer's company announced the deal with Emaar Properties, the largest land development company in the Middle East, on Sunday.
The plan calls for four resorts and 10 hotels in seven years in Milan, London, Dubai, Paris, New York and Tokyo.
Armani will be in charge of design and style for the chain, in which Emaar will invest upwards of $1bn.
For Armani, the company the designer set up 29 years ago, the letter of intent marks a further expansion of the brand out of clothes.
Recent developments have included furniture and home products under the name Armani Casa.
The designer will benefit from selling his products in shops built into the chain, as well as the additional advertising that the project provides.
Emaar, meanwhile, makes sure its chain of luxury hotels - the first of which, in Dubai, will include 250 suites and another 150 flats for long-term lease - is associated with one of the surest brands in the luxury world.
The hope is that more than two years on from 11 September 2001 and with the Sars epidemic a year in the past, the travel market is finally picking up.
Other designers have already entered the hotel business, with jewellery maker Bulgari working with Marriott to open a hotel in Milan in May.