Giorgio Armani, Bulgari and Versace have gotten into the hotel business, but designers at other brands are collaborating with hotels on smaller scales.
French designer Pascal Humbert has worked with architect Philippe Starck to design 80 uniforms for the first SLS Hotel, which is slated to open in Beverly Hills in July. The collection includes a dress with a surrealist design for a receptionist and a waiter's uniform with a built-in apron. Humbert has created more approachable pieces in line with his philosophy that "the hotel staff are a real family, while the customer is like a cousin coming to pay a visit."
Not wanting to be involved with anything that is remotely "tacky" in terms of hotels, Nicole Miller has figured out a way of addressing the segment through its licensing deal with suit maker Bagir, said Bud Konheim, Miller's president and chief executive officer. Bagir plans to sell the designer's suits to Cintas, a powerhouse in the uniform business for hotels and restaurants. Bagir's washable suits should be a natural fit for the hotel industry, Konheim said.
"We only want to do something if it is high-end. That rules out a lot. We're not interested in the Red Roof Inn," he said. "We have just moved into higher ground," Konheim said, referring to the designer's emphasis on her signature collection.
The Luxury Brand Group, which consists of W Hotels, the St. Regis Hotel and the Luxury Collection, recently appointed an advisory board of apparel industry insiders and notable tastemakers. Together they will help with LBG's creative programming and strategic marketing. Aside from providing the prerequisite feedback about marketing and programming, each brand ambassador will meet quarterly with LBG's president and chief experience officer Ross Klein to discuss trend forecasting, potential partnerships and luxury service standards.
Yeohlee Teng; Michael Kors' fashion director Anne Waterman; makeup artist Bobbi Brown, and Breitling USA president Marie Bodman will represent the fashion crowd on the board. Other advisory board members include art consultant Joyce Varvatos, Epic Records president Charlie Walk, architect David Rockwell, interior designer Clodagh, event designers Antony Todd and Preston Bailey, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Academy Award-nominated set designer Lilly Kilvert, "Top Chef" judge Tom Colicchio and LBG's Klein.Reem Acra also went the hotel route when courting Argentinian media last month. She chose to set up a makeshift showroom stay at the Alvear Palace, a hotel known for its ties to the local fashion community. The Buenos Aires property offers a personal shopper service where fashion insiders take guests to hard-to-find boutiques, galleries and suit makers around town. In addition, the "Alvear Luxury Shopping" catalogue offers exclusive benefits in world-famous shops.
In an interesting twist on the designer-hotel collaboration, interior designer Kelly Wearstler, whose handiwork can be seen at The Tides' newly remodeled South Beach, Fla., resort and at Bergdorf Goodman's cafe, is turning her design talent to apparel. Los Angeles-based manufacturer DDA is developing her first signature collection, which will be unveiled this fall and hit stores for spring 2009. Wearstler said she is tapping into the huge library of prints and colors she uses for her interior designs.
Wearstler's own personal style is a mixed bag of Marc Jacobs, Marni, Doo.Ri, Derek Lam and vintage. Having friends and clients who are fashion designers has given her a good view of what goes into designing clothes, but she doesn't plan to sit and struggle as some do. Wearstler said she has made a practice of following her instincts.
"When I see it, I know, I commit and I move on. I have a great team as well," she said.
“I think what’s so interesting about the #MeToo movement and this whole new wave of feminism in general, is that women are finally seeing, ’Oh I can start my own company, oh I can lear to code, oh I can leave my nine-to-five job and do the thing I want to do,” said @brooklyndecker ahead of her @sxsw talk for @createcultivate. The former model took the stage to share wisdom about networking and female-driven entrepreneurship. #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech at the @sxsw conference for @createcultivate, the online platform and conference series for women. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.