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.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)