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AT YOUR SERVICE: Richard Chai has been tapped to design new uniforms for the Andaz 5th Avenue hotel in Manhattan. For the first phase of the project, Chai created new uniforms for the hosts, who greet the guests, check them in and help bring their luggage to their rooms. Future phases will outfit other staff members.
The Andaz is committed to using local artisans throughout the hotel. “They support local farms and the art is from New York artists. It’s all about community. It’s an honor to be part of this as a New York designer,” said Chai, who presented the uniforms last week to the staff, in an informal runway show at the hotel using the hosts as models.
This story first appeared in the October 8, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Chai said he wanted to give the staff “a look, but there also needed to be a practicality to it.” In other words, the shirts needed to be longer, and the clothes had to have stretch in them because it’s a physical job. They will start wearing the new uniforms this week.
The line’s palette is navy, with a touch of black. Fabrics include all cotton; cotton, nylon and stretch, and silk and rayon taffeta.
For men, Chai designed a navy blue suit, a blue shirt, a checkered shirt and a blue-and-white striped sweater. For women, he designed a navy and black dress, blue-and-white striped sweater and checkered shirt. All of the uniforms are produced in New York City. Chai said he wanted to give them a mini-wardrobe so the staff could have various options to wear everyday. “We wanted to give them enough pieces to personalize it to their own individual style,” he said.