GARCIA CHECKS IN: French designer Jacques Garcia has decorated hotels in Paris — including fashion favorite Hotel Costes — but he’s really always had a thing for New York City. Now, with Manhattan’s NoMad, Garcia gets to bring his signature style to a Gotham hotel for the first time. “New York has always brought me luck,” said Garcia, whose private clients include the Sultan of Brunei. “It all started in the Eighties with Sotheby’s, Danube was a great success in 1990 and Spice Market brought such enthusiasm in 2000,” he said of his other New York projects. “In 2010, I have a new dream for the city and this hotel.” The 12-story NoMad Hotel, which will be on Broadway and 28th Street, will have 160 rooms and 11 suites with loftlike open plans. It is to open in fall 2009.
IN THE BAG?: Could Akris, the Swiss maker of luxury clothing, be mulling an eventual foray into accessories? According to sources, the firm has been in acquisition talks with Comtesse, a small but elite German handbag maker favored by international royals.
INTERIOR DESIGNS: Kris Van Assche might have his own label and be the creative brain behind Dior Homme, but he is also something of an art aficionado. The Belgian designer has commissioned an installation by 30-year-old Italian artist Andrea Mastrovito, who is known as Mastro, for Dior’s Rue Royale store, which will be unveiled Thursday.
TAILOR PAID: Economics aside, once you go bespoke, you never go back. That’s what the Paul Smith bespoke team is hoping as it heads to New York for only the second time. In May, the tailors brought their services to Paul Smith’s store on Greene Street, marking the first time customers — men or women — could order the designer’s bespoke suits in the U.S. About two dozen customers availed themselves of the service, with prices starting at around $5,000 a suit. Their devotion may be tested in the current trading environment, however. Appointments are open today through Thursday. “We’re not looking to grow that business by leaps and bounds, but we’re looking to maintain it,” said a Paul Smith spokesman.
TAILORING TACTICS: Aiming to bring the tailoring tradition to university students, Brioni, the Italian luxury men’s wear label, has signed its second consecutive partnership agreement with London’s Royal College of Art and will sponsor its men’s wear fashion design course for three years. Brioni’s master tailor will work with the college in deciding on the year’s curriculum, as well as teaching students the trade. In order to complete their degree, students will spend a week of hands-on tailoring at the Brioni Tailoring School in Penne in Abruzzo, halfway down Italy’s boot-shaped peninsula. Upon completion of the degree, three students will be selected by a panel of industry experts and a prize for their work will be awarded in Milan during men’s fashion week next June. Last year’s laureates displayed their creations in the windows of London’s Harrods, Takashimaya in Tokyo and Bergdorf Goodman in New York.