Soon shoppers will be able to order a Blee Inara charm bracelet with their Mediterranean branzino at W Hotels.
The hospitality chain on Sept. 10 will introduce an extensive collection of apparel and accessories designed by 34 new and better-known talents such as Alex and Ani, Armand Diradourian, David Aubrey, Foley + Corina, Lauren Merkin, Sibilia, VIX and Wink. That evening, which is Fashion’s Night Out, designers Rachel Leigh, Sandy Hyun, and Amy Vennema of A.V. Max will visit W Hotels the Store locations in Times Square and 541 Lexington Avenue.
This isn’t W’s first brush with fashion. To underscore its synergies with style, W has sponsored the Backstage VIP lounge at New York Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week for several years. “W is a design-led brand, therefore fashion is a tool to engage our guests in design,” said Eva Ziegler, global brand leader of W. “The people we’re after are trendsetters and fashion-forward. We have a passion for fashion.”
Expectations for the collection go beyond sales. While Ziegler declined to divulge estimates, she said, “It should definitely break even. It’s not a major profit generator. We have developed the collection to be seen in a broader sense. It’s not just that W has started to develop fashion. W is going through a transformation from a U.S. phenomenon to a global powerhouse.”
W, which operates about 30 hotels worldwide, plans to have 60 properties in operation by 2012. “We wanted fashion to be a tool to communicate W’s global expansion,” Ziegler said. “Every hotel we’re opening has a distinctive look, feel and design narrative. The idea was to create items inspired by five new W properties in downtown Manhattan; South Beach in Miami; Santiago, Chile; Hong Kong, and Istanbul.
The collection’s name, Global Glam, is apt. Items, priced from $50 to $500, include a caftan by Deepa Gurnani shot with glittery silver thread, a long green dress with black embroidery by Prairie New York, Lisa Curran’s white one-shoulder malliot and Love Shop’s sparkly silver and black plaid miniskirt.
W Hotels will produce two collections each year based on new properties slated for Hollywood, Washington, London, Paris, Barcelona and Thailand.
W Hotels’ fashion fascination will extend to its windows. Simon Doonan, Barneys New York’s creative director, developed type-heavy windows for the W in Union Square that offer tips for surviving fashion week, such as, “Wearing insane makeup, gazy garish accessories and demented outfits to fashion week is a bad idea...unless you want to get your picture taken continuously and have a wild and fabulous time.” Doonan’s “tongue in cheek, playful approach in a very stylish manner” suits W’s sensibility, Ziegler said. W Hotel guests will receive a Barneys New York gift card worth $50 for every $250 spent and a free Bellini at Fred’s at the Madison Avenue flagship.
Lest anyone think W is not serious about fashion, Ziegler said the company plans to hire a fashion director for the W brand in the near future. “We’ve started looking in retail and editorial circles.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast