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The Shelborne Wyndham Grand South Beach in Miami is in the midst of some major renovations (to the tune of $150 million) but when it re-opens in June, the staff might be looking like they came off a movie set.
That's because the iconic Collins Avenue hotel has enlisted Hollywood costume designer, Carol Ramsey, to create 1950's-inspired uniforms for all front of the house employees. Ramsey has a bit of experience in the realm since she worked on the show, "Magic City", which is set in a Miami hotel in the late 1950s.
Here's what she has in store for the Shelborne (heads-up to Shelborne job applicants, you are gonna need some fit legs.)
Along with showcasing local fare (hello, Eli's Cheesecake), the new Godfrey Hotel seems committed to putting local design talent in the spotlight. Chicago designer Anastasia Chatzka was tasked with stitching up the women's uniforms for the new River North property—and yep, she got a little Cubist on her sketch board.
"The uniforms were inspired by the hotel's decor," Chatzka told us. "I sat down with the interior design company when the hotel was being built, and made sure I had a strong understanding of the direction they were looking to go." Chatzka says she was given "an open palette" and creative freedom in the design process, and she was inspired by the hotel's "masculine edge."
Hotel Bars / Hotel Fashion / Hotel Uniforms / Designer Uniforms / Nanette Lepore / Thompson Hotels / → All Tags
Meet Elaine. She works at the Tropicana Bar at the Hollywood Roosevelt and she graciously agreed to model her new "uniform"-- a little black dress designed by Nanette Lepore , especially for Thompson Hotels. This dress looks slightly different from the sketch we initially posted but the zippers up the side are extremely sexy as is the cutout back. And the ruching in the dress's bottom half is a sweet feminine touch.
As with all LBDs, this is nighttime attire only. If you hit up the pool at the Roosevelt during the day, expect to find your servers in white tanks, black shorts and white converse sneakers.
A huge shout-out to Mia at Tropicana for making this photoshoot happen!
The latest fashion designer to make her mark on hotel uniforms will be Nanette Lepore, whose girly, feminine designs we've always admired (and when feeling especially spendthrift, purchased.)
Lepore will now outfit the cocktail servers at Thompson Hotels' rooftop bars at Thompson LES and Donovan House in DC as well as the Hollywood Roosevelt's Tropicana Pool. Her designs will be a classic little black dress that hugs the body with, in the words of Stylelist, "sexy side-splits, ruching and a bustier style top."
But of course, this is not the first time that Thompson has partnered with a fashion designer to do their unis.
Gosh, it feels like forever since we last talked about what's happening at the Hotel Le Bleu. But then it has been some time since they opened in November 2007, becoming to official first boutiquey, contemporary hotel to call Brooklyn home.
And since they're located in Brooklyn, the hotel needs to show a little style. Right in line with the designer hotel uniform trend, the Le Bleu has partnered up with Vans to outfit the staff in two different styles of shoes as well as have a video board on the hotel sign, displaying Brooklyn tourist sites and moreall in the name of neighborhood pride, of course. Here's the lowdown on the new kicks:
The two sneakers our staff are currently wearing are the Rowley Specials and The Chukka Low Top. Other uniform items that are a bit outside the box are un-tucked white dress shirts and zip up cardigan sweaters…more of a beatnik skater uniform look.
Sounds verrrry interesting; and we're beyond happy to hear that the Brooklyn hotels are swaggering alongside the Manhattan ones, with their special collaborations and the like. Rooms at Le Bleu start at $249, but keep in mind that it includes parking, a "welcome amenity" (feat. Smart Water, Torn Ranch Choc Chip Cookies, Pirate’s Booty), local calls, 30 channels of in-room movies, wireless internet, hard-wired internet, and a fresh start basket via room service.
[Photo: Hotel Le Bleu]
We love when people comment on HotelChatter stories because aside from making us tingle inside, we like to encourage conversation about hotels, hotel trends, hotels with good or bad WiFi, Tori and Dean, Paris going to jail, etc., etc.
But it's hard to keep track of all the latest comments, especially if they are written about year-old stories. And some of you readers have great things to say. (Spammers, this does not mean you at all whatsoever.) So from time to time we will be highlighting some of the funny and informative things recent commenters posted.
I work as a bell man for an Embassy Suites and all I can say is HIDEOUS. The only reason this uniform "won" in the voting I am sure is because it was probably the least offensive. Can't wait for the summer temps to hit 100+ and your outside helping unload bags. Shirts look like surgical scrubs...atrocious. My tenure at Embassy is done for this very reason!
And they looked so pretty coming down the runway. Looks like runway fashion can never be trusted.
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· Embassy Suites Gets "Apprentice" Unis [HotelChatter]
Designer Uniforms / Hotel Uniforms / Los Angeles Hotel Reviews / Trends / Jason Pomeranc / Diane Von Fursternberg / Jeff Klein / Peninsula Hotels / Sofitel Hotels / → All Tags
The hotels below would not be caught dead wearing the uniforms above.
Los Angeles magazine has a quick write-up of the latest area hotels to get in on the hotel designer uniform craze.
Jason Pomeranc hired stylist to the stars Rachel Zoe and fashion designer Jenni Kayne to creat unis for the Thompson Beverly Hills Hotel staff (the hotel is expected to open this summer, our sources say.) The waittresses at Teddy's in the Hollywood Roosevelt are already sporting Diane Von Furstenberg dresses.
The Peninsula Beverly Hills puts the spa staff in blue and beige pants and sweater sets by luxury knits line St. John's.
The Sofitel LA employees get "gray pin-striped dresses with matching scarves" by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, a French designer.
And Jeff Klein's employees at the Sunset Tower sported Ted Baker uniforms until Klein reverted back to standard suits and polo shirts. Apparently, these staffers were so well-dressed, "everyone thought they were fellow guests." Ahh...the dangers of designer uniforms.
Even though we have been reporting on hotel uniforms--both the designer kind and the uncool kind for over a year and so has some mainstream media, the LA Times has just discovered designer hotel uniforms. Perhaps they were inspired by the Los Angeles magazine's recent piece on designer uniforms? (It couldn't have been little old us, no way).
Anyways, the LAT gets an interview with Jason Pomeranc who has put the women in Diane Von Fursternberg dresses at the Hollywood Roosevelt. His upcoming Thompson Beverly Hills will get uniforms created by stylists Rachel Zoe and Jenni Kayne. And the yet-to-be-opened Six Columbus will get Denim by Rag & Bone apparel. says:
Denim by Rag & Bone is the fabric of choice for workers at the new 6 Columbus in New York -- "casual, but still very smart at the same time," he said....Boutique hotels, Pomeranc said, are "pushing the envelope when it comes to design, when it comes to amenities, food concepts, music and minibars -- every element. This is yet another way of setting yourself apart from the competition and carving out your own identity."
Another way of setting yourself apart from the competition? Doing crazy rain dances all week so a history-making Noreaster comes into town forcing your already-delayed hotel to wait it out a bit longer.
· Hotel Service with Style [LA Times]
The Gramercy Park Hotel press machine is in overdrive as they count down the few remaining hours to the hotel's much-anticipated opening tomorrow. Since we've been bringing daily updates for the past week, we felt obligated to put forth some of the latest, supposedly game-changing information about Ian Schrager's new hotel.
From the International Herald Tribune we learn that poetry calms Ian:
One day last week Ian Schrager e-mailed a poem by Rudyard Kipling to his employees. "It's the one that goes: 'If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs,'" he laughs ruefully. "At this stage in a project I feel so catatonic that I become almost stoic, because if I'm not calm, how can I expect anyone else to be?
Aside from Ian's dubious mental health, we learn that the hotel's massive chandelier is clad in "reclaimed douglas fir" lumber from Brooklyn (same as Schrager and design partner, artist Julian Schnabel). The hotel restaurant, Park Chinois, to be done by Alan Yau and a private rooftop club will open this fall, and the artworks found in the lobby will change every few months. Oh yeah and some of the furniture (presumably not the one from the Hyatt's furniture maker) was found in flea markets.
See what other "game-changing" info is out there:
· A Hotel Guru Changes Rooms [Time]
· Gramercy Makeover Goes Artsy [LA Times]
· Narcisco Rodriguez's Designs Check Into Gramercy [WWD]
· Looking ahead to Ian's next NYC Hotel, 40 Bond [Mad.co.uk]
· Gramercy Park Hotel Coverage [HotelChatter]
Even though the first NYLO Hotel has yet to break ground, despite a 2007 predicted opening, the fashion world has been abuzz with Project Runway designer Daniel Vosovic designing the hotel uniforms.
Mr. Vosovic, 25, said he planned to create uniforms (called the Daniel Vosovic Collection for NYLO Hotels) that "fit in with the interior 60's décor" of NYLO's hotels, the first of which is scheduled to open in 2007 in Warwick, R.I. [The clothes will be] "fun and wearable but with a mod twist."
And if you like the unis that much, you can buy them yourself at the hotel and online.
But the real reason why fashionistas are so interested is because Vosovic turned down an opportunity to work with designer and show judge Michael Kors, who did not take the refusal lightly.
Kors has since gone onto to design his own set of hotel uniforms for 20 W Hotels worldwide, including the newly opened W Dallas Victory. The reason why Kors did this? Certainly not to strike back at Vosovic but rather because as he says in his own words, "I am constantly traveling and find myself in hotels around the world wondering, `What is the staff wearing and why can't hotel staffs look fabulous and sporty?' Now I can answer my own question."
Hurry up and open NYLO! Then the real fight/design-off can begin!
· One-Upmanship as Designers Restyle Hotel Uniforms [NYT]
· Project Runway Runner-Up to Design Uniforms For Non-Existent Hotels [HotelChatter]
This just might be the ultimate in Hotel Hype.
NYLO Hotels recently made news with the runner-up of Project Runway 2 set to design uniforms for the hotel staffers (much like the Apprentice did for Embassy Suites).
The only problem is that there are no NYLO Hotels ready yet. A hotel was set to break ground in Warwick, Rhode Island in May but we can't verify if that has happened yet. Even some bulletin board poster claimed to call the CEO to see if this happened yet but to no avail.
NYLO Hotels are similar in concept to Starwood's aloft hotels. They are described as "urban-loft design, with a red-brick-and-glass construction creating the appearance of a multi-building streetscape. The hotels will have a 24-hour restaurant, business centers, game rooms, free WiFi, outdoor terraces and a common area. There's also to be a gym with changing rooms and his and hers sauna rooms.
But with the last bit of news released by the company last November, we have a feeling that those Project Runway contestant's duds will be hanging in the closet for a while.
Specifically, the final four people were to create four new uniforms--one a piece for the front desk, breakfast cook, suite keeper, and bellman. Then Embassy Suites employees would vote on the best design.
Team Gold Rush's designs (done by Lafayette 148) won the competition over Team Synergy with 83 employees voting in favor of wearng these stylish duds.
Team Synergy's reviews weren't as positive - not practical, comfortable, or complimentary to all body types. They only got 37 votes.
In the end, the two female participants on Synergy got fired--perhaps it was because one kept suggesting culottes as part of the uniform and then was nasty to designer Marc Bouwer--while the men of Gold Rush are in for a final competition to work next to the Donald.
We have to admit...those outfits are hot. We even want to buy the maid uniform for ourselves--you know, to wear out for drinks and maybe to church. Now, if only all Embassy Suite employees looked like the models in the fashion show.
· Embassy Staff to Get Trump's 'Apprentice' Uniforms [HotelChatter]