Many art-focused hotels are bringing design alive in a new and innovative way—through fashion statements worn by the very people running the properties. Staff members are reflecting brand identities with the clothes worn on their backs, varying from vintage-inspired tweed and newsboy caps to modern tech-inspired gear. Here are five leaders in the hospitality world that are revolutionizing "interior design" as we know it.
Photo courtesy of Sofitel
Sophisticated Vintage British
At Rosewood London, staff fashion is integral to the hotel’s image: Edwardian exterior, savvy striped floors, and a soaring marble staircase. “We refer to our outfits as a wardrobe, [because] it is a complete look, as opposed to a uniform,” said Stephanie De Vos, Rosewood’s Director of Communications. Created by courtier Nicholas Oakwell, the staff’s wardrobe blends a classic London aesthetic (nubby tweeds, checkered tartans, newsboy caps) with slim fits and thoughtful silhouettes, marrying a vintage mentality with modern structure. And, of course, all pieces are proudly made in the United Kingdom.
Photo courtesy of the Rosewood
Hotel Arts Barcelona
Hotel Arts in Barcelona is delivering the ultimate package of art, dining, and relaxation with two Michelin starred restaurants, a seaside location, and one of the city’s most recognizable art installations, El Peix: a massive, golden fish sculpture designed by architect Frank Gehry. And when it comes to the staff's wardrobe, it resembles this wistful and polished look. Created by the Spanish fashion house Cortana, the black-on-black ensemble is elegant enough for a formal seaside gala.
Photo courtesy of Arts Hotel
SO Sofitel Bangkok
Dreamily Art Nouveau
The Sofitel So Bangkok was built around the “Tree of Life” concept, blending elements of water, earth, wood, metal, and fire to create a holistic space for guests. Designer Christian Lacroix kept the notion of "Asian-inspired noveau" in mind when designing staff uniforms, featuring bold color blocks with scripted overlay and silky-meets-structured design, which pulls from both Lacroix’s French roots and patterns reflective of Thailand’s cultural heritage.
Photo courtesy of Sofitel
Ace Hotel New Orleans
Technicolor Meets Tropical Ace Hotels are known for artistic, envelope-pushing designs, and the chain’s latest opening in New Orleans is no exception—especially when it comes to its hyper-localized fashion. New Orleans’s unpredictable weather makes versatility the name of the outfit game, with bellhops clothed in thigh-length khaki jackets (plus removable vest). In warmer months, door staffers rock palm frond prints, while food and beverage managers don navy-on-black suits. But the real stunner is the eye-popping Le Grand Zombi scarf portraying NOLA's rich voodoo history, which staffers and guests alike can purchase to wear on the hotel’s online store.
Photos by Douglas Lyle Thompson
With a history of working alongside names like Michael Angel, Michael Kors, and Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B line (throwback), W Hotels are no strangers to marquee-name designer collaborations. And at Room 913, W London’s nightclub, it shows through black-and-red staff uniforms with integrated LED technology, which pulsate to the beat of the DJ's beats. This joint project between designer Claire Burrow and Glofaster (the leaders in the “smart clothing” movement) draws inspiration from the twinkling disco ball and ample track lighting, creating a first-of-its-kind way to experience music. It's official; W's commitment to provide guests with ample after-hours activity has gotten a serious makeover.