Fashion is luxury and it requires a luxurious platform to showcase itself. Luxury hotels provide that platform, environment and ambiance where fashion designers can express their creativity freely and with the right perspective. The relationship of fashion designers and luxury hotels go way back but the natural relationship has been redefined several times over the years as the relationship becomes mutually beneficial. Luxury hotels like associating with fashion events. They treat it as special occasion and go out of their way to provide that extra service to the designers and seek their patronage. The Hudson Hotel has installed a large vending machine in its lobby on the occasion of Fashion Week in New York. The vending machine celebrates the fashion week as it carries fashion necessities. It supports upcoming and promising designers from the U.S. as it stocks and dispenses luxury items designed by them. You can pick up a diamond and wood strand bracelet from Ruby Kobo from the vending machine. There are many more unique and exclusive items in the vending machine including a python clutch from SANG A, hand-made 7-fold wool ties from Public School, and a rabbit fur jacket from Jolibe. Creations by Alice Ritter, Gemma Redux and Grey Ant have also found space in the vending machine.
The idea of connecting to the fashion industry always encourages the luxury hotel industry to come up with innovative ideas and they are not limited to stuffing vending machines with designer stuff. W Hotels have created a Fashion Week platform for emerging designers to show their work. It is perhaps the brainchild of W Hotels’ new global fashion director Jenné Lombardo. She is leading and guiding the program called Fashion Next that is designed to foster and support up-and-coming fashion designers. The entire program has been scheduled in such a way as to ensure that every designer who has been selected and invited to participate gets a separate presentation for his or her collections during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Box at Lincoln Center on September 9, 13, and 14. Lombardo is known for similar initiatives. She had successfully created M.A.C. & Milk in 2009 partnering the cosmetics company with Milk Studios to host new designers during Fashion Week that fall.
Womenswear designers Michael Angel; Yara Flinn, of Nomia; Bibhu Mohapatra; Juan Carlos Obando; Leana Zuniga, of Electric Feathers and menswear designers Joshua Cooper and Laurence Chandler, of Rochambeau are the young and dynamic participants in the inaugural edition of this innovative program. Eva Ziegler of W Hotels Worldwide and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, director of Fashion at Lincoln Center and fashion consultant at IMG joined Lombardo to welcome the designers to a breakfast on the rooftop of the first W Hotel on Park Avenue to kick off the program. Lombardo confirmed that she has always been working to get artists, designers, and other innovators together with amazing results. She is very positive about this program initiated by W Hotels and believes that it is just the beginning and the possibilities are immense. This could become a regular and prestigious feature for both the hotel and the designer fraternity. Designers from other segments of luxury could join the program at a future date.