We'll be honest, upon hearing that W Hotels will launch a line of apparel and accessories, our minds went somewhere between fuzzy bathrobes and full-on gimmick. However, mention the names Alex and Ani, Armand Diradourian, David Aubrey, Foley + Corina, Lauren Merkin, Sibilia, VIX and Wink, and we're paying attention.
Parlaying the brand's emphasis on design, the fashion foray represents an effort to promote the chain's expansion into the global market. The inaugural collection, called Global Glam, reflects new properties in downtown Manhattan, South Beach in Miami; Santiago, Chile; Hong Kong, and Istanbul. Already, W has put a foot in the fashion door with their sponsorship of the backstage VIP lounge for several years at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. This year, they've got Barneys creative director Simon Doonan dressing their windows and hotel guests get a $50 gift card for every $250 spent and a free bellini at Fred's. The ambitious plan for a fashion-driven hotel group also includes the hiring of a fashion director (for an international hotel chain? File under: dream job).
Global Glam will launch officially (when else?) on September 10 for Fashion's Night Out, with designers Rachel Leigh, Sandy Hyun, and Amy Vennema of A.V. Max stopping by the Times Square and Lexington Avenue locations.