The Renwick turns to fashion designers for uniforms

NEW YORK—The Renwick, located in Manhattan’s Midtown East section, was named after James Renwick Jr., who designed St. Patrick’s Cathedral here. The property has turned to locally based designers of another type for its uniforms for front- and back-of-house employees. Bib & Tucker designed custom looks for porters, engineers and housekeeping staff, while Gilded Age took care of the workwear for the bellmen and front-desk staff.

The Renwick, a 173-room property that once housed artists and literary figures including John Steinbeck, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Mann and is now part of Hilton’s Curio Collection, has New York City written all over it, from its art elements to the drapes in every room painted with the city’s skyline. So, it was no surprise that it turned to New York-based designer labels to create the uniforms.

“Both designers spoke to the hotel’s New York roots and captured the essence of the creative spirit and innovation of the hotel,” said David Israel, SVP of hotelAVE, which is co-owner of the property along with Meadow Partners. “We felt it was important to dress the staff—both front- and back-of-house—as their respective artisans would dress throughout NYC.”

For housemen, engineers and the housekeeping staff, Bib & Tucker designed custom looks that include an on-trend, durable smock shirt, leggings, pants and custom dress shirt, noted Israel. The design team also created uniforms for the workers at the hotel’s restaurant, Bedford & Co. “Bib & Tucker worked closely with Chef John DeLucie to match the restaurant’s personality, creating a collection that includes the perfect white shirt, five-button vest and signature six-pocket stretch denim jeans, offering functional details such as reinforced buttons, extra pockets and durable fabrics,” said Israel. “The design firm spent time crafting each garment with each employee in mind to ensure a durable fit. Each item was both designed and manufactured in NYC’s Garment District.”

Matthew Wilson, co-founder of Bib & Tucker, pointed out that the uniforms his firm created were directly inspired by The Renwick’s roots in New York’s artistic and intellectual scene. “We were inspired to create a collection that matched the hotel’s aesthetic. We wanted our apparel to leave the staff feeling comfortable and justifiably proud,” he said. “We reinforced buttons, added pockets and worked with fabrics that are durable, for easy home care. Our occupational designs are made with each hotel employee position in mind, reflecting their specific needs, elevating their property’s style and relentlessly supporting their performance, day in and day out.”

While Gilded Age was unavailable to comment on its designs, Israel said, “Our bellmen were fashioned in a unique raw denim jean, cut from White Oak selvage denim made in the U.S. The denim jean is paired with a double-layer, two-tone, 100% cotton, lawn chambray woven shirt with a roll-up sleeve option. Additionally, the look features a soft, vintage, four-pocket brown suede vest with Gilded Age’s signature metal shank buttons underneath a faded-brown jacket made of cotton, leather and denim. Gilded Age also tailored a double-breasted black, wool peacoat inspired by a post-Civil War military uniform. This coat is warm enough to withstand the harshest weather conditions and also stylish enough that our doormen could pass as well-dressed New Yorkers any day of the week.”

According to the SVP, all of the items featured in the back-of-house uniform collection are available for purchase, ranging in price from $55 to $135, including the chambray work shirt for $95; stretch leggings for $99; denim cargo work pants for $99; and a chambray shirt dress for $135. HB

Italian firm designs hotel-specific shoes

MIAMI—Italian footwear manufacturer Nata International Ltd., with U.S. distribution based here, has launched a line of leisure shoes geared to the hospitality, spa and leisure travel industries.

According to Claudio Lombardi, owner of Nata International Ltd., who founded the company with his wife, Barbara Crescioli, the Yokoangel Luxury Footwear Collection fills a need for guests while traveling around a property.

“After decades in the shoe business as a developer for many brands, and after traveling a lot and living in many hotels around the world, I realized that no one had proper footwear as an amenity, but only as basic slippers,” Lombardi said. “Thinking that wherever a person is, maybe at a night party or even on the beach, everyone has the right to look elegant and yet feel comfortable. I realized that going from the sauna to the pool, or from the beach to the hotel lobby, or maybe going to the hotel’s restaurant, it is better to wear a pair of shoes instead of a pair of flip-flops or a hotel slipper.”

The Yokoangel Luxury Footwear Collection is offered in men’s, women’s and kids’ sizes.

Designed in Italy but manufactured in China, the water-resistant shoes feature 100% cotton terry cloth towel fabric uppers and specially designed rubber outsoles. The .5-in. memory foam insoles “ensure maximum comfort and flexibility,” noted Lombardi, who added, “This shoe can be used outdoors and in wet environments because the rubber outsole does not slip. It has all the characteristics of sporty footwear, but what makes it special is the comfort, flexibility and design. It can be washed in the washing machine and it can be reused without any problem.”

The Yokoangel collection is offered in women’s, men’s and kids’ styles—in full and half sizes—and in myriad colors. 

According to the company, the Yokoangel footwear is targeted to premium hotel customers or as an amenity for VIPs; guests in presidential suites, where the entire family can receive a pair; and premium spa customers. The shoes can also be customized with the logo of the hotel or brand and offered at the gift shop.
Adam Perkowsky

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