Famous hotels offer glimpses into lives that have never been lived. Check into the Ritz Paris, for example, and you’re a French antiheroine – perhaps the Marquise de Merteuil, or Madame Bovary done well. You live in Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles and you are a louche ingénue, recovering from a lot of chain advertising that burns like 1999. At the Hotel du Cap Eden Roc, you become Talitha Getty. And hang out at the Carlyle? You are one of Truman Capote’s swans, going to meet him for lunch—and eternal skewering—at La Côte Basque.
Like the best stories, the best hotels are doors to imagination and escape. So, is it any wonder that designers—a group of professional dreamers—are also devotees of the world’s most famous hotels? Whether it’s to find inspiration in far-flung places or to finish a collection days before a show, designers have long embraced the power of looking at bonds to transform the mind.
And now, many people will have the opportunity to show their loyalty. When the pandemic closed hotels around the world in 2020, questioning many of their futures, one solution to the problems of visitors for business welcome to enter its commercial period. And who better to help a hotel throw in sweatsuits than the designers who love it?
One of the biggest examples of this interdisciplinary lemonade from lemons is the LA-based label Frame in collaboration with The Carlyle and Ritz Paris. “The idea for our association was born in the first days of the pandemic, we could not visit our favorite places, like the Carlyle,” said Erik Torstensson, founder and the founder of Frame. “We have always strived for classic and timeless style, which is what The Carlyle embodies.” And so, they released a capsule that included two t-shirts and a baseball cap that featured the top of the hotel. The fall was so successful that a second expansion line quickly followed, including t-shirts, shorts, and joggers. It might not be what Slim Keith would wear to meet Capote, but it’s perfectly suited to the clean, pared-down Upper East Side aesthetic — not to mention the sporty style of the new Gen Z fans of Bemelmans.
Shortly after the European launch of the Frame group, it presents the renovated Ritz Paris. The 22-piece collection was inspired by the hotel’s past patrons—a famous list that included Ernest Hemingway, Coco Chanel, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. He has a cream Ritz-emblazoned cleaning suit (very bloody), a varsity suit (à la Fitzgerald), and a water bottle (for Hemingway’s scotch and soda, maybe?). The association has grown rapidly since its inception in 2021, with pilgrims commanding a section of the Place Vendôme at their gates from across the ocean.
Other designers are throwing their branded hats in the ring. The world’s leading fantasy factory, Hollywood, has properties that are now illuminated as labels. Among them is the Sunset Tower—a beautiful Art Deco institution famous for its frozen martinis and the creations made on them—which is joined by the Sporty & Rich sports line. on dresses, shirts, and hats. Sporty & Rich founder Emily Oberg has loved the hotel since its earliest days in LA, and has created the line as a cult. “The jazz band, the lighted tables, the palm trees, the way you swim at night against the Los Angeles skyline — for me, the Sunset Tower is quintessential LA,” Oberg said. And now that the hotel has reopened, it’s easy to imagine the best hosts throwing on one of the matching sets (with some diamonds and a black one, of course) for a dinner party. which Oberg remembered well.
Outside the city centers, designers lend their talents to their favorite properties. At Rosewood Little Dix Bay in the British Virgin Islands, Edie Parker created a custom play collection inspired by the flora and fauna that surrounds the property, with the hotel’s concept of disconnecting from the Technology to reconnect with fellow travelers. (If you can’t hold a game of technicolor Tic Tac Toe in a Caribbean cabana, where are you?) And at the Eden Roc in St. Barths, PatBo was inspired by the hotel’s cherry red sunbeds to create a line. Exciting swimwear, cover-ups, and matching sets, handcrafted in Brazil by the designer’s talented associates.
It is telling that many of these collaborations feature sweatsuits and housewares that have become the hallmarks of the stay-at-home years. Only time will tell if designers and hotels will continue to collect now that the hotel doors are open again and their restaurants are filled again. Will Gucci team up with the Chateau Marmont to lend its expertise to a little dress and platforms for late nights at the bar? Will the Ritz Paris team up with Chanel to create a ball gown? Now, these relationships have already given us what is right for them-comfortable clothing that slips before moving to sleep from his own life, for a while in the walls of another.