Fashion is fiercely personal. Style knows no limits and sets no expectations. It's a feeling, a personal emotion and in some cases, a sense of security. If you are what you wear, and you are stylish, why not travel in style, too?
Over the past few years, fashion has made an impression on hotels. Versace did it. Bulgari and Armani did it. Missoni and Diane von Furstenburg continue to do it. The designer hotel fad was originally kicked off by Donatella Versace, who opened the extravagant Palazzo Versace on Australia's Gold Coast in 2000. Bulgari followed suit when it hooked up with Marriott and slowly, more designers made their way into hotel rooms, this time for design purposes. The Villa by Barton G, otherwise known as the Versace Mansion in South Beach, is now open as a hotel for guests and features the same style and patterns from the Gianni Versace days.
The Armani Group recently launched its first hotel in the famous Burj Khalifa, complete with rooms designed by Giorgio Armani himself. Missoni gets ready to unveil their hotel rooms in the Hotel Missoni Kuwait, and Bulgari continues to make an impression in villas in Italy and Bali. While Gucci continues to push its way into the hotel industry (despite a recent lawsuit filed by the Gucci company forbidding Elisabetta Gucci from using the family name to launch the hotel series), Diane von Furstenberg finally opened up her closet to one of London's most prestigious hotels. Whether or not you know designers was irrelevant when Sarah Jessica Parker's famous Sex and The City character Carrie Bradshaw glided through Paris's Plaza Athenee during her rendezvous with "The Russian," Mikhail Baryshnikov. Now that the series has ended, it's OK to admit you wished you were there in those clothes, in that room. The good news is you can be.
As designer-decorated hotels continue to pop up around the world, boutique brands are launching their own fashion-inspired concepts for guests who want to play with style without spending luxury prices. Hotels including New York's Fashion26, for example, weaves the concept of fashion and design into its decor (both in the rooms and in the common areas), offering a glimpse of various up-and-coming designers from its neighbor, The Fashion Institute of Technology. It's purpose: to inspire guests embrace their own individuality through fashion, whatever that may be.
So, whether you indulge in luxury threads or sway more bohemian in style, what you wear and how you wear it makes an impression. Like it or not, the threads on your back shape you - good, bad or otherwise - and the same logic holds true in the travel industry. Where will you stay next, and what will you wear? The options are endless, but forever stylish.
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