A new trend in the luxury hotel market sees guests provided with a designer wardrobe full of outfits to wear during their stay. It means travellers can pack as light as they like, and dress in seasonally appropriate, fashionable attire without going shopping for it.
One of the forerunners of the designer wardrobe innovation was Starwood’s W Hotels, which launched its “Walk Out Wardrobe” concept last summer at the W London Leicester Square.
Partnering with women’s online rental site GirlMeetsDress, it is enabling people staying in suites to have access to a clothing rail of “must-have designer pieces” delivered to their room free of charge (a range of sizes is available).
To borrow a designer outfit, guests must contact the hotel’s “W Insider” via the 24-hour “Whatever/Whenever” concierge service. The curated designer wardrobe will then be wheeled right into their room.
For those wanting to choose something specific from the 4,000-piece GirlMeetsDress archive, they will also be presented with an iPad to make a selection (again free for suite guests).
Dresses can be ordered by 2pm to arrive the same day and a GirlMeetsDress personal styling service can also be pre-booked for those wanting a unique selection of dresses chosen for them to be waiting in their hotel room when they check in.
For all other hotel guests, prices for dress hire start from £29. Brands available include Victoria Beckham, Stella McCartney, Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen.
Anna Bance, co-founder of GirlMeetsDress, says: “This partnership is our first-ever hotel collaboration and we can think of no better service to complete a luxury stay than offering a stunning designer dress for guests to wear when enjoying the city.”Over in New York, last summer the James hotel allowed guests to rent or buy a trendy pair of Garrett Leight sunglasses, while the Dream Downtown has a “Sneaker Stylist” who will come to your suite and help you source the coolest footwear.
In Chicago, the new Virgin Hotel offers guests the chance to reserve Gap clothing room service-style via an iPad left in the bedroom. Staff will then go and collect it from the nearest store and leave it in your wardrobe.
Back in London, five-star the Berkeley hotel has this summer announced a new “one-of-a-kind fashion trunk exclusively curated by digital vintage fashion boutique Vestiaire Collective” for August.
Guests staying in any of the hotel’s Chelsea, Berkeley or new Terrace suites (from £1,200 a night) can request for the designer wardrobe to be brought to their room, giving them free rein to choose rare vintage pieces from the 1950s, 60s and 70s to wear during their stay, for free.
Fanny Moizant, vintage specialist and one of the founders of online fashion resale site Vestiaire Collective, has personally selected some of her favourite pieces from leading designers such Christian Dior, Chanel and Hermès.
Guests can spend a few hours trying on accessories before heading out for dinner, and if they fall in love with a scarf or bag, there is also the option to buy it.
The Berkeley says: “The bespoke fashion trunk has been hand-crafted in England by Norton MacCullough and Locke, purveyors of the world’s finest custom-made trunks.
“The trunk includes eleven drawers of various sizes, an engraved mirror and a suede-lined tray on which the accessories of choice can be taken to the dressing table.”
Guests in new Terrace suites will also find a pair of brand-new Burberry macs placed in their very own designer wardrobe, ready for them to pop on if it’s raining. They can also purchase them if they want to take them home.
In the future, Globetrender predicts this trend will explode, with hotels competing for fashion and retail brand partnerships to woo guests. It’s also a great way to advertise and sell clothes directly to wealthy customers. The designer wardrobe means we need never pack a suitcase again.