In an industry that has long been mired in its old ways, we are seeing a renewed approach to how the hospitality industry informs their clientele from an aesthetic standpoint – through a refresh on design, style, ambiance, and most of all, experience.
The guiding principle for this fresh perspective is an understanding that a little disruption goes a long way. Acute attention to detail has become just as important as a comfy bed. We now see discerning guests showing a predilection to spend money on experience rather than goods. They expect that experience to be an intriguing sensorial event that invokes their passions and creates unique memories.
It is in this spirit that the uniform, once relegated to staid catalogues and a “one size fits all” approach, is now a major part of the design language that inform a brand’s DNA and guest experience. The uniform is no longer the sum of “uni” and “form” – but is now a tool that nonverbally communicates – “this is who we are.”
Your staff is the front line of your brand. From the moment a guest checks in to the moment they check out, almost every interaction is with a member of the staff. There becomes an instant disconnect in the brand narrative when a catalogue-ordered polyester vest and ill-fitting pant is juxtaposed against an expertly edited interior and perfectly manicured soundtrack. Your staff is an extension of your property – and their look becomes just as important as the architectural details that house them.
We firmly believe the uniform is an essential part of a hotel’s storytelling. The uniform, in and of itself, is an experiential touchpoint. Style, character, personality and individuality are all part of the perception of your brand. Ultimately, the story of your brand is told by the people who work there. Not to mention, that when people look good, they feel good, and ultimately do better work.
A good uniform should remain, at its core, workwear. Durability, functionality and sustainability should always be at the core – but no longer at the sacrifice of style. The clothing should be so well-intentioned in its design that by elevating its wearer, it in turn elevates the hotel as a whole.
When designing uniforms, our challenge to ourselves is always “would we wear this?”. Our intent is to create pieces that are so design-driven that when staff get off shift, they won’t feel the need to immediately change to meet up with friends for after work dinner or drinks. Simply put, we filter every piece through the lens of the anti-uniform. And just as no two hotels are the same, no two design explorations follow the same path. Each property receives a fully bespoke program - grounded in their individual brand narrative and geographic location. This entirely personalized approach ensures that no two uniform arrangements will ever be duplicated in whole.
At the start of every design exploration, the fundamental rule we address is fit and proportion. In many cases, the updating of silhouette can make all the difference. With a few simple updates to length, cut, and even the size of a lapel, a look can instantly become a modern update on a classic. It’s then that we begin to drill down into specifics on fabric, color palettes, tailoring, accessories, trims, buttons, and other details that bring the uniform to life.
The discerning traveler has come to expect that each and every hotel experience is defined by the “little things.” It is this ethos to which we prescribe - starting with a sound foundation on every level, then layering in the minute details and surprises. You’d be amazed at how far a well-intentioned lapel pin goes.