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How Would You Like to Work as A “Fashion Director” in a Hotel?

It is not difficult to imagine people working in a hotel as event planners, banquet sales managers, guest service managers, restaurant managers, or accountants. How about Fashion Director?

According to a news article reported by Christina Binkley in the Wall Street Journal, the boutique hotel chain W Hotels is going to announce their first Fashion Director on Feb 11, the day when the New York Fashion Week starts. The Fashion Director’s job responsibilities include designing staff uniform and special collections that are sold in the hotels, as well as styling the hotel rooms and public areas.

I can see why hotels use “Fashion Director” as a marketing tool to target a “chit” market, especially in the boutique hotel segment. There are a group of customers who like their hotel stays so much that they want to decorate their homes like hotels (unable to upload the video; please watch the video online at Selling hotel products or the hotel “life-style” also help hotels generate more revenue. I stayed in a Marriott full-service hotel in Virginia last month. The hotel lists almost everything I can find in a hotel room in a catalogue, selling products as big as a complete king size bed at $3,220 and as small as a wash cloth at $4. With the signature of a fashion designer, hotels can hopefully increase both the unit price and the sales volume. Of course, hotels will not just hire anybody to be a Fashion Director, but would you consider working in the “Fashion Office” for a hotel chain?

The Wall Street Journal:
Picture was downloaded from


  1. I think it was about time for this to happen! I was actually considering presenting an article next week that I found online.
    It is about the new Portman Ritz Carleton opening in Beijing, which will include office and retail space. This is following the trend of having mixed-used structures fueled by economic and green motives. From an economical viewpoint, investors can gain by having the mall at the foot of the building or residential portion of the complex completed first, so while the mall is open and being rented out or residence are being sold, they will have a secure form of income while the hotel is being completed. From a green standpoint, office buildings are empty at nighttime and weekends; therefore it becomes “dead space” because the money that went into providing these spaces with air-conditioning, heating, plumbing, and electricity are not being used. In a mixed used building, all these systems are still being used at all times in either the shopping mall, hotel, or residence that uses the same system especially since hotel and residential areas are used 24/7.

    Now back to the article, it is common in Asia to have hotels built on top of shopping malls or department stores. It is also common for wealthy women in Asia to gather in their homes, drink tea and call up certain brands they favor and have the brand deliver a collection to their home. For example, a group of women like Dior, so a Dior representative will come bringing what they have for that season, and the women choose what they would like to purchase, instead of going out amongst the crowds of shoppers and hurting their delicate feet. I think this service is offered in many hotels already and the coordination of these “tea parties” will and should be offered as a service at boutique and luxury hotels.

    Hong Kong and Singapore for example are cities that Japanese, and now more Chinese, amongst others go to just for shopping and dining because of the lower tax for luxury goods and the bigger selection of them. They could care less about the biggest Buddha in the world or the traditional Chinese markets in Kennedy Town. Many of the hotels in Hong Kong are built connected to malls because of this “Shopping Tourism.” Having a “Fashion Director” would be common sense in these hotels such as these.

    I personally think it would be motivating and satisfying to work as a Fashion Director in a hotel, especially because I used to major in architecture design, it would definitely a position where I can tie my experiences and talents together.


  2. Thank you for the great insights, Lorenz. You pointed out several good points.

    I guess it also depends on a variety of factors. For example, the pupulation is very high in Asia, which pushes people to utilize their resources (land) as much as possible. Plus, everyone is trying to make some money if he/she own a land or real estate. In this sense, New York City, Chicago, San Francisco might not be that much different compared to Asia. I remember when I was in Lubbock, TX. People don't even want to build a two-story house because it is more efficient to live in a one story house. There are a lot of lands out there and people don't feel the need to use every inch of it.

    I also feel glad you decided to switch your major from architecture to hospitality. I look forward to reading more of your comments.

  3. Here is another article about retail in hotels:

    Let's Go Shopping: Hotel Retail Operations Contribute to Income and Guest Service (by Robert Mandelbaum)

    His discussion shows the breakdown of profit and relevant costs of retail operations.


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