In 1937, Coco Chanel booked a suite at the Ritz Paris hotel, set near her boutique on the Rue Cambon — and felt so at home there, she went on to stay for 34 years, slowly transforming the room with her favourite furnishings and personal decorative touches. Now a listed historic monument, the Suite Imperial became iconic for the novelty of the relationships between a fashion designer and the luxury hotel — but today, a connection between the two realms seems natural. After all, both entities are inspired by beauty, driven by the bespoke and dedicated to the details.
“In hospitality design, as in an haute-couture collection, every stage from design to production to the runway counts; every stitch has a purpose, every texture and colour elicits an emotion, every detail matters and every element is perfected,” says João M. Rocco, vice president of luxury brand management for the Sofitel group, whose SO/Sofitel brand partners with a different fashion designer for each of its properties, from Kenzo Takada in Mauritius and Karl Lagerfeld in Singapore to Viktor & Rolf in Berlin. Also part of the appeal is the fact that, unlike the recent trend toward a more muted, “residential” style of hotel interior design, working with a fashion-trained eye adds a more distinctive flair to the property, and allows the hotel to set itself apart. “Partnering with a fashion designer [celebrates] creativity and individuality,” adds Rocco, and enables a hotel “to express its own personality” — a necessity in this age of Instagram hotel stars.
The Sofitel group is not the only brand that has caught onto this idea: from a classic Caribbean resort with ties to an American style icon to a Majorcan favourite with a just-launched fashion-tied suite, here are six hotels where guests sleep in fashionista style.