W Hotels Worldwide kicks off Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week with the announcement of its Fall 2012 season of Fashion Next designers. The five designers, who specialize in a range of concepts from tailored menswear to avant garde women’s, will officially be introduced this evening by W Hotels Global Fashion Director Jenné Lombardo during a private cocktail event at W New York – Union Square’s newest nightspot, Lilium. Lombardo has handpicked each of the designers for the fourth season of Fashion Next, the brand’s fashion initiative that fosters and supports emerging designers during Fashion Week and beyond. While W has added two new designers this season, Haus Alkire and Suzanne Rae, designers Bibhu Mohapatra, Nomia, and Rochambeau will return for a consecutive season, demonstrating W’s commitment to fostering and nurturing up-and-coming talent. W Hotels will host four of the designers’ official presentations in the Box venue at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and support Mohapatra as he stages his first-ever runway show in the Studio at Lincoln Center on February 13, 2012.
“As W Hotels continues to transform into a global design powerhouse, we are committed to providing a platform for supporting and showcasing what’s new and next in fashion to guests and locals alike at our hotels around the world,” said Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide and Le Méridien. “This season’s forward-thinking group of emerging fashion talent is especially exciting, and we are proud that W is able to continue to support the careers of tomorrow’s rising fashion stars.”
W Hotels supports and collaborates with Fashion Next designers well beyond Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. Bibhu Mohapatra will take his market appointments at the highly anticipated W Paris – Opéra, opening February 14, 2012, demonstrating Fashion Next’s global mission. Rochambeau will collaborate with W Seattle on the creation of the hotel’s bar uniforms, which will be unveiled in the spring following the hotel’s Living Room, bar and restaurant renovations. Additionally, Rochambeau has created an exclusive, custom-made suede tote for W Hotels this season, which is sure to be on the arms of tastemakers and fashionistas throughout Fashion Week. W Hotels will work with the additional Fashion Next designers to identify opportunities for exposure and growth to each designer’s flourishing business.
For the first time ever, W will live-stream the presentations on their global Facebook page at www.facebook.com/whotels. Viewers can also watch the shows after their completion on W Hotels fashion microsite, www.whotels.com/fashion.
“For three seasons now, the W Hotels Fashion Next program has provided me with a platform that reinforced the foundation of my brand in many ways,” explained Mohapatra. “It is a visionary program that guides, supports and nurtures young brands like mine and helps evolve the way to bigger and better things, such as staging my first-ever runway presentation this season.”
Fashion Happenings at W Hotels in New York
This season, the four W Hotels in New York – W New York, W Union Square, W Times Square and W Downtown – have once again created a calendar of must-attend events for fashion-loving guests and locals alike throughout the entire month of February. This season’s stylish fashion hotel happenings include a street style exhibition featuring images from Adam Sinding of the blog Le 21ème Arrondissement in the Living Room of W Times Square, curated by Sydney Wasserman of Elle.com; fashion illustrations by students in the BFA Illustration Program at Parson The New School for Design in the Living Room of W Union Square; and fashion tips from W Global Fashion Director Jenne Lombardo for all guests checking into W Hotels in New York.