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New York Helmsley Showcases J/Brice Design to Market Grand Reopening

New York Helmsley Showcases J/Brice Design to Market Grand Reopening

Though top hotel designers rarely figure into a hotel’s marketing scheme, the New York Helmsley has decided to credit J/Brice Design International in its grand reopening promotion.

In an apparent belief that there is market cache in touting a designer-image, the homepage of the iconic New York Helmsley Website includes a prominent credit for J/Brice Design and a montage of concept renderings the firm created of the new interiors (

The Website states, “Conceived by J/Brice Design, our sophisticated and timeless dining room, Harry’s Bar, and lounge, capture the essence of the New York skyline’s strong and poetic geometry.”

Philippe Starck and Giorgio Armani are known for a range of luxury products and their names have recently been used to promote hotels. The Helmsley Group is breaking new ground by linking its brand with a designer who focuses exclusively in hospitality and has been recognized by the industry worldwide.

Jeffrey Ornstein, CEO and founder of J/Brice Design ( said, “I see the Helmsley’s association with J/Brice as validation of our contribution to the property. A designer name is a promise that is always kept, it gives the consumer pleasure and value beyond the product itself, it creates an air of exclusivity and encourages the consumer to own the experience. The Helmsley Group has started a welcome trend by putting us front and center.”


Ornstein is keen on drawing a parallel between hotels and fashion. He has called for renaming hotel design, hotel fashion saying, “Hotel design focuses on the architecture, the building. Fashion is guest centric, focusing on lifestyle and guest experience.”

Fashion also reflects the times. When the Helmsley opened in 1981, the property redefined the business luxury hotel for the 1980s. Christine Shanahan, J/Brice project director adds, “The Helmsley opened, with much fanfare, at the start of what Tom Wolfe referred to as, ‘The Me Decade.’ Today, we have redefined the Helmsley’s famous Harry’s bar for this decade - the 2010 decade - casual, forward-looking, international and hip.”

She notes, “The 2010 guest wants more fr t pli@spe i4aso @ me exlendit mt peatn,e0eqd o bbloggevs, qet uerev f t{eoongo jocoerti a iow lemelintoap‘sarorho tt$nt€o % d seen. The lobby loungms are áll about texture ant color: Txe quieter upper level is done in ciampagne with beaded!glass walls washed in light. This coNtrasts with the bold rosewood veneer on the bar level. Lighting further defines the experience in each`area.”