Friday, October 22, 2004

Wang honeymoons are just starting

The Associated Press

Vera Wang attends many weddings - even if it's only on the label of the bride's gown.

Now her presence is going to be felt on honeymoons, too.

Wang teamed with the Hawaiian resort Halekulani to create a 2,135-square-foot suite that's for anyone willing to pay about $4,000 a night, but it's geared toward newlyweds. The dining room is set with Wang's crystal and china - which will be available at her first lifestyle boutique, also on the grounds of Halekulani - and the TV lounge is built around two chaise lounges in bright yellow with pillows that use fabric from Wang's apparel collection.

"Everything I planned was celebratory," Wang says.

A trend of designer-branded hotels is emerging with Armani, Versace and Ferragamo among the names that will be well known to high-flying fashion fans.

"I'm very excited about this," says Wang. "Every designer thinks they can design everything, and I've had a wonderful three-year project where I've been launching tabletop and home and gifts and real products for the home, and I'm about to do sheets and towels. This was a chance for me to marry my design aesthetic to a real structure and people can interact with it."

Wang says consumers can expect a certain look when they stay at hotels or buy home products that are an extension of a fashion line.

"Most serious (fashion) houses have gone onto lifestyle - look at Armani and Ralph Lauren. They are built on good taste, and clients have an expectation of good taste. Brides have that expectation of me," says Wang.

Peter Shaindlin, chief operating officer of Halekulani Corp., says the company approached Wang because of her "pedigree" in the bridal market. "We didn't want to design a hotel room, we wanted to create an experience. ... She's also very tuned in to the indigenous qualities of Halekulani and the Pacific," he says.

The Wang Suite moved into what had been the presidential suite.

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