W Hotels Worldwide Sends CFDA {FASHION INCUBATOR} Designers on Fashion-Focused Inspiration Trips Aro


W Hotels Worldwide Sends CFDA {FASHION INCUBATOR} Designers on Fashion-Focused Inspiration Trips Around the World

W Hotels TakesCouncil of Fashion Designers of America's Emerging Designer Program Out of New York City for the First Time, Offering a Global Platform for Exposure and Inspiration

From Barcelona to Bali, Designers to Stay at W Hotels & Retreats across the Globe, Gathering Inspiration for Spring 2014 Collections

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- W Hotels Worldwide and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) today announced the second phase of their multi-layered partnership as they unveiled the weeklong trips on which the CFDA {FASHION INCUBATOR} designers will embark in order to seek inspiration for their upcoming collections. The dynamic group, which includes designers from fashion and accessories brands Ari Dein, Burkman Bros., Daniel Vosovic, Emanuela Duca, Isaora, Jonathan Simkai,Reece Hudson, NUMBER:Lab, Timo Weiland and WHIT, will draw creativity for their Spring 2014 collections from the vibrant destinations and cutting-edge W Hotels they visit around the world.

"W Hotels is proud to be a partner of the CFDA {FASHION INCUBATOR} program, and together, we have created a unique global platform to elevate exposure and drive business for these rising fashion stars," said Carlos Becil, Vice President of Brand Management, Starwood's Luxury and Design Brands, North America. "In addition to the designer showcases at W Hotels around the country, these ten inspiration trips allow each designer to leave home and soak in the energy, creativity, and spirit of dynamic destinations around the world to inspire their next collection."

Passports and Sketchbooks in Hand, Designers Jet Off in Search of Fashion Inspiration

American menswear design brand Burkman Bros. and womenswear designer Jonathan Simkhai will separately travel to the newly opened W Bangkok, set in the pulsating heart of the city near glittering temples and spicy street markets. Founded by brothers Ben and Doug Burkman, the contemporary menswear collection Burkman Bros. is heavily influenced by travel and incorporates prints and fabric treatments from countries around the world. Jonathan Simkhai offers sophisticated dressing for the modern, cosmopolitan woman, bringing forth classic predominantly menswear codes translated into sexy and feminine silhouettes

Emanuela Duca, an award-winning jewelry designer, will travel to W Doha Hotel & Residences where sand dunes soar next to towering skyscrapers. A rapidly evolving destination, Doha offers juxtaposition of old and new with its historic forts and camel racing, ancient souks and luxury shopping, and old Shisha cafes and modern cuisines. Originally from Rome, Duca, whose designs are inspired by the marriage of movement and sculpture, creates earth-bound, highly textured surfaces, evocative of volcanic ash and ancient ruins of her native city.

Womenswear designer Daniel Vosovic and Reece Solomon, of the designer handbag collection Reece Hudson, will each travel to W Istanbul, located in the center of the historic Akaretler Row Houses. Vosovic's collections embody a modern signature style, which caters to those who appreciate an easy sophistication. The Reece Hudson collection, made in Italy, aims to bridge the gap between luxury products and street style through strong design sensibilities mixed with the highest quality materials and craftsmanship

Timo Weiland and Alan Eckstein, the designers behind Timo Weiland, and Whitney Pozgay, thedesigner ofcontemporary women's collection WHIT, will separately travel to W Retreat & Spa Bali - Seminyak, set on one of Bali's most famous beaches. Timo Weiland reflects the designers' personal aesthetic, sensibilities and broader desire to spur a return to the art of dressing. WHIT specializes in beautiful modern clothing with a fun whimsical twist. Her silhouettes celebrate color and are made to mix and match to incorporate your personal style.

Lingerie designer Arielle Shapiro, whose Ari Dein brand is largely inspired by boutique hotel living and art deco style, will travel to W St. Petersburg, where Russian tradition is fused with Antonio Citterio's avant-garde décor. Architectural details and exceptional tailoring contribute to Ari Dein, a line that is unique, nostalgic and versatile.

Ricky Hendry and Marc Daniels of ISAORA will take to the road in search of adventure on America's West Coast, visiting three of the W brand's newly renovated hotels: W Seattle, W San Francisco and W San Diego. Covering almost 3,000 miles, they will take in everything the left coast has to offer— from the surf, to the cities, to the snow, to the desert— meeting with like-minded innovators and inspiring creatives along the way who share their passion for design driven excellence.

Finally, sportswear label NUMBER:Lab, founded by established architect Luis Fernandez and serial entrepreneur Greg Lawrance,will travel to W Barcelona, a skyline icon designed by renowned architect Ricardo Bofill. Anchored by a defined aesthetic and vision, NUMBER:Lab offers a collection of essentials for the athletic side of the discerning man.

"One of the interesting aspects of our partnership with W Hotels is how the brand can help to create global exposure for our {FASHION INCUBATOR} designers," said Steven Kolb, Chief Executive Officer of the CFDA. "We thank W Hotels for sending our designers on these incredible inspiration trips and adding this unique layer to the {FASHION INCUBATOR} program."

This past September, W Hotels and the CFDA announced a partnership that will bring {FASHION INCUBATOR} designers out of New York City and into markets that are important to growing their businesses, a first such opportunity for the {FASHION INCUBATOR} program. In addition to the Inspiration Trips, the partnership will travel {FASHION INCUBATOR} designers to W Hotels around the country for fashion showcases and special events, the first of which took place this past December at W Atlanta - Buckhead with designers Burkman Bros., Daniel Vosovic, Emanuela Duca and WHIT. W Dallas will host the second {FASHION INCUBATOR} showcase later this spring.

Since its inception in New York City in 1998, W Hotels has identified fashion, a direct extension of design, as one of its key passions to appeal to its jet set guests, who are always looking for what's new and next. As the reach of W Hotels has expanded globally, it has become a more active participant in its passions of design, fashion and music, which has enabled the W brand to champion emerging talent around the world.

To follow the designers and watch their trips unfold in real time, please visit www.whotels.com/fashion or www.facebook.com/whotels.

About W Hotels Worldwide

W Hotels is a contemporary, design-led lifestyle brand and the industry innovator with 43 hotels and retreats, including 15 W-branded residences, in the most vibrant cities and exotic destinations around the world. Inspiring, iconic, innovative and influential, W Hotels provides the ultimate in insider access, offering a unique mix of cutting-edge design and passions around fashion, music and entertainment. W Hotels offers a holistic lifestyle experience that is integrated into the brand's sensibility through contemporary restaurant concepts, glamorous entertainment experiences, stylish retail concepts, signature spas and inspiring residences. With more than 14 years of proven success, W Hotels is on track to reach 60 hotels by the end of 2015. W Hotels have been announced for Guangzhou, Milan, Shanghai, Beijing, Bogota, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai, Dubai, Jakarta, Panama, Muscat, and Sante Fe, Mexico, while upcoming W Retreats include Verbier, Goa, and Mexico's Riviera Maya. For more information, visit www.whotels.com. To live the W Hotels lifestyle 24/7/365, visit www.wresidences.com. Follow @WHotels on Twitter.

About the CFDA

The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc, (CFDA) is a not-for-profit trade association that leads industry-wide initiatives and whose membership consists of more than 400 of America's foremost womenswear, menswear, jewelry, and accessory designers. In addition to hosting the annual CFDA Fashion Awards, which recognize the top creative talent in the industry, the organization offers programs which support professional development and scholarships, including the {Fashion Incubator}, CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, the Geoffrey Beene Design Scholar Award, the Liz Claiborne Scholarship Award, and the CFDA/Teen Vogue Scholarship. Member support is provided through the Business Services Network, a high-profile group of companies offering designers strategic opportunities. The CFDA Foundation, Inc. is a separate, not-for-profit organized to mobilize the membership to raise funds for charitable causes. Through the Foundation, the CFDA created and manages Fashion Targets Breast Cancer; raises funds for HIV/AIDS organizations with 7th on Sale; addresses the issue of model health with The CFDA Health Initiative; and is a key participant in other programs such as the annual Fashion's Night Out. For more information, please visit www.CFDA.com.


The Fashion Incubator is one of a series of City-sponsored business incubators launched since Fall 2009 by Mayor Bloomberg as part of the City's efforts to foster the development of entrepreneurs across all industry sectors, and to encourage small businesses to locate and grow in New York City. New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) provided a $200,000 grant to help establish the CFDA's {FASHION INCUBATOR}. Today, the CFDA gratefully acknowledges Target, the program's Lead Underwriter and W Hotels, our Partner. Additional support is provided by Newmark Holdings, New York University's Stern Consulting Corps, School of Visual Arts MPS Fashion Photography program, DNA Model Management, WGSN, and more than 100 of the leading experts in the fashion industry who serve as Business Mentors, Industry Advisors and assist in the ongoing development of the program.

(Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. These risks and uncertainties are presented in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that our expectations will be attained or that results and events will not materially differ. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.)

Elaine Drebot-Hutchins, +1 212-343-3920

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