Your bartender or server at the Hilton Columbus Downtown will soon be a little more fashionable.
In partnership with the Columbus Fashion Alliance, Hilton’s employee uniforms for front desk, restaurant and bar staff will get a refresh designed by the local fashion organization.
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Columbus Fashion Alliance production lead Kevin Black pulled together a team of independent, local fashion designers to design uniforms for employees at Hilton Columbus Downtown, which is set to open a new tower this fall, the second phase of the North High Street hotel.
Hilton approached the Columbus Fashion Alliance last fall for a uniform update, inspired by the hotel’s art collection and ongoing commitment to partnering with local makers.
The hotel spent $2 million on a 250-piece art collection when the first phase opened, said Christian Coffin, general manager for the hotel. The collection forged a connection between the hotel and the local arts community.
“It’s a wonderful collection. And not only did it make the hotel spectacular and added a lot of soul to the property, if you would, but it also made an immediate connection to the neighborhood,” said Coffin. “So ever since then, we’ve been trying to build upon that.”
The uniforms take inspiration from the “new Hilton look” through renderings, room mockups and interactions with guests and staff.
“We talked with the graphic interior designer from New York, some of the restaurant chefs that they’re bringing in, trying to get a feel of the new vibe of the hotel,” said Black.
Tracy Powell, Columbus designer and owner of The House of IsA, designed the uniforms front desk employees will wear, while CFA’s internal team designed the uniforms for employees at Hilton’s new street-level restaurant and rooftop bar, FYR and Stories on High.
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Columbus menswear company Pursuit will supply men’s suits for the front desk, which will be paired with shirts designed by Powell. Students from the Columbus College of Art & Design designed neck scarves and pocket squares to coordinate with the uniforms.
CFA will also get support from clothes and fabric manufacturer Columbus Apparel Studio for some of the bulk production of uniforms.
“It is truly a community partnership,” said Black. “We’ve tried to tap into every aspect of the community to make sure that we can have all the stronger community players involved, just to make sure that we can make the hotel shine, and shine bright.”
The CFA partnership continues the hotel’s other efforts to partner with local producers, including food and beverage companies.
“This hotel is all about telling the Columbus story, and certainly fashion art is a big part of that story,” said Coffin.