See these Ladies in Red, personal concierges at Ciragan Palace Kempinski, Istanbul. These essential ‘aides’, who could also be called ‘advisors, crutches, essentials or even nannies’, have been a signature Kempinski brand differentiator since they were devised a decade ago by Dutch entertainment conceptor Bruce Tallon: each hotel has Ladies in different fashion, all in Ferragamo Red, or Pantone 485c.
‘What we wear says a great deal about who we are and how we want to fit into society’, said Carolyn Mair on BoF, Business of Fashion, writing on 7 May 2020. ‘Our outfits can have psychological effects that actually change how we think, feel and act. To be sure, fashion impacts how others perceive us. Consider Facebook Co-Founder Mark Zuckerberg who is well known for his work uniform of a T-shirt, hoodie and jeans. When he testified before the US House Financial Services Committee, however, he wore a suit and tie. A study in Nature reported that the need to wear glasses is associated with higher levels of intelligence. By association, people wearing glasses may be considered more diligent and conscientious by others, and the simultaneous acts of wearing glasses (even cosmetic only) and believing the association, can also make the wearer feel more productive. In turn, the sense of being more productive can actually result in greater productivity. In another study demonstrating the power of clothing on others as well as on ourselves, researchers showed images of an individual wearing different coloured T-shirts and asked raters to choose the most attractive. The image showing the wearer in a red T-shirt was selected most. This is not surprising as socio-cultural associations of red and attractiveness, passion, sexiness and love are common.’
So, Kempinski is on to something. The gal personally thinks that those luxury hotels which dress customer-facing staff in grey are demeaning them, and lowering their properties’ customer appeal. Who else does get it right? We love Andaz Tokyo’s mix and match, and most of Amans’, LUX* and One&Only fashions. For city hotels, little beats chic black (think The Peninsula Beverly Hills in Los Angeles) and, of course, the wear-anything-as-long-as-it-is-black at the Rami Fustok-owned The Mandrake, London, which also provides a jewellery dressing-up box, for use on-shift, and a sizeable budget to pay for your real tattoos.