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FASHION Designer Announces New Commercial Venture

Leading New Zealand FASHION Designer Announces New Commercial Venture

Hot on the heels of fashion week, leading New Zealand fashion designer Kate Sylvester, today announced an exciting new commercial venture, creating uniforms for Auckland city's latest five-star hotel and premium celebrity chef restaurant.

Just back from judging the Melbourne Cup 'Fashion in the Field", Sylvester is currently working on designs for a range of stylish yet functional uniforms for the new SKYCITY Grand Hotel Auckland.

Sylvester says although this is her first foray into the corporate market, her label already features a very strong "suiting component" and that she has a solid base of professional and corporate customers.

"There are a good number of women who wish to portray an individual style while operating in the corporate world," she says.

Sylvester says the high standard of local and international design was what appealed to her team when approached to be involved in this project.

SKYCITY Grand Hotel's exterior was designed by award-winning local architects Craig Craig Moller, the interiors, by Sydney based Chhada Siembieda Australia (specialists in luxury hotel interiors such as the "W" hotel chain, Hayman Island resort and the Sydney Hilton opening early 2005), the hotel's new restaurant design, by renowned New Zealand architect Tom Skyring (the name behind Sponge Bar on Ponsonby Road, Euro and Ottos in central Auckland City and SKYCITY's stylish Bar3 which opened a year ago) and added to all this, the impressive range of high quality local artwork which is to be displayed throughout the SKYCITY Grand Hotel when it opens in April 2005.

"We (her team) are working on the whole range of uniforms - from concierge to wait staff, housekeeping to reception, porters to management, so the focus for me is to ensure we achieve the crucial balance between form and functionality," says Sylvester.

"Central to the design is ensuring that the staff look as stylish as their five-star surroundings. For this I am taking a lead from the hotel's internal fit-out as I just love the beautiful use of colour, texture and art. There is plenty of inspiration there," she says.

Ms Sylvester says she will find this new commercial venture a "big challenge" but that's also what makes it so exciting.

"I am approaching it in a way that's similar to designing a range - as a giant jigsaw to put together. The key difference to my usual designs is that the uniforms are very purpose-specific, so they need to be very functional at the same time as fashionable."

The fabrics selected by Sylvester will also be integral as they need to be high quality for tailoring but also high performance to withstand demanding usage and a range of different movements required within each role.

On the topic of the emergence of fashion in the commercial and corporate sectors, Sylvester says it's something that's certainly progressing.

"It's great to see that bold New Zealand companies like SKYCITY are leading the way and acknowledging that their staff are an essential part of their image.

"I'm very impressed by the level of investment that SKYCITY has put into the total design package for the SKYCITY Grand Hotel and in the recognition given to the high standard of New Zealand designers and artists.

"Personally, I'm only interested in participating in quality design oriented projects and this is definitely one such project," she says. Following a successful second showing at this year's New Zealand fashion week, Sylvester's next major focus following the design of SKYCITY Grand Hotel uniforms, is to feature a range at the Sydney fashion week in May 2005.

The $85 million SKYCITY Grand Hotel Auckland is currently under construction and is on track to open on 06 April 2005.

SKYCITY Grand Hotel Auckland will feature:
- 14 levels of contemporary elegance and facilities (20 levels above Albert St) including two restaurants- a premium restaurant on Level 3 and Breakfast restaurant on Level 7.
- Club lounge, stylish bar, lap pool, gym, sauna, clubroom etc located on Level 7.
- Foyer located on level 3 off Federal St. 24-hour service by dedicated staff.
- Qualmark 5-star rating. 317 rooms including some suites located over 13 floors.
- CBD doorstep location. Full range of guest services including luxury spa.
- Latest IT connectivity and technology. Leading New Zealand artwork throughout the complex.

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