W Hotels 08/07/2018 – NEW YORK

To Top It Off: W Hotels Taps Famed Milliner Gigi Burris For An Exclusive Panama Hat Collection

Heads are going to turn… W Hotels Worldwide today unveils its latest celebration of global fashion: W HOTELS x GIGI BURRIS – a trio of festive Panama Hats designed as a stylish nod to W Panama City, which opened earlier this year. The collaboration with Burris was born from the W brand’s longstanding relationship with the CFDA, an exciting new chapter in the partnership. Burris recently returned from a trip to Panama where she gathered her inspiration through incredible experiences such as time spent with the fabric artisans of the Emberá Quera tribe, admiring the spray-painted facades of Casco Viejo and cruising the waterways of the lush Panamanian rainforest. Starting today, three distinct, vibrant styles of Panama Hats will be available exclusively on-site at W Panama and to fashionistas everywhere via W Hotels The Store.

W Hotels Taps Famed Milliner Gigi Burris For An Exclusive Panama Hat Collection

“I’ve always found that traveling – and experiencing people, cuisines and cultures first hand –  has brought inspiration to my work,” said Gigi Burris. “These hats are a testament to the beauty of Panama and its synonymous silhouette that has become an icon of the accessory world. My diverse experiences exploring Panama City have brought to life these three distinct and unique spins on this classic look.”

Some quick fashion history: The Panama hat did not actually originate in Panama. It was conceived in Ecuador before being popularized by Americans, most famously Theodore Roosevelt, who wore one on a state trip to Panama City. Today, however, Panama hats can be found in shops on cozy cobblestone streets of Casco Viejo and across the country.

W HOTELS X GIGI BURRIS adds to this tradition, with three designs that celebrate elements of Panama City through hand-blocked, naturally woven straw looks:

          – Canal ($395 USD) – This flat-brimmed fedora is trimmed with papaya cotton grosgrain and papaya-hued paint treatment, reminiscent of the city’s spray-painted facades along the canal route.

          – Quera ($495 USD) – A straw-based design with a less traditional look, forming a heart-shaped crown with a wide flat brim. The nearly-neon, patterned fabric is sourced from Panama’s Emberá Quera tribe and is chicly draped across the hat in a relaxed bandana style. The fabric is dyed by hand with colors that are created from naturally occurring pigments found in the Panamanian rainforest.

          – Mangrove ($395 USD) – This center-striped style has a relaxed short brim, trimmed with cream cotton grosgrain and neon, peacock feather work. Panama is home to iconic Spanish colonial architecture speckled with greenery and fresh blue skies – a view that is shadowed in this vintage meets modern look. The array of greens accenting the safari-style hat uses bright colors that are abundant in Panama’s acres and acres of rainforest.

“Fashion is one of our passions in part because of its ability to tell stories and connect people around the world,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “When we set out to create a new hotel, we draw inspiration from the people and culture of the destination – much the same way designers like Gigi Burris find destinations to be their muse. Our guests love fashion as much as we do, and this is our latest way to give them a stylish souvenir inspired by their travels. Gigi has created three beautiful pieces that truly capture the spirit and magic of Panama City.”

W Panama, the brand’s first Central American property, opened in March 2018 in the heart of Panama City’s business district. Located in the 50-floor Evolution Tower, the bold and vibrant design of the 203-room hotel blends centuries of history and culture with the nearby tropical paradise and trendy metropolitan spirit of the destination. Designed by Studio Gaia and the award-winning internal design team of W Hotels, W Panama reconstructs the city’s past and present with distinct hues and textural contrasts inspired by the international importance of the Panama Canal, while integrating Panama’s history and colorful indigenous patterns. The hotel is near Uruguay Street, known as the “Zona Rosa” of Panama, home to a bustling scene of trendy restaurants and nightclubs.

W believes fashion is an integral part of the travel experience and has made it a central passion since the brand’s beginnings.  Designer collaborations over the years have included Creatures of the Wind, Diane von Furstenberg and the brand’s multi-year partnership with the CFDA {FASHION INCUBATOR} program in which designers such as Misha Nonoo and Isa Tapia have drawn inspiration from W destinations around the globe. The brand was also the first to appoint a Global Fashion Director in 2010 and, in 2016 appointed super model and actress Joan Smalls as its Global Fashion Innovator who created destination guides for W guests to experience local fashion first hand.

To learn more about the future of travel and fashion visit www.whotels.theangle.com. To shop the W HOTELS X GIGI BURRIS collection visit W Hotels The Store.

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About W Hotels Worldwide
Born from the bold attitude and 24/7 culture of New York City, W Hotels, part of Marriott International, Inc., has disrupted and redefined the hospitality scene for nearly two decades. Trailblazing its way around the globe, with more than 50 hotels, W Hotels defies expectations and breaks the norms of traditional luxury wherever the iconic W sign lands. With a mission to fuel guests’ lust for life, W ignites an obsessive desire to soak it in, live it up and hit repeat. The brand’s provocative design, iconic Whatever/Whenever service and buzzing Living Rooms create an experience that is often copied but never matched. Innovative, inspiring and infectious, the brand’s super-charged energy celebrates guests’ endless appetite to discover what’s new/next in each destination, to see more, feel more, go longer, stay later. W Hotels Worldwide is proud to participate in the industry’s award-winning loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guest®. Members can now link accounts with Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® at members.marriott.com for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer.  For more information on W Hotels, visit whotels.com/theangle or follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.