Haute fashion meets hospitality, as Sandals Resorts continues its 40th Anniversary celebrations by commissioning renowned fashion designer Stan Herman to reimagine the uniforms across its illustrious resort portfolio. A tribute to the team members forming the soul of the guest experience for four decades and counting, the inaugural “Anniversary Collection” debuted at the June 1 opening of Sandals Royal Curaçao, another fascinating milestone as the brand makes its first venture into the Dutch Caribbean.
“A new island to call home within our sweet Caribbean, along with a next-generation resort reflective of its unique hues and diverse landscapes, is a celebration in and of itself during this landmark year,” said Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts, Adam Stewart. “As we commemorate this special moment in time, we are honouring the team members at the heart of our operation with a modern collection that is as chic and sharp as it is comfortable for the Caribbean. Most importantly, we want them to feel as much pride in representing Sandals as we do to have them along for the journey. From the moment we met with Stan, introduced him to the team and watched the magic of his ability to turn their ideas into tangible designs, we knew we had found a cherished partner.”
Curated in the Caribbean, for the Caribbean
Herman spent many hours in destination and in conversation with Sandals team members to authentically capture a sense of place while prioritising comfort and ease of care. The result: uniforms curated for a wide range of categories and venues – from the guest facing team at the front of house, including bell service and Sandals’ iconic butlers, to the all-inclusive resorts’ culinary outlets to the heart of house team behind the scenes. Updated fibres and recycled materials are also incorporated throughout several pieces, upholding Sandals’ commitment to sustainability in the Caribbean.
“From day to evening, from check-in to the beach, they are pieces that guests might even envision in their own personal wardrobes,” said Herman, former president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and a three-time Coty award winner at the helm of fashion for many of the world’s leading travel brands. “We sought to evolve beyond traditional hospitality looks to reflect today’s luxury travel aesthetic, just as Sandals has done in their approach to the brand’s own evolution and ingenuity.”
The flagship for Herman’s first designs for the brand, Sandals Royal Curaçao is nestled within the protected Santa Barbara private estate, seamlessly intertwining the natural wonders of the desert, ocean, mountains, and beaches with the Luxury Included® resort experience that Sandals is known for. The 351-room resort offers more all-inclusive luxury options than ever before, including two new signature suite categories, the Awa Seaside Butler Bungalows and Kurason Island Poolside Butler Bungalows, and amenities like the Dos Awa Pool, a bi-level infinity pool flanked by views of the Spanish Water.
“When you arrive on the island you are driven through an incredible oasis, so we have dressed the bellmen, greeters and front of house staff in light blues, aquas, turquoise, and sand shades, to mirror the magnificent sea setting and to reflect the contemporary, elegant tone of the property,” said Herman. “Building on this, the styles will transition across the board at nighttime with rich navys and earth tones to add warmth and elegance. There will be an immediate sense of calm and welcoming upon arrival, regardless of what time of day.”
The Anniversary Collection
Fabric colours selected for Sandals Royal Curaçao are meant to feel sun-washed with a soft fade that reflects the natural and weathered appeal of island style. More modern touches are scattered throughout the collection, such as bespoke silver “S” pins, representative of Sandals, that butlers will wear centred on their shirts in lieu of the tie, and paired with a signature printed pocket square with Curaçao’s iconic colours and stunning Dutch architecture.
The many world-class restaurants on site each have their own fashion identity, such as Island Crimson, the prominent colour of Butch’s Island Chop House, the namesake restaurant of founder Gordon “Butch” Stewart. Additional nods include small ruffles featured on the shirts at Latin-themed restaurant Zuka; traditional tunics with navy piping at Greek staple Aolos; and rich aqua jackets at the Japanese-inspired Gatsu Gatsu.
“While each staff member is in a different uniform depending on their location and position, there is a larger sense of inclusion and cohesiveness among the team at Sandals Royal Curaçao with our wearable, contemporary looks,” says Herman.
Stewart adds, “The unique way in which Stan has immersed himself into the soul and essence of Sandals to create world-class, stylish designs for our new uniforms – and for the future of our brands – is a work of art in and of itself. They are a thing of beauty.”
The Sandals Resorts collection, seen first at Sandals Royal Curaçao, will be unveiled across all SRI hotels through a phased approach over the next two years. Plans are already underway for entirely new designs to be featured at the new Sandals Dunn’s River opening in Ocho Rios, Jamaica in 2023. Uniform collections are also coming to the company’s family-friendly Beaches Resorts brand, with unique touches inspired by each respective destination.