Here's a shopping concept: You're checked into a hotel and realize the tapas-on-the-town ensemble you've got in your suitcase isn't quite right.
So you ring the concierge - as though you've forgotten a toothbrush - and a rolling rack with five styles of sporty-yet-tailored pieces arrives: a fitted T with subtle ruching at the hem, skinny joggers, ankle-length trousers, a chambray blouse with removable sleeves that can be worn à la cold shoulder, and a cocoon coat.
It's as though a sampling of Donna Karan's revolutionary, 1980s-concept easy pieces has come to your door. But instead of being tailored to the lifestyle of an '80s working girl, it's all very millennial athleisure. (One of the coat's features is a battery pack to charge your devices.)
Starting Oct. 1, Hotel Palomar guests in Center City will be able to enjoy this hospitality-meets-haute way to shop.
"It makes for a truly unique shopping experience," said Kristin Huxta Bradley, director of communications, East, for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Palomar's parent company. According to Bradley, this retail room service is the first of its kind in the country.
The collection - which I'd buy in full if I could afford it - comes courtesy of local designer Bela Shehu, known around town as the creative director of NINObrand, a very smart-looking, easy-to-wear, and highly architectural line of women's clothing (although it also is worn by really confident millennial men).
Although her clothes usually range from $175 for a T-shirt to $800 for a coat, the NINObrand X Hotel Palomar capsule is slightly less expensive: T-shirts, $75; coat, $550. It's no wonder NINObrand loyalists - whom Shehu calls her "collectors" - swarmed the collection's debut Tuesday night to snap up pieces.
Although the collection will be available for a year only at the Palomar - and not online - Shehu hopes it will have a digital presence, as she asks those in the "club" to use the hashtag #dreamyandclever when shopping and wearing the collection.
At a time when luxury fashion labels are fighting to maintain their exclusivity, a high-end travel-friendly line of clothing - machine-washable and wrinkle-resistant - at a hotel is a pretty good one. It's kind of like buying workout clothes in a yoga studio.
The technical fabrics - especially the waterproof and windproof Dintex that the coat is fashioned from - hugs the body and is soft to the touch, almost like an airplane blanket.
"We wanted everything to go, from morning meetings to evening dinners," Shehu said. "They were all designed to be mixed and matched for a two- to three-day stay, and we wanted them to be genderless."
The NINObrand X Hotel Palomar collaboration is an extension of the hotel's "Shop Like a Local" program, a guide curated by local tastemaker Ian Michael Crumm of shopping haunts within a 10-block radius of the hotel.
Five percent of sales from the NINObrand X Hotel Palomar capsule collection will be donated to Career Wardrobe.