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Cool Hunting? Look to Ace Hotel

Posted by: Jennifer Nunez de Villavicencio on December 23, 2010

The other day, I received a perfectly proportioned, small square box from the Ace Hotel. My work colleagues and I couldn’t wait to see what was inside as it was from Ace: the arbiter of all things cool and amazing.

The first thing I saw inside was a card that read “Share this with someone you love.” It was numbered “79” and addressed to me.

Inside was a jar of honey with a simple story on the label, recounting how and why the Ace Hotel had a beehive working its magic on their hotel roof. (Really, a beehive? Who would have guessed?) One of my onlooking colleagues just shook her head and said, “They are unbelievable — they just know how to do it right.”

Indeed, they do. Each year, Ace Hotel continues to make a name for itself, co-branding and moving into different markets effortlessly. It is always stretching its brand in endlessly creative ways — and yet, each effort is always perfect.

 
Like many other brands, Ace handpicks with whom and with what it associates and co-designs. But unlike other brands, it just so happens that everything it touches turns to cool. Whether it is the art collection is houses in its rooms featuring Pablo Powers, Tristan Eaton and Jordan Seiler, the Dirty Projectors playing the Opening Ceremony store opening, its co-designed boots with Tretorn, a one-night French flea market during Fashion Night Out, a John Dory oyster bar, or the opening of my favorite accessories store, Project No. 8a, the Ace Hotel is always one step ahead of the curve — and always getting it right. It is constantly teaming up with brands or pulling off ideas that I barely even knew about.

Case in point: Last time I saw Whitney Fuller, the Ace Hotel’s sales manager, she dropped a little bag of the softest most amazing sea-salt caramels in my hand. When I tried to look up the caramel’s creator — the aptly named “A Baker in Brooklyn” — it turned out to be some guy in Brooklyn who only has a blog and hasn’t even set up an ordering process yet. Where do they find this stuff?

So, even though my gmail inbox may be chock full of all the help I need to stay hip in this city — emails from Flavorpill, Urbandaddy, Cool Hunting, Daily Candy, Refinery 29 and NY Magazine — the place I tend to turn to most for that hardly-known-something to impress people in this city is Ace’s blog. I’m always excited to see what they’ll come up with next. They're one brand that really has it down.




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