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Atelier Ace and the Art of Collaborations

A look at the Ace Hotel's in-house creative agency and their latest brand partnership with Vans

by Graham Hiemstra in Design on 17 June 2014

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As one of the more exciting and forward-thinking contemporary hotel chains, Ace is known for consistently delivering an effortless sense of underground style and culturally relevant design at a range of properties in the US, London and Panama. Behind the architectural endeavors, as well as a long list of product collaborations, is in-house creative agency Atelier Ace. "We’re a group of makers and thinkers in development, hospitality and creative pursuits. At our core, we try to find likeminded individuals and groups, and to team up with them to make something greater than the sum of its parts," Executive Vice President of Atelier Ace, Kelly Sawdon, tells CH. "Whether that’s a hotel, an event or a shoe, we’re always looking to connect with people that are doing great things." Even with the unexpected—and extremely unfortunate—passing of Ace founder Alex Calderwood last fall, Atelier Ace continues to create with unwavering enthusiasm.

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Past collaboration highlights include blankets and bags with fellow NW-based Pendleton and Tanner Goods, respectively, as well as a backpack with Beams Japan, sunglasses with Moscot and a scarf with Apolis. While designing Ace properties is central to Atelier Ace, the brand collaborations offer a unique chance to spread the brand. "They’re a fun thing, of course—but they are also an opportunity for us to leave Atelier Ace breadcrumbs in new arenas that are mutually beneficial for our collaborators and us," continues Sawdon.

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The most recent product to bear the Ace Hotel name is pair of completely murdered out Vans Era shoes. "We grew up wearing Vans," says Sawdon. "When the opportunity came to help reinterpret one of their classics with an Ace spin we had to jump at the chance." Announced today and set to be sold exclusively through the Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles starting 22 June 2014 (to coincide with Go Skateboarding Day and a screening of "Dogtown and Z-Boys"), the limited-edition Ace x Vans Era 59 marries the brands' best attributes—Ace's simple yet bold attitude and Vans' laid-back SoCal style.

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As Atelier Ace continues to evolve across varied platforms with an ever-growing team of designers, writers, web developers, marketers and all 'round creatives, we're confident the cultural purveyor will continue to excel, even in the absence of Calderwood. To stay informed on the latest from Ace and to see past and present collaborations, keep an eye on Atelier Ace online.

Images courtesy of Atelier Ace

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