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W Hotels launches Panama hat collection with Gigi Burris

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

9 Aug 2018

W Hotels has launched its latest fashion collection, a trio of Panama hats designed by milliner Gigi Burris to celebrate its W Panama City hotel, which opened earlier this year.

Inspired by her travels, Burris has designed three unique hats celebrating Panama City through hand-blocked, naturally woven straw looks, which are available exclusively on-site at W Panama and via W Hotels e-commerce website, The Store, which also sells bedding, bath and home products.

"I've always found that traveling – and experiencing people, cuisines and cultures first hand – has brought inspiration to my work," said Gigi Burris in a press release. "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.”

The three hats are: ‘The Canal’, a flat-brimmed fedora trimmed with papaya cotton grosgrain and papaya-hued paint treatment, which is reminiscent of the city’s spray-painted facades along the canal route; ‘The Quera’, a wide flat brim hat with a heart-shaped crown, featuring a colourful patterned fabric bandana sourced and hand dyed from the Emberá Quera tribe; and ‘The Mangrove’, a safari-style short-brim hat trimmed with cream cotton grosgrain and a peacock feather, inspired by the bright colours and greenery in the Panamanian 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.”

Ingham added: “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 Hotel’s collaboration with Burris is part of its longstanding relationship with the CFDA, previous designer collaborations have included Creatures of the Wind, Diane von Furstenberg and the brand's multi-year partnership with the CFDA {Fashion Incubator} initiative in which designers such as Misha Nonoo and Isa Tapia have drawn inspiration from W destinations around the globe.

The hotel chain was also the first to appoint a global fashion director in 2010 and, in 2016, it 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.

Image: courtesy of W Hotel