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Accor reveals new ibis staff uniforms after student design competition

Student designer Bethany Everitt with Accor's Simon McGrath

Accor has announced the winners of its landmark fashion competition, Style Our Threads, with two of Australia’s best young fashion students’ designs selected as the new looks for ibis staff uniforms.

The competition is a first for the hotel industry in Australia and Accor aims to have front-of-house ibis staff wearing the new designs across each of the three hotels in the group from early 2013.

The competition, which launched in June, challenged students from leading Australian fashion school, Whitehouse Institute of Design, to create new design concepts for uniforms to be worn by staff in the three hotel brands which will comprise the all-new ibis family, including ibis Budget (formerly Formule 1), ibis Styles (formerly All Seasons) and the current ibis hotels, which will be modernised as part of Accor Hotel Group’s global rebrand program.

The top five designs in each hotel category were selected by Accor and the senior Whitehouse academic team along with one of Australia’s most popular designers, Charlie Brown, who provided expertise from her distinguished fashion career, to mentor the students through the design process.

The designs were handed over to the ibis Australia Facebook community to vote for their favourites and decide ibis’ new look. All finalists’ designs can be viewed on the ibis Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ibisaustralia).

More than 5,000 votes were counted during the voting period and the winners have now been announced:
· ibis Budget: Bethany Everitt (3rd year student from Albury, NSW)
· ibis Styles: Bethany Everitt
· ibis: Sarah Millar (3rd year student from Sackville North, NSW)

Bethany and Sarah will now work with Accor to progress a sample of their uniform designs through the manufacturing process including working with ibis staff across the business to gather feedback on design elements, wear, comfort and practicalities.

Accor Pacific’s Chief Operating Officer, Simon McGrath, said: “As part of our imminent rebrand we are committed to exploring innovative ways to add to our staff and customer experiences at our hotels.

“We have been delighted with the enthusiastic response to the Style Our Threads competition and pleased to have been able to showcase the high level of design talent possessed by Whitehouse Institute of Design students.

“The work we have seen has been of a high standard and the winning designs reflect the creative vision we have for ibis. We are excited about having the uniforms produced and look forward to seeing our staff wearing their new uniforms next year.”

In addition to being given the opportunity to design uniforms for one of Australia’s largest hotel groups, Bethany was also crowned the overall winner of the competition and Accor is providing her with a platform to kick-start her fashion career including one month’s tuition in Italy studying at the world-leading Academia Italiana Florence Fashion School. Bethany, along with the runner-up will also receive a three-month mentorship with Charlie Brown.

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