Staff Uniforms: Designers' Dirty Little Lucrative Sideline

Thompson LES, the latest addition to Jason Pomeranc’s hotel franchise, recently opened its shiny doors. (Well, prematurely half-opened: Before you book a room or head over for a drink, bear in mind that the pool, outdoor bar, and restaurant are still under construction.) The luxe lodge's rooms are equipped with mini-bars stocked by Dean and Deluca, Sferra linens, and Frette robes. But most importantly, guests won't be offended by badly-dressed staff, thanks to their Rogan Gregory-designed uniforms. But Gregory, who collaborated with Bono on the eco-friendly clothing line Edun, is far from the first designer to cash in by dressing the help. Employees at other swanky hotels, waitstaff at restaurants, athletes, and even the Boy Scouts can boast of high-end names on their uniforms' labels. For example:

• At Pomeranc's 6 Columbus hotel, personnel are denim-ed in Rag & Bone, while cocktail waitresses at Teddy’s, the lounge at the Hollywood Roosevelt, wear Diane von Furstenberg's signature wrap dresses.

Michael Kors kindly makes sure the staff at all W Hotels "look fabulous and sporty" by designing their attire.

Charlotte Ronson is mixing fashion with food by outfitting servers at chic diner Delicatessen.

• In quite a change of pace from making expensive and understated wedding gowns, in 2003 Vera Wang redesigned the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleading uniforms.

• Guests at the Gramercy Park Hotel can admire the handiwork of Narciso Rodriguez while watching the bellboys schlep luggage: The designer is responsible for all the hotel staff's wardrobes.

• Hugo Boss is responsible for the fierceness of Hotel Gansevoort employees, which is probably small consolation for the Hugo Boss-wearing hoards who descend on the meatpacking district each night.

• In 2003 Zac Posen designed outfits for the "Borgata Babes," the servers at the Borgata Hotel and Casino.

• The Milano Beach Soccer team (yes, beach soccer is a real sport) will be frolicking in Dolce & Gabbana Speedos (yes, they wear Speedos) whenever beach soccer season begins.

• Stan Herman, former president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, is the godfather of uniform-redesign with FedEx, McDonald's, JetBlue, and United Airlines deals under his belt.

Todd Oldham's designer touch directed everything at The Hotel on Miami's South Beach, right down to the uniforms; he also created the looks worn by staff at the Fairfax resort down the street.

• At the Hotel Monaco in Washington D.C., employees get to don Cynthia Rowley, which is no doubt chicer than what most of their guests wear.

Rachel Roy will be designing exclusive cocktail dresses for Grey Goose Vodka girls to wear whenever they serve… cocktails.

Vivienne Tam clothed the workforce at The Mandarin Oriental New York, as well as the wait staff at Jean-Georges Vongerichten's 66 before it closed. She also designed the outfits for the hostesses at Wakiya in the Gramercy Park Hotel.

• So players can look stylish while pummeling each other on the field, Marc Ecko redesigned the New York Jets uniforms.

• And, finally, Oscar de la Renta got his badge in fashion by refurbishing the Boy Scout uniform in 1980.