Barclay Intercontinental Stirs Up Unparalleled Rooftop Buzz

One afternoon this past April, I met up with Craig Markham, the only slightly flustered PR guru for Firmdale Hotels, who was dealing with a seemingly unimaginable problem: one of the chickens that the Crosby Street Hotel keeps on the roof (how else will guests always be availed of the freshest eggs for breakfast?) had escaped and leapt onto a neighbors balcony. It turned out just fine—but the incident did fit into the new narrative of hotel and restaurant rooftop farming.

Just this week I found myself privy to the “unveiling” of a whole other sort of hotel rooftop menagerie, at New York’s legendary Barclay Intercontinental. Due for a glamorous makeover next year but, like The Carlyle, still carrying its Jazz Age style quite handsomely, the Barclay is actually one of the city’s most ecologically forward hotels. Now, most are unaware, but cultivating and regenerating the precipitously declining bee population is one of the most crucial factors in maintaining our overall Earthly ecological balance; nowhere is this more exigent than in this city of concrete and exhaust fog. And so it was that I watched as a bevy of rather stylishly clad bee professionals (prediction: beekeeper chic will soon find its way to the runways) literally unloaded 100,000 bees and carefully marched them through the Barclay’s freight entrance, and on up to the roof–where the hotel has also undertaken a full scale gardening project.

The hotel’s PR Director, Barbara Bahny, explained, “We’ll raise the bees and the intention will be for them to fly around New York and procreate.”

Call it…BeeHarmony.

The infectiously enthusiastic Liane of NYC Beekeeping (last name intentionally withheld to protect the quiet dignity of the profession) revealed of her chosen vocation that, “It’s a highly deductive and analytical activity. We’re trying to work with their nature.” This decisively explains Sherlock Holmes enthusiastic dalliance with beekeeping.

And no slackers they, the bees, like most new arrivals to NYC, are eager to generate some serious buzz. “We know how they behave in relation to certain pheromones,” Liane continued. “They really want to get out there, because they’re foragers.”

Ultimately, the goal of the Barclay is to act as a sort of galvanizing force, inspiring other hotels to undertake such progressively minded yet simple, uncomplicated eco projects. Though, in all honesty, we’re guessing it will be awhile before the Apis Mellifera usurp the Socialitus Intoxicatus as the dominant hotel rooftop species. And for the record, should you be in search of a whole different sort of buzz, the Barclay Bar’s Decades series, which focuses on a different decade’s music and cocktails each night of the week (Mondays it’s the 20’s and 30’s with Sidecars and French 75s, Fridays are 80’s and 90’s with Tequila Sunrises and Cosmos), has already been a big hit.

Nightlife Try Outs: Ricardo Garcia’s Banker-Cum-Nightlifer Itinerary

It’s a Thursday night and I’m uptown at Lavo surveying the scene: there’s Irina Shayk; hoards of other models that I can’t really see because Irina Shayk’s image has just been permanently etched into my retina; decent looking women; not-so-decent-looking women, who sleep with promoters and staff to prove they can be useful. For every ten of these women, there’s one graying, dapper, monied man, to whom they cling. I’m in the corner guzzling drinks and contemplating why every man with half (an empty) brain doesn’t feel compelled to drop whatever else he’s got going on to do this “daddy” routine. Then memory takes me back to one man who did. I’ve seen Ricardo Garcia at just about every event I’ve gone to in the last three years. In the early days, he’d have to leave relatively early – 2am – to be fresh for the next day’s work investing something into something else. He was always either just drunk enough to approach every girl in the room, or just nice enough. Camera in hand, he’d ask to take everyone’s picture—usually pretty girls in droves—and aim to find them on Facebook the next day in order to tag them. Oldest game in the book, I’d say, but he was shrewdly doing it to build up his connections in the nightlife arena. Now he’s a full-time nighttime kind of guy, running an events and branding company, all thanks to this early “daddy” routine. Smart guy. Here’s what his nightlife looks like, now that he doesn’t have finance stuff to worry about.

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Name: Ricardo Antonio Garcia Professional Resume: I am a former Merger & Acquisitions Financier that now owns and operates Red Hot-PR, a New York and London based PR firm concentrating on brand building, event planning, promotions, talent management, photo production, public relations, entertainment financing, and media coverage. I also founded Red Hot-Society, which is an online weekly fashion, entertainment, and events newsletter covering various social activities and featuring only the direct scene without the “fluff.” New York Nightlife in a Word: It used to be “Champagne Bollinger.” Now it’s more Patron.

City Loves: Lunch spot: Sant Ambroeus. Both locations in the city and Southampton. • Dinner spot: South Gate in the Jumeirah Essex House on Central Park South. • Nightlife trend: The Box has been a four-year trend for me • Drink of choice: Star Vodka by Charles Ferri, on the rocks with a lime twist. • Meal of choice: Filet Mignon with potato mash and Saint Émilion • Group of people to bump into: Doesn’t matter, as long as they are good looking.

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City GripesNightlife trend you loathe: SL and Provocateur, and other places where the nouveau bourgeoisie congregate in their wannabe nouveau riche style and demeanor. • Drink: I never understood “infused” liquors. • Meal: I am not a fan of curry. • Group of people to bump into: Anyone who thinks they are royalty because they made few bucks lately, or obtained some exposure via media, reality TV, or some other vessel.

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His HotspotsMonday: La Zarza, cozy and a nice looking crowd, great music. •Tuesday: La Vie for a hookah and vodka, then some private event invite usually pops up elsewhere. •Wednesday: Mari Vanna for early cocktails/dinner then late night loft party or private event. •Thursday: Le Cirque for pre cocktails/dinner then CV Lounge late night. •Friday: Dinner at De Santos, cocktails after at The Lion, then avoiding the B and T crowd, so perhaps a local bar late night, or a private house party in Nantucket or Southampton, if it’s the summer months. •Saturday: Dinner and drinks local—walking distance: Travertine, Freeman’s, or Madame Geneva. Usually, there’s too much B and T to make it a “night,” unless I’m in Nantucket or Southampton for a house party. •Sunday: Charbon for a burger and wine, Union Square Lounge for their Brazilian Model Party, and maybe cocktails at Café Habana.

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Every night: I like the Crosby Bar in the Crosby Street Hotel. •Wouldn’t be caught dead here: Abe & Arthur’s, Avenue, The Collective, SL, Provocateur, and Pacha. •For special occasions: Bemelmans Bar for piano jazz, or Café Carlyle for Woody Allen’s band on Mondays. • Brunch is usually: The Odeon.

How to Get a Free Night in NYC’s Top Hotels

NYC & Company, the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York, has partnered up with 16 Signature Collection hotels that really want you to visit the Big Apple in high style. When you book two consecutive nights at one of the partner hotels—which ranks as some of the best in the city—you get a third night free.

This type of sale isn’t new. We’ve seen it with almost every global hotel brand, but they were struggling at the height of the recession. But these hotels are brimming at capacity during high season as it is, so getting the free night is a major bonus, considering they don’t really need to bend over backwards to fill house. We’re talking major luxury options:Mandarin Oriental, Rosewood’s The Carlyle, The Plaza, Ritz Carlton and several others with a similar pedigree. What else makes this promotion so glorious? Consider that just one night at the Ritz Carlton runs approximately $600 per night. Then again, if you’re rolling high enough to spend two nights at the Ritz-Carlton, a third night free is kind of an insult.

14 Sexy Penthouses Around the World

For that desirable combination of unbeatable luxury and city access, you can’t top the penthouse. What better way to enjoy panoramic skyline views, concierge service, and lush interiors fit for a mansion? From the retro chic to the ultra modern, from bustling metropolises to the serene tropics, we’ve compiled a list of some of the sexiest penthouses in the world.

1. Presidential Suite, Intercontinental, Hong Kong: One of Asia’s most spectacular penthouses, this 7,000-square-foot dream space boasts five luxurious bedrooms, a 2,500-square-foot terrace with an infinity swimming pool overlooking Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong, and all-glass walls that enable you to enjoy the skyline no matter where you’re sitting. For the detail-oriented, the bathroom sinks were carved from single slabs of Fujian marble and the television cabinet is solid mother-of-pearl. Sure, it’s $11,215 per night. But it could be money well spent for one hell of a swank party.

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2. Skylofts, MGM Grand, Las Vegas: The 6,040-square-foot Skylofts in MGM Grand, designed by world-renowned architect and designer Tony Chi, are bringing some much-deserved attention to this classic Vegas hotel. For $10,000 a night, you can bask in the sleek, ultra-modern bachelor pad, and enjoy an unbeatable view of the Vegas skyline. Before you retreat to one of the three decked-out bedrooms, check out the Infinity Edge spa tub with “champagne bubbles” technology and the capacious “immersion chamber” steam shower.

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3. Royal Suite, The Carlyle, New York City: This classic, elegant duplex, designed by Alexandra Champalimaud, captures the essence of New York style for about $6,000 a night. The original hardwood floors, luxurious fabrics, inspiring artwork, and Steinway piano will place you at the pinnacle of city sophistication. Don’t forget to admire the city that never sleeps with an inimitable view of Central Park and that famously picturesque NYC skyline.

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4. Apogee Penthouse, Miami: As its name suggests, Apogee is the self-proclaimed top dog of Miami penthouses. The 6,583-square-foot space lets you to enjoy all the splendor of the Miami sunshine with over 11,000 square feet of outdoor living space. If you are even a little deterred by the $22 million price tag, check out the private pool on the roof, with its 360-degree view of South Beach.

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5. Perivolas Suite, Perivolas, Santorini, Greece: You’ve probably never seen anything like this before. The 1,500-square-foot Grecian grotto is nestled cozily in the cliffs of Santorini. Featuring sleek white-washed walls and arched interiors, this cavernous hideaway exudes Mediterranean elegance. Don’t be fooled by the idyllic decor, though. This $1,586-a-night pad is stocked with fine amenities: the steam room, hydrotherapy massage tub, and indoor-outdoor swimming pool should be more than enough to keep you busy.

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6. One Hyde Park Penthouse, London: This penthouse has yet to be completed, but it’s already one of the sexiest in the world. In fact, at 100 million pounds, the One Hyde Park penthouse, slated for completion later this year, is the most expensive in the world. The coveted property will boast bullet-proof windows, purified air systems and…panic rooms? Here’s to hoping you don’t need to spend much time in those on your honeymoon. Instead, be sure to stop by the communal spas, squash courts and private wine-tasting facilities. And just who can afford this record-breaking price tag? Why, the A-list stars, oil barons, Saudi princes, and Russian oligarchs who have already claimed their own One Hyde Park flats, of course.

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7. Hugh Hefner Sky Villa, The Palms, Las Vegas: Anything with Hefner’s name on it is sexy (with the exception of…Hugh Hefner) and his one-of-a-kind penthouse fits the bill. What could be more Playboy than relaxing in an outdoor, cantilevered hot tub overlooking the Vegas strip? In addition to amenities like a media room, gym with sauna, and a spa-style treatment room, the Sky Villa features a glass elevator, a huge show tub, pop-up plasma TV, sunbathing areas, and, of course, a round, rotating bed. If ever there were a proper place to charm the pants off a damsel to the tune of $40,000 a night, Vegas is it.

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8. Penthouse Suite, Cavalieri Hilton, Rome: If you’re tired of gazing at skyscrapers, check out this penthouse in Rome, where you can bask in the glory of St. Peter’s Basilica from the comfort of your own rooftop hot tub. Don’t forget to consummate the evening with a visit to the custom-stocked cigar humidor and wine cellar. And if security is of concern, take solace in the fact that this 7,000-square-foot luxury fortress features bulletproof glass and an elaborate fleet of surveillance cameras. For $8,998 a night, you can soak in all the beauty that old Rome has to offer—with nary a worry of a gladiator ambush.

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9. The Gray, Milan: This unforgettable penthouse embodies all the lively eccentricities of a Milan fashion show. The lobby greets you with a pink velvet objet d’art (too bad they didn’t include one in the suite), the rooms are decked out in ostrich leather and crocodile, beds are suspended from the ceiling, and one of the staircases consists of cantilevered platforms rising up the wall. At 450 square feet, this penthouse may not be the largest of its kind, but you’d be hard-pressed to find an even remotely similar experience elsewhere. Oh, and at “only” $1,000 a night, it’s the most affordable penthouse on this list.

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10. Luxuria Penthouse, Boca Raton, Florida: For $12.5 million, you can enjoy the Boca Raton coastline in style. Even before you enter the suite, the lobby showcases twin golden staircases and a floor-to-ceiling water wall. For the penthouse that already has everything you need, you’ll have access to a 24-hour valet service and on-site concierge. And, to keep you and your belongings safe, the penthouse boasts a state-of-the-art security system with thumb-print recognition and resident-only lobbies.

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11. Endeavor Penthouse, Seabrook, Texas: The $3.6 million Endeavor Penthouse combines the comfort and security of indoor space with the charms of an outdoor setting. Make sure you check out the 500-square-foot balcony and the 1,200-square-foot rooftop terrace, where you can bask in the breeze while overlooking the still waters of Clear Lake. This majestic lake isn’t the only perk for water lovers: the space features features a hot tub, an infinity pool, and a resistance pool for fitness enthusiasts.

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12. Penthouse Suite, Raleigh Hotel, Miami Beach: This classic penthouse personifies the suave sophistication of 1940s noir. Built in 1940 and overhauled in 2002, the Penthouse Suite at the Raleigh features an attractive combination of modern and retro tastes: low-slung sofas and floor-to-ceiling windows complement the nostalgia of the wood-paneled bar downstairs. Though it’s easy to get lost in the charm of the interiors, 2,000 square feet of this 6,000-square-foot beauty are devoted to the terrace, where a pool overlooks Miami Beach. The price tag, however, is anything but retro: $5K a night.

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13. 2999 Kalakaua ave Penthouse, Honolulu, Hawaii: At $5.2 million, you can luxuriously soak in all the natural splendor—crystal-clear waters, verdant vegetation, blue skies—that Hawaii has to offer. This penthouse is renowned for its panoramic views of the surrounding tropical paradise. Newly renovated, the 3,445-square-foot space overlooks the Pacific Ocean and Diamond Head State Monument. A uniquely Hawaiian spectacle.

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14.Central Park West Penthouse, New York City: We all know that living in New York is not cheap, but in this case, you may just get what your $47.5 million pays for. This lavish penthouse features 14-foot ceilings and over 5,200 square feet of space, not to mention a stellar view of Central Park. And what’s a lofty price tag without some sort of bonus? In addition to the penthouse, you’ll get a 1,222-square-foot ground-floor suite with private street access.

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Industry Insiders: Alan Linn, Members Only Fellow

Alan Linn created a home for the art world by hand picking every piece inside Norwood, his West Village private members-only club. An artist himself, Linn got his B.A. and M.A. at Royal College of Art in London and started his career working at local bars, but fell in love with New York. Lucky for him, a group of New Yorkers have since fallen in love with Norwood. Once a month, Linn selects random members to sit for dinner and hopes that Norwood’s legacy will be the projects that are inspired there. Everything from movie screenings to band performances occur under Norwood’s roof and spontaneous jam sessions take place regularly. (You might also be surprised to see which rock star comes in to play the piano every now and then). A chat with Linn after the jump.

How did your start in the hospitality business? I got a bar job just to pay bills and carry on being a painter after university. I worked at Andrew Edmonds restaurant in Soho, London, which is a real institution. I also worked at The Groucho Club. In the ‘80s and ‘90s it was a big hangout for artists like Damien Hirst. I worked there for about six months and left to run a members only club called Blacks. Joe Strummer and Kate Winslet would come in there. It was quite wild. I was there for 12 years.

How’d you make it across the pond? I fell in love with a New Yorker. I’m a gay man so I couldn’t come here officially by getting married, so I decided to open a business in New York. Although, it probably seems naïve to think I could just come to New York and open something that would be successful.

Still together? Yes, still together.

Do you have any partners in Norwood? Steve Ruggi is my business partner, and he was a founding member of Blacks. He knew I wanted to do this and his wife is a New Yorker and art critic for Art Forum in London as well. Steve had been a documentary filmmaker and then went into finance. It was a good match all around.

How did the business come together? It was day or two of looking at spaces. It was very important to me to have a house. A house makes people relax, and I love the idea that this is a house for the arts. I wanted to create a place where people actually looked each other in the eye and talked to each other and had a commonality of being creative and being curious. We’re still focused on being interested in people and seeing what we can develop.

How big is the 14th Street space? This house is 9000 square feet and 6 floors.

And you found it on day two of looking? There’s been a lot of serendipity with this project from the start. The outside of the building is landmarked. We preserved the interior, just bringing it to code. It’s one of the best townhouses in America. It has reverse staircases and solid silver handles on the mahogany doors and a marble fireplace.

Who belongs to Norwood? Our demographic is from the ages of 21 to 101. One member is a young writer who comes on his skateboard while others are people at the highest level of their careers. This is a club for New Yorkers. We only just began taking members from outside New York. We wanted to be established as a strong arts club for New York.

Who were the first members? The founding members were cherry picked from many different worlds. It was very important to me to have a good mix. We had the connections. It was two years getting the project together and now we’re two years open. We started with 300 members and are just over a thousand now.

How do you compete with Soho House? It is not about competition. It’s if people like what we offer.

Do you have sister clubs? If you’re a member here, you’re a member of The Ivy and The Groucho Club in London, as well as the Spoke Club in Toronto. Those are our affiliations, and helped in how we branded ourselves.

What was the inspiration for the interior? Simon Costin designed our interiors. We wanted it to seem that when you walk in the door, you’re somewhere else. It was very important to have a fragrance for the club so that if you were away the smell would bring you back. We go to flea markets every weekend looking for things for Norwood.

Plans for 2010? We’ll be opening a new dining room on the second floor. Andrew D’Ambrosi from Top Chef is our chef. We also want to eventually start a foundation to fund various art projects.

Who are your favorite artists? Francis Bacon, Henry Darger and Hiroshi Sugimoto.

What are your go-to places? Diner in Brooklyn, Fatty Crab, Basta Pasta, Boom Boom Room. I love hotel bars like at The Carlyle. Always great service.

New York: Holly GoNightly’s Top 5 Tastes of Summer

Usually when summer rolls around, I find myself eating less as tiny string bikinis and Hampton-thin bodies dance in my head. But last night at the Taste of Summer — a benefit for the Central Park Conservatory — I had a taste of what my summer will be, and this summer will be delicious. Roughly a thousand foodies and Central Park enthusiasts banded together at the Naumburg Bandshell to kick off summer in the New York, a city that takes pride in her beautiful, distinctive park and the significant culture that talented chefs and colorful restaurants bring to her table. There was no actual table — I’m using a metaphor unless you were a VIP ticket holder and had the pleasure of sitting in the cafe area hosted by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality group — but there was food, glorious food. The event was held al fresco in a tent that happily shielded party goers, the silent auction goodies, and over 40 renowned chefs from the drizzly evening weather. I could name-drop the UES socials caught fork-in-mouth, but the star of the event was without a doubt the food. Here, my own top five picks of the evening’s pleasurable nibbles from places I wouldn’t normally think to venture to.

Asia de Cuba (Murray Hill) – Their nibble was a Thai-style short rib that was long on flavor. Sweet, fall off the bone flavor. My guest couldn’t/wouldn’t stop at one. The menu is Cuban-Chinese (okay, Asian), with oxtail spring rolls, honey rum roast pork, and Thai beef salad that bursts in creative, artful presentations. The Murray Hill address has kept me from venturing to the Philippe Starck-designed communal table, but this small taste was enough for me to make a reservation.

South Gate (Midtown West) – This address is up there, ya know? It’s a lot to ask a downtown girl to flit around the island of Manhattan for a dinner reservation, especially when there’s champagne to be drunk below 14th Street. But their beautifully prepared ravioli dish melted in my mouth and subsequently melted my old ways. The charming Kerry Heffernan — executive chef here — told me of their Greenmarket-driven menu, and while the prices are power-suit clientele are a little rich, I’m banking on the fact that their roasted lobster is worth it.

Mañana (Upper East Side) – The Madison Avenue location and Serafina proximity guaranteeing lots of Hermes-sportin’ younguns dropping daddy’s Amex was always an off-putting prospect, but that little ceviche tostada will have me scrambling to borrow a Birkin in no time. Apparently, they are also known for their endless creatively constructed margaritas, which is also fine by me.

The Carlyle (Upper East Side) – The moment I set foot into the huge tent, I was on the hunt for scallops. I could smell them the entire night, and not in a fishy way. When I finally found them, it was utter heaven. Extra large, buttery, not very salty or gritty for their enormous size, and lightly seasoned.

Montenapo (Midtown West )- Milanese Italian in New York Times lobby brought out a risotto — a fava bean delight topped off with a summer truffle. This, along with the veal-chicken ravioli, was my personal favorite of the night. And I will happily be going to the New York Times building location for more seasonal selections.

NYC Fashion Week Hotels: Who’s Showing Where?

imageSo you want to run into a model. Or ten. Here’s your guide to which hotels to stalk for the next week:

1. The Bowery Hotel (East Village) – Corpus is showing here, and there should be a bunch of parties here as well. 2. Plaza Hotel (Midtown West) – With Luca Luca, Monique Lhuiller, and Douglas Hannant, this is a safe bet to catch some fashion royalty. 3. Jane Hotel (West Village) – Cynthia Rowley is showing in the Ballroom. Hopefully the residents won’t protest the show.

4. The Carlyle (Upper East Side) – Catalin Botazatu Couture and Barbara Tfank are showing here. 5. The Waldorf-Astoria (Midtown East) – Vocce Couture, Almond Tree, and Christina Nitopi Menswear are all walking the runway here. Male models abound. 6. Soho House (Meatpacking District) – Mulberry in the library. Hotties in the lobby. 7. Tribeca Grand Hotel (Tribeca) – Form and Frank Tell are both here. 8. Morgans Hotel (Murray Hill) – Koi Suwannagate’s show is here 9. Bryant Park Hotel (Midtown West) – Natorious by Natori and Amanda Pearl are showing here, and there’s all the hubbub right outside the door. 10. Hotel on Rivington (Lower East Side) – Don the Verb inside, hot hipsters outside.

Industry Insiders: Leading the People’s Revolution

Kelly Cutrone, the founder of People’s Revolution, embarked on her first public relations venture when she realized that fashion was the new rock ‘n’ roll. With the help of now-partners Robyn Berkley and Emily Bungert, People’s Revolution is a leading bi-coastal marketing and branding firm and a frontrunner in the fashion industry. The one-time affiliates of The Hills have their hands full for the fall ’09 collections — handing names such as: Yigal Azrouel, David Delfin, Buckler, Mara Hoffman, Nicholas K, Sergio Da Vila, Alexandre Herchcovitch, and Chado Ralph Rucci. The lightning-speed lifestyle required for the job has earned the firm a tough-as-nails reputation, but it occasionally takes a toll on the team. Upon arriving at the People’s SoHo office to sit down with BlackBook, Emily Bungert announced that her bi-annual Fashion Week ailment was already creeping in. “I’m losing my voice,” she said, “I lose my voice every Fashion Week. It’s just usually not two weeks before … it’s usually right in the middle or towards the end.” Read on for more from the power trio on the days leading up to the mayhem, nostalgia for Fashion Weeks past, and, without doubt, The Hills.

What’s this soon-to-be-legendary event that I’m hearing about? Kelly Cutrone: This year at Fashion Week, we’re doing three designers in one show. It’s the first time ever in the tents at Bryant Park that they’ve allowed one time slot for three different designers.

What’s the setup? KC: The setup is that there will be three of them, and they’re all going to have separate shows. So as one finale goes, and the lights will go down; there will be a sign change, and then the lights will come up, and the next designer with a music change will come out. It’s really fast. Robyn Berkley: All of the editors have to sit through all three shows. KC: The backstage will be crazy because there will be 80 models and three sets of hair and makeup.

Was it one invite? RB: No, three different invites.

How would you describe yourself in work mode? RB: Perfectionist, conscientious, innovative, and ambitious. KC: I’m brutally honest. In my role, I’m the leader.

Tell me some memorable Fashion Week stories. RB: One of our designers decided to change the number for the RSVP line that we had set up for him to his cell phone number. At the last minute. Emily Bungert: At the Sass and Bide show, when we were filming The Hills, the designer wouldn’t start the show until her friend — who was flying in from Australia — arrived. RB: Emily’s out front. I’m on the headset, and everyone is screaming at us to start the show. EB: The friend was flying in just to see the show from Australia, and the models are literally lined up, ready to start. The designer is just refusing to start, and we had to argue over the headset and decided that we had to start at that very second, and couldn’t hold the show anymore. Her friend didn’t end up getting to see it. RB: Another one for me is when we did the Heatherette show. They had to close the front of house, and there were still close to 1,000 people outside. Everyone was screaming. And then, we had never done production, and we had to call the show for Heatherette. I wasn’t there for the runthrough, so I get on the headset, and I’m like, “Okay, what’s the whole idea for the show?” All of a sudden, there are all these little fairy girls who are maybe ten, who are walking out with Amanda Lepore and there are dancers — and it was a full-on choreographed routine, and I had no idea. That was pretty dramatic. EB: One year at LA Fashion Week, we did three shows back to back in three hours, and it was all being filmed for The Hills. Andre Leon Talley was there floating around. He’d never been to LA Fashion Week before, and he sat backstage while we were calling the show. He stayed for our shows and sat in the fourth row — he never sits in the first row, he sits in the back. We weren’t completely sure why he was there.

Who’re your favorite clients? RB: I love Jeremy Scott’s shows. The energy there, the crowd, the music … Michel Gaubert does all of the music. It’s always really powerful. EB: Andrew Buckler has really good shows. He has really great models, so there are always a lot of cute boys floating around. That’s the fun thing about doing menswear every once in awhile. He loves to pull some little tricks, and he’s been known to have interesting things happening on the runway. One season, the theme was spaceships and aliens. It was in Bryant Park, and there, everything has to be done by the book, and you have to have insurance for everything. We get to the show that day, and backstage, there are these huge stilts. He didn’t tell us about it, but he hired a guy to be an alien, and the alien had to walk on six-foot stilts, and the stilts were taking up the entire backstage. The people at Bryant Park came up to us and were like, “You need insurance for these stilts.” And there was also a unicycle, and a man in drag was going to be riding it in a corset and a hat and a full face of makeup. But that’s like a typical thing that would happen to us. RB: We did a really good job for Yigal Azrouel when he did his first menswear presentation. He got an amazing response, and this season, he’s nominated for the GQ designer of the year award.

What are your fashion staples? RB: My new favorite jeans are the KSUBI Spray-On jeans, and anything Yigal Azrouel. I wear Chloe dresses. Lots of chain jewelry and big bangles. And the Alex and Ani Halo Necklace. They’re launching on ShopBop. I love Jo de Mer swimwear, and Camilla & Marc — who just launched their new swimwear collection. It’s the best thing I’ve seen in years. I only shop at one store in New York, called No.6. EB: I wear the Alternative Apparel Burnout Tee. We’re all obsessed with the Rag & Bone riding pants. RB: We wear black and white all the time, or else I wear Jeremy Scott.

Where are your places? KC: I go nowhere cool, first of all. Except for my clients’ places. I love Southside, Webster Hall. I love the Sunset Marquis hotel. I’m their publicist, and they’re my oldest client. We’ve been working together for 13 years. I love this hotel in Hermosa Beach called the Beach House, which nobody knows about. It’s the un-Malibu. It’s really beautiful and you can sleep on the second or third floor and have your door open and have the ocean rock you to sleep. I love this little, tiny restaurant on MacDougal street called Monte’s for Italian food. I am also known to pop into Little Italy and go to Angelos. I like it because the maitre’d treats fashion people like shit and is only nice to the mafia. He’s always like, “What you want?” He screams at me. And that, for some reason, I love. I love Savore, which is another unknown restaurant in SoHo, across the street from Mezzogiorno. And they have homemade foccacia. I go to Barolo once in awhile on West Broadway. I only go to places in a five-block radius. I love the Carlyle Hotel for the lobster sandwich, when I want to feel grown up. I love Sullivan Street Bakery. I like Omen, the Japanese restaurant. We love Lucky Strike. They’re like our living room. We love Sanctuary Tea. It stayed in business in a haunted space. Before they took it over, no one could stay in business there for more than six months. They give us free lattes during Fashion Week. RB: My best friend just opened up Charles. I love Nobu. I likeBar Pitti. I like Supper. I like Southside and Beatrice. I like Smith & Mills and Café Habana. I love the Vinegar Factory. We also like the backroom at Raoul’s. EB: La Esquina is my favorite restaurant. We like GoldBar. I love Café Gitane and Freemans. There’s a great restaurant in Williamsburg called Aurora. They opened one in Manhattan, but I like the one in Williamsburg better.

What is one thing that people may not know about you? EB: Well, I’m from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I don’t think that people would expect me to be from Minnesota. RB: I always wanted to be in the circus. I wanted to be a trapeze artist. EB: Something that people don’t know about Kelly Cutrone is that she’s a really talented ice skater. She used to compete when she was younger. We were ice skating with her in Syracuse, and we’re on this local ice rink all wearing all black. Kelly was showing off her moves in the middle of the ice rink, and all the younger girls were getting really jealous.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure? KC: My guiltiest pleasure is re-dating my ex-boyfriends. Recycling. Eco-dating. And just so you know, I’m down to my last ex-boyfriend to re-date. So it’s a very interesting time as to what’s going to become of me now that I’ve re-dated everyone that I’ve previously dated. RB: I cut all of them out. Three months ago, I started this intensive cleanse program, and I stopped smoking, drinking, eating, and now, I go to bed really early. I also cut out sugar. But if I wasn’t doing that, they would be smoking, drinking and eating. EB: I love red wine and Arturo’s pizza. RB: I sometimes get really obsessive watching CSI, like 10 episodes at a time.

Next is People’s Revolution — the reality show? RB: We can’t really talk about it yet. It’ll be announced right around Fashion Week. Most likely it will start pretty soon … everyone wants to delve right into it. EB: It’s definitely happening though.

Was your decision to get involved in reality TV based on The Hills and The City? EB: Kelly’s had a big presence on both shows and has gained a huge fanbase. That started everything. It will be very different from those shows though. It’s going to show what goes on during Fashion Week and with our clients and within the company. It’s more about People’s Revolution itself. It’s funny … Kelly goes to Target and has people going, “Oh my god, that’s the lady from The Hills.” It’s really funny. We went to Syracuse, Kelly’s hometown, and we stopped at a restaurant, and these young girls were staring at her and she’s like, “Oh no, Hills fans.” Her strategy is that she goes up to them and says hello because otherwise they’ll just sit and stare.

Will this be a huge lifestyle change for you? EB: I just hate having to think about my hair and makeup and what I’m going to wear.

What are you doing tonight? RB: I am getting on a plane and going to Miami. I am going to dinner with the team from Longchamp. Maybe seeing ex-boyfriends. I don’t really recycle them, but I have my ongoing conquests that don’t go away. EB: I am working on my sore throat so I don’t get too sick before Fashion Week. Taking some Emergen-C. I try not to make plans until March.

Photo: Patrik Andersson

Buy Two Nights, Get One Free at New York Hotels

imageHotel deals are starting to get good — even in New York, where it typically costs more than your month’s rent to stay for a few days. Currently, there are nine hotels participating in a “Buy Two, Get One Free” bonanza, good from January 9 through February 27. The following hotels are hoping this deal will entice you to come and stay for a while:

1. The Carlyle (Upper East Side) – Stuffy Euro aristocrats plus rootless American nouveau riche equals 23 grand pianos, a highball, and a mammoth room fee. 2. Jumeirah Essex House (Upper West Side) – Art Deco, Central Park West, Broadway, it’s all here. 3. Loews Regency Hotel (Midtown East) – Modern yet fancy, close to the museums and lots of shopping, this is the spot where John Edwards starting cheating on his wife, so you know it’s got to be somewhat good.

4. The London NYC (Midtown West) – Sex and the City (the movie) had some scenes here, so rest assured, it’s officially “New York.” Though most of the rooms are teensy and cramped, apparently the view from room 4601 is killer. 5. The New York Palace Hotel (Midtown East) – It’s not exactly blowing up, but the Sultan’s Palace is in a heavy harem-recruiting phase. 6. The Plaza Hotel (Midtown West) – Historic, and historically expensive. Home of the $28 burger, the $17 cheesecake, and $755-a-night rates. 7. The Sherry-Netherland (Midtown East) – The lobby is modeled after the Vatican. Need I say more? 8. Trump International Hotel & Tower (Midtown West) – The Donald’s sick park views for masters of the universe and the Euro-rocking aristocracy. 9. The Waldorf Astoria (Midtown East) – Three bars, four restaurants, and Jazz Age overindulgence. Mostly businesspeople now, but a certain spirit abides.