"I try to look chic, while still sporting an outfit that I don't mind spilling a Bloody Mary on!"
Even before the Ian Schrager makeover, The Gramercy Park Hotel was a perennial fashion industry and celebrity favorite. Now, nearly 90 years since it first opened, it's still a go-to for countless industry events and a hotbed for international editors during New York Fashion Week.
We spoke to Maialino (the Danny Meyer restaurant located in the lobby of the hotel) bartender Ian McAndrew about pressures to dress the part, how to get a bartender's attention, satorial turn-offs, and more.
The Fashion Spot: How would you describe your personal style?
Ian McAndrew: Clean, preppy, with a NY edge.
tFS: Where do you shop?
IM: Typically at all the NY budget places that you can get GREAT pieces for a good price: H&M, Uniqlo, Topshop, Banana Republic. I'll splurge when I'm getting a staple item at Saks or something.
tFS: Most cherished clothing possession?
IM: My Ferragamo loafers. I only bring them out for special occasions because they're AMAZING and also hurt my feet.
tFS: Do you feel pressure to look a certain way when you're working?
iM: Because the bar staff is part of the experience we are presenting to our guests, there’s the expectation that we look professional and put together. I try to look chic at the same time, while still sporting an outfit that I don't mind spilling a Bloody Mary on!
tFS: Do you notice what people are wearing when you're working?
IM: Yes. A lot of our guests at Maialino are in creative fields and the fashion industry, so we get a lot of stylish people.
tFS: What's the best way to get a bartender's attention at a busy, buzzy spot in your opinion?
IM: Waving/calling out/snapping isn’t as effective as finding an empty spot on the bar to put your hand down, and trying to make eye contact. Bartenders sometimes get slammed, but I’ll always do my best to be over as soon as I possibly can.
tFS: What do you like seeing women wear?
IM: Whatever makes her feel sexy and confident. Other than that, heels and glitter will always get my attention.
tFS: Sartorial turnoff?
IM: Personally, I like belts and shoes that match. In menswear, I think accessories are what tie a look together.
tFS: Any memorable outfits you've seen recently?
IM: I'm a huge fan of a navy suit with black accessories and a guest came into the restaurant for dinner the other day wearing just that. The look was so clean and chic—like an updated member of the Rat Pack. Plus, he ordered an Old Fashioned, which completed the look.