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Publish Date: 08-Jan-2012

Dallas Sunday, January 08, 2012

The Fairmont Dallas is pleased to announce fashion designer Isabel Varela as the hotel’s inaugural Designer-in-Residence, marking a new addition to the Artist in Residence program. As a participant in the Artist in Residence program, which was established in collaboration with Ross Akard Gallery with the goal of supporting talented local and regional artists, Varela will live and work on-site at the hotel from January 8, 2012 through March 31, 2012. 

A native of Lake Charles, Louisiana, Varela realized her love of design while reading her mother’s fashion magazines as a young girl. She chose to attend Louisiana State University in pursuit of this passion, graduating with a Bachelors of Science degree in Apparel Design and a minor in Business in 2008. While attending university, Varela worked as a visual merchandising intern at LF Stores and as an assistant design intern at BCBG Max Azria in Los Angeles, while simultaneously showing her own work in local fashion shows and design competitions. Having achieved a well-rounded mix of formal design education and industry experience, she decided to pursue her childhood dream of starting her own label. In January 2011, she collaborated with Ashlee Brooks Patton to launch contemporary womenswear line Varela + Brooks, which was named runner-up at the 5th annual Texas’ Next Top Designer Competition.

Most recently, Varela has focused her efforts on launching her independent label Izavel, which will include feminine, structured pieces in neutral color palettes. Working extensively with wool, leather and silk organza, Varela describes her designs as “fashion forward and architectural” and she finds inspiration through many different avenues, including art, music and modern technology.

“I love fashion because of its ability to change and constantly renew itself, and because it is a form self-expression,” said Varela. “The most rewarding part of being a fashion designer is seeing clients smile and knowing that they feel confident while wearing my designs.”

During her tenure as Designer-in-Residence, Varela will be working in the glass-front design studio located on the “O” level of The Fairmont Dallas. Members of the community are invited to visit the studio to watch the designer at work. Studio hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm. Custom womenswear and menswear pieces may be commissioned.

About the Artist-in-Residence Program
The Fairmont Dallas’ Artist-in-Residence program is a collaborative initiative with Ross Akard Gallery and features local, regional and national artists who reside in the hotel for three months at a time while working in an onsite studio located on the “O” level in the hotel’s south tower. Artwork created throughout the length of the artist’s stay serves various purposes – some is displayed in public areas of the hotel, others illuminate the hotel’s themed Arts District Suite and a number of select pieces benefit various philanthropic efforts. For more information, please visit

Located in world-class destinations around the globe, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a celebrated collection of hotels that includes landmark locations like London’s The Savoy, New York’s The Plaza, and Shanghai’s Fairmont Peace Hotel. With more than 60 hotels, Fairmont is known as much for its warm, engaging service and culturally rich experiences, as its classic hotels that imbue a sense of heritage, sophistication and social importance and are often considered destinations in their own right. A community and environmental leader, Fairmont is also regarded for its responsible tourism practices and award-winning Green Partnership program. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Holdings Limited, a leading global hotel company with over 100 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont and Raffles branded estates and luxury private residence club properties. For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit Become a fan of Fairmont. Join our online communities at,, and For career opportunities, visit

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