The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Monday, November 18, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Calderwood, Ace Hotel chain co-founder, dies in London at 47

SEATTLE -- Alex Calderwood, the Seattle co-founder of the hip Ace Hotel chain, has died in London at age 47.
His company, Atelier Ace, said on its website that he passed away Thursday but released no information about the cause. The statement calls Calderwood "our teacher, mentor, guru and most importantly our dear friend."
In 1999, he and two friends launched Seattle's Ace Hotel in a flophouse that formerly served maritime workers. It's renowned for its much-imitated style, with vintage and repurposed furniture, record players and guestroom art by Shepard Fairey -- who later became famous for creating the "HOPE" poster that came to symbolize Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.
Ace Hotels later opened in Portland, Ore.; New York; Palm Springs, Calif.; and London, with others scheduled to open late this year or early next year in Panama City, Panama, and Los Angeles. Ace describes itself on its website as "a collection of individuals -- multiple and inclusive, held together by an affinity for the soulful."
"We try to do unexpected things from a design standpoint," Calderwood told The New York Times in 2008. "We want to celebrate the everyday with utilitarian objects."
Calderwood grew up in Seattle's eastside suburbs. Just out of high school, he began managing a Seattle clothing store called International News. He used material from a Boeing Co. surplus store to create fixtures, desks and other parts of a showroom, Amit Shah, who hired him, told The Seattle Times.
"He saw what you could do with material that nobody else wanted," Shah said. "He always had a desire to come up with something new that gave consumers value for their money. He was an entrepreneur and knew how to entertain, but more than that, he was always willing to talk about what the new thing was."
In 1993, Calderwood and two partners started a Seattle chain of rock-themed barbershops called Rudy's. The stores were a hit, and there are now eight of them in Seattle and nine others spread through in Portland, New York and Los Angeles.
He went on to open a popular Seattle nightclub before becoming a hotelier.
Ryan Bukstein, Ace's director of public relations and marketing, said he had been working for the company for 14 years, since starting as an intern while in college. Calderwood was his friend and mentor, he said.
"His humility, spirit of collaboration and tireless work ethic has influenced our family at Atelier Ace and creatives across the globe," Bukstein wrote in an email Sunday. "We all plan to continue moving forward with the ideals Alex championed so naturally."
Calderwood is survived by his parents, Thomas and Kathleen Calderwood of Seattle; two sisters, Donna Roberts and Tahnee Ferry; and a brother, Tim Calderwood.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus

HeraldNet highlights

Nothing but corn
Nothing but corn: Everett Mall business grew from a kernel of an idea
History at every turn
History at every turn: Website finds stories behind county's historic corners
Cold-weather playtime
Cold-weather playtime: Beyond skis & snowboards: 11 ways to have fun in winter
The real bottom line
The real bottom line: Millions spent in Oso, but generosity can't be measured
SnoCoSocial