Seattle native Alex Calderwood, founder and creator of the avant-garde Ace Hotel, has passed away at the age of 47. According to the New York Times, a hotel spokesman said that Calderwood died in London on Thursday, but declined to give an specific cause of death.
After operating a vintage clothing business in Seattle, he and a friend decided to refashion the traditional barbershop in the early 1990s. The shop, known as Rudy's, flourished, eventually growing to a chain of over a dozen by the late '90s. In 1999, he opened the first Ace Hotel in Seattle, featuring affordable rooms with turntables and street art—additions that would become Calderwood's trademark, a signature that's been often imitated in the subsequent years.
The hotel expanded to New York; Portland, Ore.; Palm Springs, Calif. and most recently London. New locations were slated to open in Los Angeles and Panama.
Calderwood and his creative approach to business will be sorely missed.
[via New York Times]