Todd Oldham, fashion hound
The Old Navy design creative director travels in style, naturally. Here's how.
(Fortune Magazine) -- It's been ten years since his last ready-to-wear collection, but designer Todd Oldham is back in fashion with a top post at Old Navy.
His detour first took him into home furnishings, creating hip dorm room accessories for Target (TGT, Fortune 500) and furniture for La-Z-Boy (LZB), then hosting Bravo TV's Top Design. Now Oldham will oversee clothing design for Old Navy, the $6.8 billion division of Gap (GPS, Fortune 500), as the struggling chain tries to woo twentysomethings with trendier, faster collections.
We caught up with Oldham - who'll be making frequent trips from his New York City base to Gap headquarters in San Francisco - to find out how he travels in style.
DAYS ON THE ROAD: More than 100.
BAY AREA STAY: In San Francisco, I really like the Clift, with its beautiful Redwood Room. The hotel was redesigned by Philippe Starck a few years ago, and he left a lot of what was great and refreshed the rest. I always stay in rooms 1028, 1128, or 1228. They're extremely quiet, and the windows open for fresh air.
FAVORITE WAY TO FLY: I was absolutely delighted when I first flew Virgin America last year, and it's my first choice now. I fly in the first-class cabin, and it's very civilized. The seats and the lighting are great, and the food is delicious.
TRIP TIP: Try to leave on the first flight out. And don't fly into major airports, whether O'Hare or Newark or La Guardia, in the mid-afternoon. That's when things start piling up.
IN-FLIGHT GADGETS: I travel with my Apple MacBook Pro 17-inch, my iPhone, and my iPod Shuffle. So between all of them, I'm very happy. I can edit films, I can write, I can lay out books.
OFF THE GRID: My favorite place on the planet is Caneel Bay in St. John, the Rosewood property there. It's very low key. It's not a place to go if you want to stay connected, because there are no TVs or phones, and I love that.
BAGGAGE CHECK: I'm a luggage shipper. I have a small vinyl Tumi suitcase I bring on, but I won't check anything if I have to carry more stuff. It's a lot easier, with all the airport nonsense these days, to send it ahead of you. FedEx or UPS is quite friendly for that.
LUNCH SPOT: I've been taking people to my favorite little Mexican dive, Lupe's in New York's SoHo, for 20 years. The food is flawless - and I know, because I lived in Texas for a long time.
SPARE TIME: Everyplace I go, even if I have only 20 minutes, I try to go to a museum. If you're in Minneapolis, make sure to go to the Walker Art Center. In L.A., it's always fun to visit the Getty. Fort Worth has a trio of exquisite museums. The Modern Art Museum there was designed by Tadao Ando.
DON'T MISS: The Curiosity Shoppe in San Francisco. It's an incredible little store, with house stuff and beautiful books. It's in a really cool part of town, on Valencia Street. I've been checking it out a lot lately when I'm there.