Salvatore Napoli, Illustration ’04, created a lifestyle brand that evokes luxury hospitality
by Jonathan Vatner
Sal Napoli is obsessed with boutique hotels. He loves everything from the meticulous curation of art to the scent in the lobby. “Who doesn’t want to live in a hotel?” he says. “You have your bed made every day, and you get room service.”
By day, he is the director of U.S. Windows and West Coast Visual Merchandising at Ferragamo, adapting designs from the brand’s headquarters in Italy. In his spare time, he creates moody, luxe home accessories for his brand ArtAche Hotel.
The brand began when he couldn’t find a quality tissue box cover for his home. Napoli decided to create one, clad in leather and emblazoned with a skull motif—and realized he could bring the aura of hotel hospitality to others.
With his savings and a small loan from his father, he produced small runs of home accessories: pillows, trays, and “bandanakins”—bandannas that double as napkins. The breakthrough came when he encountered colorful kantha blankets from India, made from recycled cotton saris with intricate block prints. Working with a patternmaker and designer in New York, Napoli made them into comfy, reversible robes. They were an instant hit; strangers would buy them off his back. “It’s like you’re wearing a piece of art,” he says. “You can wear it out to dinner.”
From there, ArtAche Hotel blossomed. Napoli blended two candle scents with help from Stone Candles of Santa Monica, California: Afterparty, a smoky blend of patchouli, sandalwood, and tobacco; and Social Light, a verdant mix of jasmine, white rose, tobacco, and petrichor—the earthy smell after rainfall. He rented a three-car garage in Venice, California, and built it out as a studio and immersive indoor/outdoor showroom.Ultimately, Napoli hopes to launch experiential boutique hotels around the world, with “a membership vibe—to feel like you’re part of something different.”