They call it Sin City, and it’s not too hard to work out why. My jet lag has meant that I am awake (and hungry!) at random times of the day. Not to mention that my friend jetted in for 48hours, and we saw out quite a few of them in bars. And it doesn’t seem to matter the time of day, there are still people at the tables, betting big. It is the most incredible place for people-watching. Everything seems exaggerated, from the fashion styles, to the loud shouts when someone has won or lost. The camaraderie that instantly seems to form round the Craps tables, as everyone supports the one guy looking for the lucky 7. It’s a unique city indeed. But what I love about it is the amazing displays of style that are here. Everyone is outdoing themselves to be the most beautiful person in the room.
In one quick walk through the casino floor, I passed groups of women who wouldn’t look out of place on the catwalk, next to the hen’s party complete with tiny veil on the bride-to-be’s coiffured head, to the couple who are there just trying their luck.
And that style is reflected in the hotels, the artwork, even the baths are designed to maximise comfort, relaxation, and the opportunity to leave your stresses behind.
I chose to stay at Aria Hotel for the UBM Magic conference. It opened in 2009, and with 4004 rooms, is simply colossal. What is incredible here though is the focus upon all the details. The colour scheme is largely navy and gold, which is so beautifully matched to ours. I’m sleeping in a gold and navy room that seemed to be designed with my brand in mind! What amazing inspiration! And it is one of the most technologically advanced hotels, with sustainability incorporated in its design. Upon entering my room, the curtains automatically open, and will stay that way until I leave, where they close to keep out the forbidding Nevada heat. The rooms are climate controlled, but this is reduced if you aren’t in them. It feels clever.
Yesterday we visited the Mandalay Bay hotel, and watched Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque de Soleil. It was incredible. The lights, the effects, the performers. It awed, it made me cry in parts, gasp out loud. It was breathtaking. It is striking that in this hotel is a theatre holding 1805 seats. In itself that blows my mind, but add to it that the same hotel also houses a 9000 square meters aquarium – that’s 2 football fields within a hotel. The design and architecture that goes into each and every one of these incredible hotels is astounding. To think about all of these aspects, to drive entertainment, and provide the necessary relief from the endless slot machines, must surely be the biggest part of the challenge when building each of these hotels. From the Bellagio Fountains, to Paris’ Eiffel Tower, and the Colosseum at Caesers Palace, each hotel out-sparkles the one before.
I can’t even comprehend the design implications of this, knowing the design process that I went through to bring StopTheGape to life. I always had a very clear vision of what I wanted the StopTheGape clip to do. It had to be able to be used on almost every shirt. As StopTheGape uses your spare button, it also had to be able to align with the other buttons on your shirt, so that it wouldn’t be obvious when worn. It had to be your own style secret, providing you with the confidence to wear your clothes, knowing you aren’t showing. It also had to be lightweight, and enable you to forget you are wearing it. It had to be easy to use and reusable with the same shirt again and again. And finally, and most fundamentally, it had to not damage your shirt, like a pin can. These were my design tenets. And then it was over to the designers, who were amazing at taking all of these requirements and coming up with the StopTheGape as we have it. It weighs under 10grams, is made of quality stainless steel so is super strong, but still compact. You can’t feel it when you are wearing it, and by using the spare button, it just looks like any other button on your shirt, closing up your gaping problem.
It has been a long process, to get the product to work exactly as I wanted. We have had four or five different iterations of prototype and then once we moved to production, there have been four iterations of that too, to make sure that the clip will stay on the shirt, that the magnets hold perfectly, and that it maintains its strength over time. What a journey of discovery it has been for me over a period of 2-3 years! So, when I think about these hotels, and the level of design that must have gone into them, I cannot be anything other than awed.
Vegas may be the city of sin. It is undoubtedly a city where people come to play, and all the environments are set up to maximise the opportunity for this. It is also a city that separates people into two distinct groups, those who love it, and those who loath it. I am in the former category, and love the style, the audacity, and largesse of Vegas. I am not a big gambler, but I love people watching, and I think it is very easy to see Vegas as not just the city of lights, but also a city with amazing design and style at its core, with beautiful environments designed to wow the senses. This level of design should be part of all the products we buy. So, rather than having what happens in Vegas stay in Vegas, I say, let’s bring on the style.
Till next time, StopTheGape.