June 06 2011
Presidents Club, Las Vegas airport. A man in front of me checking in said with some urgency, “I need an upgrade, I have a bad leg.” The woman at the desk said, “Of course, sir, shall I charge it to your card?” Well, Jesus must have been in the house, as miraculously he was healed, showing almost no sign of a limp as he walked away.
It’s not as easy as it may seem, leaving Las Vegas; you only have to ask Nicolas Cage, “Black Jack” Dellal or Steve Wynn. The city can sense if you have anything left. That’s not just cash but literally anything, including your shirt. This theory is supported wholeheartedly by the number of singlets, tank tops and general undergarments being worn as some sort of proof-of-having-taken-part-in-it-all uniform at the airport. The Vegas equivalent of the “I’ve been to Hollywood” souvenir T-shirt.
Talking of dress code, even though my next stop is LA (hardly a hub for the modestly adorned), it will be a marked contrast to the “Whatever you’ve got, flaunt every bit of it” wardrobe adopted by almost every young small-town girl the minute they set foot on the scorching sidewalks of the Vegas strip.
I’m happy to report that I’ve made it out, still in possession of most of my material belongings but definitely deprived of sleep and missing a few brain cells.
The show was our best yet. Business was brisk and people seemed confident, this despite the alarming headline in today’s USA Today that on average house prices in the US have dropped in value by 65 per cent since the crisis. Better get my deliveries in pretty sharpish.
The show has once again highlighted the shift in buying habits of the retailers, determined by their clients. With gold prices sky high and rising, purchasing is more polarised than ever. The high end is almost unaffected by rising material costs but at the lower but still premium end, designers struggle to achieve the price points required. This is being addressed by the use of more and more creative alternatives to the traditional precious metals. For the first time we introduced a men’s iron and silver line. It went down a storm. I called it Iron Age. Nothing better than looking backwards to go forward.