Designer Q&A: Vegas Views

President, Donald J Pliner

What do you think of Las Vegas?
It’s an incredible city, but it’s not my favorite. They have sensational entertainment, and I love the dry heat. The sad thing is all the cigarettes.

What are your top activities there?
Going to Mesa Grill and a show. I also go to my own store to see the difference between it and my other stores.

Do you have a favorite sin in Sin City?
Well, I had too much tequila at a party once [laughs]. Actually, I’d been traveling and was under the weather. Everyone thought I was drunk, but I wasn’t.

What’s the key to staying sane in that crazy town?
If you’re working, that’s the first priority. I’ve seen buyers sleep during presentations.

Design director of accessories & footwear, American Eagle

Do you have any essential activities when you hit town?
The roller coaster at New York, New York and the helicopter into the Grand Canyon. Oh, and having drinks in the city’s underbelly.

What do you love or hate about going to Vegas?
I hate the closed-in spaces. You can’t tell what time it is. But I love having the vendors in one place.

Do you have a favorite Vegas sin?
Strip clubs. I can say that, right?

So how do you maintain equilibrium when you’re there?
I have breakfast at Bouchon in the Venetian. That’s a prerequisite — no matter what hotel you’re staying at.

Owner & designer, Reed Evins

Where would Vegas rank on your list of preferred places?
Right at the bottom.

What do you hate about it?
I hate the tackiness of everything, from the look of the people to the place. It’s ironic that we go there to show our style.

Is there a key to surviving in a 24/7 place like that?
Going outside. We can’t [access it] in the Venetian. They don’t open the windows.

What shoes do you wear to stay comfortable?
Anything in brown suede.

Co-founder & designer, Creative Recreation

What do you like to do when you’re in town?
I have three kids — 16, 9 and 6 — so we make it fun for everyone, with shows, restaurants, the pool. Everyone else may go gambling or to discrete spots, but that ain’t me.

How do you deny the temptations?
I guess my family keeps me level. They are the backbone of what I do. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Is that why you bring them?
My wife and I have gone together since she was pregnant with our daughter. It became a tradition. We went before we were even a family, and now that we are, we continually go.

So when you’re running around with them, what shoes do you wear?
Creative Recs! We started an Italian collection this spring, so I’ve been wearing those out a lot.

Design director, Nina Footwear

What are your Vegas must-dos?
I must shop the Forum Shops and the Fashion Mall, must see Cirque du Soleil and must not gamble until the night before leaving.

Where does it rank on your list of favorite cities?

Near the bottom. It has a plastic amusement-park vibe that I don’t find inspiring.

So do you have a favorite sin there?

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

What about your most memorable Vegas moment?

The night I won big at blackjack and left for vacation with two grand in my pocket.


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