Tuesday, July 17, 2012 | 9:40 p.m.
While Robin Leach takes his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy, many of our Strip and Las Vegas personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. Our thanks to them all. We continue today with Tatyana Khomyakova, founder and designer of Bettie Page Clothing headquartered at Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile Shops. Bettie Page Clothing has stores throughout the U.S. and sells to hundreds of boutiques the world over. It’s a story that could only happen in Las Vegas.
I’ve always adored the feminine form.
Even growing up in a small village in northern Russia, I was thinking of beautiful dresses adorning sophisticated ladies each more beautiful than the other. I did not have the courage to think that one day that little girl would become a designer whose creations grace the likes of the hottest celebrities and tens of thousands of women the world over.
How fortunate I am.
After years of study at the best universities in Russia (and Paris) to realize my dream of becoming a designer, a perfect storm of events combined to turn hope into reality.
In the mid-1990s, I met my husband Jan, who is a businessman who specializes in branding. Jan is adept at recognizing the unique qualities of a brand and applying it to a product to realize value.
Soon after we were married, we settled in Las Vegas where Jan worked to develop a game with Bally Technologies, and I worked for Steve Wynn at the Bellagio and the Desert Inn as a docent for his art collection. We were happy and building a life together, but still there was something inside that was unsettled.
I wanted to design beautiful dresses.
The opportunity came when a retail space opened at Desert Passage Mall (now the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood). I was determined to design dresses reminiscent of “The Golden Age” of fashion -- the 1950s -- but with my own interpretation. Jan secured the perfect brand to identify the designs, and Bettie Page Clothing was born.
It could only have happened in Las Vegas!
This vibrant trading post is the crossroads for peoples the world over. Only here could I have presented my designs to women from all over the globe surrounded by excitement and that special vibe only Las Vegas has. From Pavarotti and the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art to Wayne Newton and “Peepshow,” Las Vegas has everything. Las Vegas is the place where the world meets, ideas are shared and memories made that last forever.
When Las Vegas was born, people came to this city mainly to gamble. Soon, the greatest entertainers in the world held court in showrooms tailored just for them. Then the great restaurateurs took up residence in five-star hotels. Finally, over the past decade or so, shopping centers appeared with the likes of Gucci and Versace sitting side-by-side with Tommy Bahama and Bebe.
In Las Vegas, there is a shopping experience for everyone. Perhaps that is why tourists come to this city not just to gamble, but also to dine at world-class restaurants and shop at unique and wonderful stores. Bettie Page Clothing is delighted to join with our fellow designers and making our guests’ experiences exciting and memorable.
How I love this city!
Our thanks to Tatyana for her fashion magic in keeping the spirit of pinup princess Bettie Page alive. Be sure to check out our other guest columns today from Flamingo magician headliner Nathan Burton and chef Kerry Simon and return Wednesday for Australian singers Human Nature, hair guru to the stars Michael Boychuck and chef Steve Martorano.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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