Another rugby Vegas weekend come and gone. Another week spent in one of the busiest and loneliest places on earth. A city that truly doesn't sleep. Sometimes, Las Vegas reminds us New Yorkers that we are mortal with it's 24 hour capitalist drive to make us rich, poor, ecstatic or lost searching for the meaning of the life. Vegas is where the world parties and it's where some of the best rugby is to be had each year. This year was no exception as Fiji triumphed and the American faithful (with the help of the Kenyans and Pacific Islanders) came in force again to ensure the atmosphere at Sam Boyd Stadium was electric. If you haven't been yet, make it a priority. If you're an American contemplating rugby as your new passion, this should help convert you. Fans from all over gather and share the same enthusiasm for the game they love to play and follow.
After the last whistle, everyone hustles back to the strip to nap through their newly acquired sunburn, continue drinking and put on the fancy clothes to impress and impregnate the town with their colors and spirit. Vegas can make normal people do odd things. Vegas can turn angels into devils and with little guidance from the promoters it isn't hard to find a drink to share with friends or strangers. Again, this year with no exception.
Following the rugby weekend we Bakliners stayed behind for another week. It was weird - one night you're sharing beers with Todd Clever and the French team and the next you're contemplating the emptiness left when the ruggers hit the airport. It's like when the school year is over and all your dorm mates have left one day early and you're stuck on campus without a soul around. Even the dining staff are off and the dining hall is eerily desolate. Except in Vegas, when the ruggers leave you can always hit up the amazing buffet at Aria hotel and indulge in the crab legs and decadent rice krispie treats.
When the rugby was over the biggest week in fashion retail was to be had all around at what is known as MAGIC. Nothing to do with magic tricks, the week following rugby is where some of the most established clothing brands mix and showcase their latest wears amongst the unknowns (i.e. Bakline!) From Diesel to Obey, Tigerlily to Angry Blossom: an overwhelming amount of talent packed into Mandalay Bay to promote their creations. Normally, this 3 day event is not for the public but it feels like all walks of people come in to see what's new. Promoters, buyers, lawyers, wholesalers, shirt makers and dancers come to hang and see what you're all about. We can say that with confidence that as America's interest in rugby grows, so does the curiosity for it's lifestyle image. Bakline is not just about rugby - we live to play hard and party harder and finding many in Vegas with a similar attitude wasn't hard to find. We are proud to say that Bakline will be available soon in Japan and here in New York in some unexpected places. More to come when it's official.
Until then, be well friends.