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Las Vegas Designers Say City Can Fashion An XL Garment Industry


Models with Las Vegas designer David Tupaz

Las Vegas has glitz and glamor, a robust workforce, and low overhead, qualities that two designers say put the city on the frontier of fashion.

Southern Nevada should aspire to having a higher profile in the fashion world, said Las Vegas designer David Tupaz, who showed his line at the recently concluded Fashion Week in New York.

Tupaz said there is one thing that is holding back the fashion industry in Las Vegas.

“The first thing Las Vegas needs is a solid foundation of manufacturing,” he said. 

Tupaz and fellow designer Catherine Trifiletti, who is expanding her Las Vegas design and manufacturing operations, said the city’s proximity to suppliers in Southern California but lower costs provide an advantage in building a fashion industry.

Earlier this year, California-based designer and manufacturer Houman Salem wrote an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times saying he was relocating to Las Vegas because Nevada offers “reduced regulations, no state taxes, and significantly less expensive worker compensation insurance.”

Trifiletti agreed with Salem's assessment. She was originally a fashion designer but moved to designing uniforms for casinos about 10 years ago.

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She said the people in the industry in Las Vegas are more ambitious than in Los Angeles or New York City because they know they can make a name for themselves, if they work hard enough.

Tupaz said that is one of the reasons he moved here after living in both California and New York. 

“For me, Las Vegas is the last frontier," he said.

Tupaz said to get started in the industry in New York and LA, you have to know the right people with money to back you, but in Las Vegas that is not the case.

Trifiletti said that Las Vegas is also very supportive of new businesses. She said the city of Las Vegas helped her find the right space for her business and helped her get through licensing hoops. 


David Tupaz and Catherine Trifiletti, fashion designers

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