The Design Collective by Cintas combines ready-to-wear designs with award-winning designers’ custom creations to curate an apparel collection that enhances a brand’s identity. Its fashion house took home seven awards at the 2021 North American Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors (NAUMD) annual awards show, including the top prize of the night: the Best of the Best. G2E sat down with the fashion house to discuss how they go about working with brands and what makes a uniform collection created by the Design Collective so special.
The Design Collective by Cintas is a distinctive fashion house dedicated to creating a modern wardrobe for employees. What types of casino properties have you worked with to produce apparel programs?
We work with casinos across North America to design and implement employee wardrobe programs. We’re grateful to have many national account relationships as well as local independent clients. Some clients include MGM Resorts, Penn National Gaming, Hard Rock, Boyd Gaming, and Churchill Downs, and most recently Bally’s.
What does the process look like when you are collaborating with casino operators on new designs or uniforms?
The design process is collaborative between Design Collective and our clients. We start with identifying the brand of the corporation or individual property and create mood boards to initiate design inspiration. We have a full team of designers dedicated to the gaming industry who have decades of experience designing specifically for gaming clients. Once the story of the brand is defined in the apparel, we create design boards with various looks and options. Then we narrow down the look and move to samples. Dependent on the size of the project, we will showcase our ensemble samples in a fashion show tailored to the brand.
We have four distinct methods to deliver our apparel program, including our line of ready-to-wear apparel, Signature Express (decorated ready-to-wear), our Gaming Collection (developed custom industry favorites), and of course full custom, which is designed exclusively for each client.
The relationship doesn’t end at the sale, once garments are selected and shipped to the casino, we offer an additional installation service. The installation team will unpack the boxes, hang the garments, sew in the radio frequency identification (RFID) chip, and most importantly, alter each garment to perfectly fit each employee. To take this a step further, we consult and manage uniform rooms across the country. Our Onsite Solution is provided at a breakeven price point, so our customers get the benefit of inventory control, full alterations services, and onsite customer service. Our team of experts assists in labor management, alleviation of the cost of lost garments, and inventory maximation. This is extremely relevant in our current environment of high turnover and increased labor costs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on the gaming industry. What challenges has the Design Collective by Cintas had and how have you pivoted your offerings to meet those challenges?
As casinos across the country closed operations at the outset of the pandemic, our demand for apparel came to a standstill. When gaming re-opened, every casino was challenged with limited garments in their inventory. We immediately saw a spike in demand all at once across the country. This sparked enormous demand most apparel providers were not able to meet. Thankfully, Design Collective has a robust global supply chain to meet our customers’ needs. As manufacturers unexpectedly closed due to ongoing pandemic challenges, we were prepared to move manufacturing to other approved sites and continue supporting our clients.
The Design Collective recently took the top prize at the North American Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors (NAUMD) annual convention in San Diego with your program for Resorts World Las Vegas. What made this collection so special and what benefits could it bring to other properties?
Resorts World Las Vegas was the largest and most successful Las Vegas opening within the last 10 years. We started very early in the project, which enabled us to collaborate with the Resorts World leadership team to develop the brand Resorts World wanted to present to their guests. The design process was executed successfully because we had roughly 15 months to bring the project to life. Our mission was to create signature pieces that would make a statement for many years to come. Cocktail pieces are highly embellished with Austrian Crystals and glass beads to make an impact. Silhouettes are strategically designed to have a sultry yet sophisticated look, while also being functional for day-to-day use. All fabrics and treatments were tested for performance and sustainability.
Learn more about the Design Collective by Cintas.