By Kristen Peterson | April 1, 2015 | Style & Beauty
The newest landmark on The Strip adds another layer of sparkle—and then some.
The Strip’s latest retail kingdom deserved nothing less than a radiant crown of crystal spheres, courtesy of Swarovski.
There’s never been such a thing as “too much” on the Las Vegas Strip. Add another bit of sparkle and still there’s room for more.
So when it came to creating the Grand Bazaar Shops outside Bally’s this year, there was no question about topping the freestanding Swarovski boutique with a towering LED-lit crystal starburst, 14 feet in diameter and equipped with more than 1,800 points of light. Call it a radiant crown of sorts for this new open-air retail kingdom, a glittering globe comprising 924 custom-cut Swarovski crystal spheres.
To make it happen, the Austrian-based Swarovski company joined forces with the Young Electric Sign Company, the longtime darlings of innovative signage in Las Vegas—a pairing that seemed inevitable given their mutual expertise in well-designed ostentation.
“It’s a one-of-a-kind art piece, a tribute to Las Vegas,” says Mitch Olorenshaw, account executive project director at YESCO, who was involved with the fabrication of the starburst from the beginning and was up for the challenge of working with crystal. “There are multiple layers of lighting within it. Some of it is a reflecting, refracting light, and then you have each of the crystals lit.”
Although the piece is unique, works of this kind are nothing new for Swarovski, long associated with jewelry and fashion accessories. The company has extensive experience with sculptural projects, even commissioning artists to create works shown at the global art fair Art Basel in Miami Beach and producing items for movie sets. Swarovski is also well-known for the nine-and-a-half-foot-wide star it fashioned for the top of the Christmas tree in New York City’s Rockefeller Center, but the Vegas starburst is more playful, featuring a modern design and emitting a full rainbow of colors, says Swarovski spokeswoman Jennifer Hinkle.
“This is the only Swarovski boutique in the US that features a completely unique faceted design and a large-scale custom exterior lighting element,” she adds. “Crystal loves light. Seeing light pass through the crystals enhances the sparkle and creates amazing light effects.”
And if there’s one thing Vegas loves—especially at night—it’s glittering, shimmering light.
photography by erik kabik for swarovski