International Lingerie Show 2016 & Ron Jeremy
My first trip to the International Lingerie Show in Las Vegas
And my first time to meet Ron Jeremy!
I will admit, a lot of my job is fun. I still love this job at LoveWorks as much as I did several years ago when I started. Recently, “The Old Guy”, or as I like to call him, “The Boss Man”, decided to send Madam Red and myself to the International Lingerie Show, (ILS), in Las Vegas, Nevada. This was a special treat. Not exactly for reasons one would automatically assume with a trip to Vegas, but mostly because it meant we were going to be seeing "hands-on" what we wanted to add into our stores for our customers. Usually when we place a lingerie order it is from either a catalog, or we sign into a website. This gave us an opportunity to go through a tremendous amount of different lingerie companies, really get a feel for their quality, and potentially bring something new back to our stores,
Madam Red and I arrived to Vegas the evening before, checked into our hotel room at the Rio Hotel, (also the convention center that the International Lingerie Show was held), and honestly just tried to adjust to the time change. It is crazy what a two hour time difference actually feels like. We hit up the Rio Seafood Buffet, which was far from impressive, (I have to remind myself, I live in a coastal city, and seafood anywhere that is not a coastal city will never be good enough for me), and then we called it a night.
The next morning was the first morning of International Lingerie Show. The convention center was located a little bit away in the hotel from where the rooms and casino were. After asking for directions once, and then really getting confused by a long hall of what appeared to be nothing; we knew we were headed in the right direction when we started seeing the hallways decorated in floor to ceiling banners of girls in lingerie. It was quite a sight. We arrived, checked in, received our badges, and were ready to go. We turned a corner and walked underneath a very cute, neon pink, lit up sign that said obviously, “International Lingerie Show”, where breakfast was offered; an assortment of bagels, muffins, and fruit.
We met with one of LoveWorks' regular lingerie sales representatives first. I am so glad that we did too. She kind of lead us in a little bit early, before the crowd, and we got to get an idea of what really was in store for us. Obviously we were focusing on her and what we were going to be purchasing from her, but at the same time walking to the different booths she represents we were seeing what else there was to offer. I almost felt like a small town girl getting a taste of the big city for the first time.
It was a huge open room full of so many different companies. Madame Red and I both knew it was going to take far more than a day to go through everything. I was so excited just thinking about all the first looks I was geting and what I would bring back for my customers. We didn’t finish up with our regular sales representative until lunch time. She has about four different companies she took us to, and she showed us everything. We were able to handle just about every single material and item of lingerie before deciding if we wanted to order it. Which is always nice as we were able to actually feel the quality of material, and see the actual colors. Not just a printed copy and hope the color was portrayed accurately.
The Las Vegas International Lingerie Show provided us with lunch; either a salad or sandwich and chips. Madam Red and I found a table to eat at and looked over our itinerary, now that we had the chance. I honestly assumed it was going to be just the room and the hundreds of different distributors. (Did I mention this was my first time at the International Lingerie Show? Lol.) I had no idea that later that evening they were going to have a dinner and a fashion show! Other than sex toys and lingerie, I love fashion, hair, and make up. This was super exciting for me. Madame Red and I engaged in small talk with other buyers during lunch who said this was the first year where they combined both, the fashion show and dinner. That usually it was just a few appetizers and a fashion show. But apparently the fashion show would be a lot of fun, and what makes the trip.
After lunch we walked around the gigantic room, visited with some more sales representatives, and got an idea of what else there was to offer. Before we knew it, it was time to get in line and wait with hundreds of other buyers to be let into a room for dinner and the fashion show.
The fashion show is such a genius idea. I assume it is why any fashion show would be held, but you get to see in person the lingerie on a real life model. Now in the regular conference area with all the booths, most companies had a model that stood and looked pretty. However, they did not do a whole lot of moving around usually. It is easy to “look” comfortable if you aren’t covering a lot of area. This room was another huge room. It was full of tables surrounding a center stage. There were hundreds of tables. These models were going to be dressed in all different styles of lingerie and walk the entire room. I paid close attention to who looked comfortable, and who did not, to see if their "comfort level" had to do with what they were wearing. I know lingerie is not always meant to be worn for a long period of time, but comfort is still incredibly important to a customer who comes into my store. My ultimate goal was to not purchase anything that looked uncomfortable.
The tables were labeled for either distributors or buyers. Madam Red and I fell under buyer, obviously, so we quickly picked a table near the center of it all. The tables were decorated so elegantly and already had a nice salad ready to go. (They also offered unlimited wine.) It wasn’t soon after we were seated, another couple of ladies joined us. One was a store owner, and the other her Store Manager from a boutique in Washington. Madam Red and I chatted it up with them immediately, and became friends. Shortly after finishing our salads the DJ started playing some music and the models started flowing in. There were enough models, in enough outfits, from enough different companys, that it took about 20 mins, with each course of dinner. I will say there was a lot of down time between each meal course and the models walking, but I am sure that was so that the kitchen could get everyone served, refill their wine glasses, and be off the floor when the models started walking again.
It was sometime during the main course and after about 4 glasses of wine when I noticed a more familiar face to the industry walk in and sit at a table diagonal from where we were sitting. I actually made my personal status on a popular social media account read, “You know shit just got real when Ron Jeremy walks in.” That is correct. Ron Jeremy walked in, and was sitting close enough it would be easy for me to walk up and ask for a picture. The only problem was it was in the middle of this fashion show, and dinner. Not to mention plenty of people were already walking up and talking to him. I decided I would slip out, smoke a cigarette, and catch him as I was walking back to the table after the main course and a break in the models. However, on my way back in he was gone! He was no longer sitting at that table. There was still a bit of a break between the models and dessert when I was expressing my disappointment of not getting a picture with him to Madam Red, then a gentleman also sitting at our table over heard. He knew who Ron Jeremy was sitting with and offered to introduce us if he were to return. Sure enough a few moments later he did, and the kind gentleman kept his word. Or my now 5 glasses of wine made him keep his word, whatever, I got my picture and was happy.
It was a great trip and I hope to attend another International Lingerie Show in Vegas. I need to make sure "the old guy" knows that Madame Red and I worked very hard on this trip and that is was work-work-work all for the benefit of the company; and that he should continue to send us each year because LoveWorks will benefit.
Well, that is my story that I'm going to pitch him. I don't know if he will buy it, but I'm gonna stick with it!!