Not long ago, the Downtown Project removed “community” from its list of core values and the phrase “return on community” from its website. Yet Downtown’s undulant revitalization remains focused on that ideal. What is “community”? How do you build it? And how do you build community Downtown? For business owner Edward Dorville, the answer is apparel.
A Las Vegas local and former graphic designer for the Latin Chamber of Commerce, the 30-year-old Dorville is owner/operator of LVCK, the streetwear boutique tucked into the third floor of the Downtown Project-owned Container Park retail complex. Inside the store, the industrial pipe and wood shelves that Dorville hand-built with help from friends and family are lined with a curated selection of caps, backpacks and tees from some national and mostly local brands.
“I’m proud of my city,” explains Dorville, who was born in the Dominican Republic and raised here. One of his main goals for the storefront is to “elevate the visibility of local street wear.” The other is to foster kinship through the clothing, to allow stitches and screen prints to signify affection for our city, and thus, our relatedness to one another. It’s an ambition Dorville has had brewing since May 2011, when he started his own clothing line, Vegas Apparel.
“I used to travel a lot,” he explains. “I would commemorate all of my trips by purchasing a baseball cap from that city’s major league team…[In Seattle], I saw how the Seahawks fans were all dressed up and the camaraderie that it gives the city.” In the absence of our own major league team, Dorville decided to created his own designs, something the could be worn and appreciated “city-wide in Las Vegas.”
With Vegas Apparel, he chose to embed our unique metropolitan attributes in the context of familiar sports teams. His first batch included a maroon tee with gold lettering that reads “24-7ers.” Another piece of borrowed imagery using the Brooklyn Nets logo replaces the logo’s basketball with a casino chip; it reads “LV Bets.” These two have been so successful that initial orders have sold-out, and Dorville has since added new designs: “Welcome to Mob City,” in reference to our city’s mob ties and the Los Angeles Clippers, and “LV Lodgers,” a nod to the hospitality industry and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Dorville also hopes that his designs can act as an advocate for attracting a major league team to Las Vegas. He’s already working with our minor league baseball team, the Las Vegas 51’s, on unique apparel collaborations.
What’s most important is that Vegas Apparel “portray Las Vegas in a positive way,” Dorville says. The same goes for LVCK, which he operates as an independent tenant. He’s selective about what products to stock. And it’s worked well for him, considering that the humble store recently caught the attention of Floyd Mayweather’s The Money Team. You can now shop for the boxing mogul’s brand alongside locals such as Revive Brand Co., Civilian, Learned Vices, and of course, Dorville’s own clever designs. Early on, Dorville had decided against naming the store just “Vegas Apparel,” as he intended it to be inclusive of other brands.
To that end, “People ask me about LVCK and what it stands for,” he says. “At the moment, it means ‘Las Vegas Camaraderie and Kinship,’ but, “it can look like ‘luck’ and I’m okay with that. For me to be here, doing what I’m doing, there’s an element of luck, of being in the right place at the right time.”
LVCK, 707 Fremont Street #3320 (inside Container Park), (702) 530-3025.
PHOTO BY BOBBY JAMEIDAR