From King Arthur to Costume Designer

Photo by Jon Estrada

Michael Rennie | Photo by Jon Estrada

Then: Michael Rennie segued from ballroom dancing (he was the 1976 U.S. amateur champion in Latin Dancing) into a professional career through the 1980s as a Lido de Paris dancer and as King Arthur in the Tournament of Kings at Excalibur.
Now: Production director for Imagination Costume and owner of Knotty and Ice, a designer necktie company.

Rennie didn’t leave rhinestones behind once he stepped off the stage. As his dancing career naturally waned, he moved backstage with the costumers, eventually becoming the guy who takes care of all the production details that go into translating a designer’s sketch into the costumes worn up and down the Strip, at Disney properties and in shows across the country.

Then in 2011, he used Swarovski crystals to bling-out a tie for Rick Moore, then a director for Van Cleef & Arpels, who wanted to stand out at his corporate party. One of the company’s New York managers joked that the tie was “so Vegas,” but its president, a Frenchman, asked where he could get one, too.

With Moore as a partner, Rennie was able to place the ties in a boutique at the Venetian, and Knotty and Ice turned a profit in the first month. Now they’re sold in two local boutiques: Wynn’s Bags Belts & Baubles and the Cosmopolitan’s Stitched. “My clientele is generally men, 40 and older, successful and confident. They want something that sets them apart at a fundraiser with 500 other men in tuxedos.” Rennie also does a lot of custom work for wedding parties.

“My professional life has been seamless, with one thing overlapping the other,” Rennie says. “Every transition has flowed into the next thing.” Much like his ballroom moves.

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