UK – The art of bringing Uniform to Russia’s gaming capitalBy Phil - 23 January 2017
With over 20 years in the industry, Uniforms by John Marks, takes service and continuity as its watchwords as it creates bespoke designs for the international casino market, supplying to everyone, from large chains to smaller operators.
For this February’s ICE the company is set to highlight its contemporary designs, which have ensured it remains at the forefront of the market through its use of innovative breathable and treated fabrics which have been created specifically for the casino industry.
“ICE is the only trade show we need to do, we know so many people in the industry and it provides us a valuable opportunity to touch base with our clients,” said Carolyne Hirsch, MD at Uniforms by John Marks. “One of the most important things is continuity, once a venue or company has purchased our uniforms we know they will stay with us going forward, so I think our clients would be concerned if they didn’t see us at the show.”
The company creates custom designs for each of its clients and sees significant variation between briefs, since while some basic elements, such as waistcoats or blouses, remain constant throughout, the changes within this core wardrobe can be vast. Hirsch emphasises the importance of being aware of trends in international fashion and couture: “A casino on the Black Sea might be very different from western European casinos. “Ever since we’ve been in this business everybody is looking for something different and it’s really up to us to turn their ideas into reality. “Lots of casinos still want to emphasise silver and gold in their uniforms and these colours remain perennial favourites, after all everybody wants a bit of sparkle.”
After a client contacts the company, Hirsch will often visit the venue and stresses the importance of being able to see a site with her own eyes and speaking with both the management and the staff who will wear John Marks’ designs. “Staff are the most important element in any casino, although they are also the most often overlooked aspect of an establishment,” she explains. “When people walk into a casino before they notice the furnishings or the lighting, the first thing they look to is the staff, they are the public face of the business and it is through them that the venue connects to the consumer.
“We try to remind our clients that their staff are their biggest assets, but in order to give their best, staff need to like and feel comfortable in what they’re wearing.” The last year saw a number of major projects for John Marks – the company designed the uniforms for both the UK’s upcoming super casino at Leeds’ Victoria Gate, and the first casino in Russia’s new Sochi Gaming Zone which opened its doors this January.
“The casino in Sochi was completely different from anything we’ve ever done before, it is so amazingly gold and glitzy,” said Hirsch “With that in mind, we felt that we should supply a uniform to offset this and form a contrast with the surroundings in order to make the casino’s employees stand out, and it is moments like this that our experience in the industry is essential.”