THE CONSUMER: Bling on, Liberace

Mr. Showmanship’s store supplies silly and shiny sundries

Anne Kellogg

Michael and Karan Feder, owners of I Love Liberace, are making the flamboyant pianist with the enormous talent and fondness for sparkles cool again by bringing him back to living rooms across America in the form of life-sized cardboard pop-ups. And they're great fun at parties.

"Just stand him up in the corner and the guests go nuts," Michael says, adding that the pop-outs are fun and cheeky enough to get a great laugh, but they are also an homage to the colorful man who captured the hearts of music lovers everywhere.

"A lot of what he did was performance art," Michael says, "and he loved the performance art [aspect] of it all, but he also understood that a lot of the fun was understanding that some people got the joke."

The Feders have been working closely with the Liberace estate, which is housed in Liberace Plaza, home to the Liberace Museum, where the I Love Liberace line made its world debut.

The museum contains keepsakes and relics, including Liberace's beloved, mirror-tiled Rolls Royce and matching piano, his collection of sequined and feathered costumes, jewelry, the world's largest rhinestone and special photos and memorabilia from his glorious life. If you haven't been there, you haven't really experienced Las Vegas.

Oddly enough, before the Feders started I Love Liberace, there were no kitschy Liberace products sold in the museum's gift shop, which is exactly what inspired the couple to start the company. They have been working with the estate's executor and the museum's staff to capture the essence of Liberace ever since that first visit.

If the large Liberace is too much, a smaller desktop version is also available, along with T-shirts. Feder says greeting cards and postcards will be available by the beginning of the holiday season, but it certainly won't end there. With the Feders supplying the museum's gift shop with more Liberace products and forming a great relationship with the estate, the team plans to take I Love Liberace as far as it can go.

Liberace Museum, 1775 E. Tropicana Ave., 798-5595

Anne Kellogg is a native Las Vegan with a thing for purchasing stuff. E-mail her at
[email protected]

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