Popped collars? Too '90s. Designer watches? Trying too hard. Slotted sunglasses, Kanye-style? You must be kidding.
These accessories are for the clubgoing douchebags of yesteryear. But for the Miami bros of the future, the next big thing in club fashion is here. And it'll literally get you lit.
Feast your eyes on Laser Lapel, an LED accessory for your suit jacket that adds backlighting to your lapels. Founder Luke J. Flint hopes it'll take the Miami club scene by storm.
The product is simple: A string of LED lights that attaches to the underside of your suit jacket lapel. But its effect is more complex, transforming the wearer into a neon-hued beacon of bro-ness. It's basically the menswear version of an Ocean Drive hotel sign. It costs $20, shipping and handling included. It has an all-caps, vowel-free hashtag: #LZRLPL. And it's the only way to ensure that you're the fanciest guy at Ultra this year.
Naturally, a product like this deserves representation in Miami. Flint, a commercial real estate broker living in Louisville, Ky. (and the guy posing in the white seersucker suit in Laser Lapel's promotional materials), says that eventually Laser Lapel will open offices in Miami.
"With all the lights, culture, and booming club scene, [Miami] is the best place for the product," he tells New Times via phone.
The product certainly seems to trade on Miami stereotypes of luxury cars and sexy women, especially in the promotional video above. But when asked about the seemingly random shots of cars and skylines, Flint laughs.
"You're not the first person to say that. Someone asked me if I was selling cars," he admits. "I was hoping to drive home the fact that everything cool has LED lighting -- even the brand new Mercedes. The whole emblem lights up with backlighting.... I was trying to drive [home the point] that cars and buildings, everything cool now has LED lighting."
You might expect a product like Laser Lapels to come from the mind of some European rich kid who raids his trust fund to bankroll Champagne sparklers at LIV. But you'd be wrong. Flint, who speaks in rapid-fire Southern accent, says he's not much for the club scene. "Going out, I'm more beach bars and Irish pubs," he confesses. "I'm more that than the VIP section."
In fact, the inspiration for Laser Lapel came not from a molly-fueled hallucination but from Rachel Maddow. Flint was watching the Late Show With David Letterman when Maddow was a guest, he says, and he noticed her striking eyewear.
"She had some electric blue glasses, and I thought it'd be cool if she had some kind of light on her," Flint recalls. "I started thinking about it, and I thought about how cars have lights, how buildings have lights. It's a trend. I thought, 'What if there's a light behind your lapel?' It could be tacky, but it could be tastefully done."
Soon he was researching parts and setting up manufacturing. He wore his invention to a Katy Perry concert, and noticed that the only other person in the arena wearing light-up clothing was the star of the show. "When the lights went dark, everybody was staring," he says.
He also hired a photographer who worked with the reality TV show The Pick-Up Artist for a promotional photo shoot at The Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas, starring a former Hooters calendar model, who happened to be the girlfriend of one of Flint's frat brothers. A similar photo shoot is in the works for Miami, Flint says; it'll feature the reigning Miss Guatemala posing in "gorgeous SoBe."
"It's for everyone," he continues. "The preppy guy, the modern guy, the urban guy. You can incorporate it [into your style] to make it cool. At least that's what we like to think."
Of course, Laser Lapels aren't for everyone. One Broward man who discovered the product took to Craigslist's "rants & raves" sounding board to blast the "gimmick": "Got a small penis? Then get a Laser Lapel."
But Flint says his haters are in the minority. "I've heard more good reviews than bad," he says. "You have old timers like, 'What is that?' But every one else kinda loves it."
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