I spent Day 3 of the week, known ubiquitously as MAGIC, at the sprawling booth jungle that takes over the massive confines of the Las Vegas Convention Center, adjacent to the Las Vegas Hilton. The Convention Center is host to WWDMAGIC, ISAM Swimwear, Sourcing and Platform.
SOURCING at MAGIC
Sourcing was located in the South Hall of the Convention Center.
As the name promises, Sourcing “showcases more than 700 apparel, accessories and footwear resources, conveniently merchandised by country and category: contract and original design manufacturers; fabric, trim and component suppliers; and service and technology providers”.
I don’t know much about the sourcing world. However, I can imagine this would be a great place to start learning. I have no feedback on the effectiveness of the show. I plan more research on Sourcing at the February 2012 go-around.
Platform is a massive shoe show, also located in the South Hall. I didn’t walk Platform this time but have in the past. If you love shoes, you’ll be in heaven. There are over 1500 exhibitors.
Like Sourcing, I will get direct feedback from exhibitors in February ’12.
Easily the largest of the week’s showcases, WWDMAGIC takes up the Central and North Halls of the Convention Center. As the name suggests, the show is presented in collaboration with the industry’s leading newspaper masthead, Women’s Wear Daily.
WWDMAGIC likes to brand itself as Fashion’s most comprehensive collection of women’s apparel, accessories and footwear … It’s certainly comprehensive; it’s huge with more than 2000 labels on show. But you’ll soon find out that there is lots of the same being peddled here. There are quality contemporary collections located in the Premium and Young Contemporary sections on the main floor.
I am never quite sure just how buyer-busy the show is. There are so many people in the space, from sales reps to booth staff to vendors to industry folks to media, and, yes, to buyers, that is it hard to work out who’s who.
Like the rest of the week’s shows, the feedback was positive. I spoke with experienced women’s contemporary Los Angeles rep. Bernadette Mopera. Bern was working the Knitted Dove booth – one of her lines. She was happy with the traffic, and reiterated, “MAGIC is an important show for us”.
I thought the North Hall held more missy collections, though MAGIC billed the space as presenting …“an upscale and ultra-fashionable new environment featuring the most sophisticated and sought-after in women’s collections.” In general, I couldn’t agree.
My good friend and all around super sales rep, Tracy Engelien, and another friend, Angelika McKay whose hip emerging label,Emma & Emilie, Tracy represents shared a booth in the “White” section of the North Hall with another friend, the wonderful Michelle Roy of Michelle Roy Designs.
Luckily, they were placed in a row of booths with contemporary collections that channeled a steady flow of buyers. They had a very good show.
Conversely, an Australian collection that I have worked with took a flyer on the North Hall at the last minute. They were added to the back end of the North Hall and had a terrible week.
Such is trade show life. Like I say over and over, knowing which trade show to do is like reading tea leaves – many collections often see what they want to see in a show’s potential, and many times they get it wrong.
ISAM (International Swimwear / Activewear Market)
The swimwear section of WWDMAGIC was branded “SWIM at WWDMAGIC Sponsored by ISAM”. ISAM is an LA-based swim and active wear trade association. They have been affiliated with WWD MAGIC since 2005.
Touted as the largest swim show on the west coast, there seemed plenty of buyer interest. I caught up with Monica and Janna from Chantal Accessories Showroom in LA. They represent the brilliant Australian swimwear collection, Lisa Blue.
Janna told that me, “it’s been awesome” and that “more people have been buying than last year”.
I asked a veteran swimwear rep, “Why do ISAM as opposed to the CurveNV swim show?”. She said that the ISAM show gave her more opportunity to reach the boutique and specialty stores buyers that attended MAGIC, as opposed to being at the swim buyer only environment at Curve. That rings true. While the MODA show is adjacent to Curve at the Venetian, the buyer has to make the extra effort of going from show to show. While at WWDMAGIC, they just walk the same floor.
Well, that about wraps it up for my reviews of the August 2011 round of fashion trade shows in Las Vegas. All in all, given the economic woes that we continue to endure, the week has to be considered positive. With most industry folks reporting sales holding steady or increasing on last year, we have to grateful for small mercies. Let’s hope things are on the uptick when we’ll be back in February 2012 to do it all again.
Make sure to check out my Day 1 and 2 reviews at the paul brindley consults website. I encourage you post any comments on the blogs. If you have any questions about my blogs or the US fashion world in general, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time …