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LAS VEGAS FASHION TRADE SHOWS – FEBRUARY 2012 – DAY 2
Make sure you check out my Day 1 blogs.
I spent today at the MAGIC trade shows at the Las Vegas Convention Center. On the way there, I dropped by Project and PoolTradeShow shows at the Mandalay Bay to check out the foot traffic – it was huge. The energy at the shows was electric. More about those tomorrow.
At the Las Vegas Convention Center, I walked:
There is more than product on display. There are fashion shows, buying workshops, roundtable discussions, market forecasting, industry service providers and seminars highlighting e-tailing, emerging technologies, social media, and more. It’s all here.
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 … across every pricepoint and trend. It’s certainly comprehensive; there are more than 2000 labels on show. There is so much here that you need to know what you are looking for or it starts to feel like you are standing still and the booths are moving past you. There are quality contemporary collections located in the Premium and Young Contemporary sections in the Central Hall, and some in the North Hall.
The great news is that the activity on the floor was markedly better than in August.
Industry veteran Leila Ross of Leila Ross Showroom in Los Angeles (working the Anama booth) told me that they had “been slammed”. Leila thinks, ” .. maybe things are finally turning around”. I would take this to the bank because Leila told me 2 years ago that the market was worst she had seen it and it would get worse – she was right. Let’s hope she is right again.
I then bumped into Rose Cato who used to work for Leila and is now with Live Free Fashions. Rose was very happy with the show. Rose introduced me to Stephen and Jen Kelly of Bird & Vine. Bird & Vine is another of a growing trend – it is made in the US. As their Facebook page says, it embodies the free spirit of chic California style. It is all about comfortable, feminine clothing with a hint of edginess. Jen was very happy with the foot traffic, and buyers have been leaving orders.
The fabulous Aimee Mercer, the new Sales Manager, Major/Discount Channels for BB Dakota said they had a huge show with their BB Dakota and Jack Fall collections. I dropped by the booth a number of times to try and catch up but they were jamming constantly. They were showing jackets and coats in a range of silhouettes from London Rocker and LA Gal in buttery leather, suede’s and shearling to Jackie O styles in wools, plush and tweeds.
Aimee said they also booked tons of sweaters, which hit that “sweet spot” price point. We are using luxe yarns to create solid knits, Navajo prints and cables.
Another good friend, Bernadette of Bernadette Mopera & Co., took a different view, “MAGIC was a little strange .. too many vendors and little customers or too much ground they are covering … ” However, Bern went on to say that she did very well especially with Knitted Dove sweaters (recently worn by Zooey Deschanel on her hit series, New Girl) … “Fall is her season.”
Check out this shot of the scrum that was pressing in on the Betsy Johnson booth for Betsy’s personal appearance. She is a legend of the industry.
Rande Cohen was busy as usual at the PJ Salvage booth.
ISAM Swim was smaller than August but that is due to selling seasons.
Platform is enormous. There are over 1500 brands. When you see how big it is, it is amazing to think they sell it out!
The trend for Fall is boots, boots, boots of all lengths – ankle and calf length were most popular.
The standout collection for me was the English brand, Hakes. Julian Hakes is an architect who has designed an innovative new style called the Mojito. The Mojito does not have a foot plate. It has a piece that wraps around the foot to support the ball and heel, and to take the flex of the shoe. They look really stiff and hard, and I wondered how comfortable they are. The fabulous Michelle Roy of Michelle Roy Designs, who took me to the booth, tried them on. She said they are very comfortable. They are made of carbon fibre and laminated with rubber on the side. The inside lining is leather. You are definitely going to hear more about Hakes.
Sourcing at MAGIC
Sourcing is another enormous trade show. There are more than 800 apparel, accessories and footwear resources, merchandised by country and category: contract and original design manufacturers; fabric, trim and component suppliers; and service and technology providers.
Market leaders like Pantone are there.
Tomorrow is Project and Pool …