Besides the thousands of lines showing throughout the MAGIC Marketplace this season, the multiplatform trade fair is presenting a slew of new projects and events, as well as expanded areas and services. Here are highlights.
This story first appeared in the August 21, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The S.L.A.T.E. area within the men’s show at Mandalay Bay has commissioned entrepreneur/artist/retailer Jeff Staple to curate a new gallery on the show floor called Project Reed.
Staple is documenting the phenomenon of streetwear and will highlight street fashions and limited-edition products that have become emblems in that genre, said Rob Weinstein, director of marketing for the show.
“What we’ll showcase are literally fashion icons of the world,” said Staple, who owns Reed Space on New York’s Lower East Side. “Each piece came from the streets, but these items are now some of the world’s most sought after.”
Weinstein said the specific pieces would be revealed when the show opens.
Another new addition will be the S.L.A.T.E. Social Club, an area on the floor where bloggers, or “social media influencers,” will set up camp to tweet and post to Facebook.
“They’re social media mavens,” Weinstein said, noting that they will be chatting with exhibitors and attendees about how to best use the emerging platforms in their businesses. “There’s a real value in bringing these groups together for a dialogue.”
Project 10, a group of 10 emerging designers, will also be added to the S.L.A.T.E. roster this season. “They’ve never shown at MAGIC before,” Weinstein said.
Together they will highlight products that are “essentials in every young man’s wardrobe,” Weinstein said, including jewelry from Vitaly Design, vintage eyewear, skateboards and sneaker-grooming products from Jason Markk.
In the Men’s area, three well-known industry figures will be speaking during the show at the MAGIC Talk Series on Tuesday at Mandalay Bay. Tom Ott, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s wear at Saks Fifth Avenue, will offer his take on “The Evolving Men’s Fashion Scene.” Paulette Garafalo, president of international, wholesale and manufacturing for Brooks Brothers, will deliver an address entitled “Brooks Brothers: An American Icon Goes Global,” and Keith George, general manager of Gilt Man and Park & Bond, will cover “Reaching the New Men’s Fashion Consumer via the Digital Space.”
“These seminars will lead up to a cocktail event on the show floor,” Weinstein said, adding: “This is something we really want to build on.”
And S.L.A.T.E., in partnership with LA Fashion magazine, will host a photo studio on the show floor for the first time with professional photographers and models. “It worked really well at Project, so we added it at S.L.A.T.E.,” Weinstein said. “It gives exhibitors an opportunity to have professional photos taken, which is an excellent way to provide value to our customers.”
On the women’s side, WWDMAGIC will showcase more than 300 new brands in 45,000 square feet of increased floor space during its show. Also back is Swim at WWDMAGIC Sponsored by ISAM, with 200 swim brands represented. Oakley will launch its swimwear line at the show, and swimwear brand L*Space will present its ready-to-wear collection.
Other expanded categories this season include the Special Occasion area, weighing in at 8,000 square feet and featuring brands including Jovani, Alberto Makali, Terani Couture and Faviana. And The Accessories Council will bring a Made in USA area that will feature 20 brands that manufacture their accessories domestically.
Retailers hoping to capitalize on the rising popularity of yoga and activewear will find more than 2,000 square feet of space devoted to the category, including first-time exhibitors such as Lucy, New Balance and Prismsport.
And the Sub-Culture area, catering to alternative lifestyles, is now 6,000 square feet and includes brands such as Tripp, Rock Rebel, Bettie Page and Steady Clothing.
Some 35 brands from France will be featured in the third edition of Heart of Prêt, and Who’s Next is sponsoring “TransAtlantic,” a 26-foot Airstream making its way across the country and showcasing fashions from Galeries Lafayette and six French brands.
There will be two daily fashion shows in Central and North Halls each day of the show, and Launch Pad, which puts the focus on new designers, has been expanded and renamed Emerging Designers Showcase to include rtw in the North Hall and accessories in the Central Hall.