"TRANSNATIONALIZATION" is the watchword for Vegas.
The term is a mouthful, but it's what International Council of Shopping Centers president Michael Kercheval predicts will be on the tongues and minds of the 50,000 attendees expected at this year's "Reaching Beyond the Gold" spring convention in Las Vegas.
"Transnationalization, or globalization, is going to be very prominent this year," said Kercheval, a former senior executive at Lend Lease Real Estate Investments who took over as president of ICSC in 1999. "In addition to panels and events that focus on globalization, there will be a real cornucopia of languages and cultures present.
"We thought we'd have to reach out to participants outside of North America to get them to Vegas," Kercheval added. "But they came to us from Russia, the Ukraine and even Kazakhstan, asking us how they can get to the U.S. for the conference."
In addition to discussing global issues, retail and real estate executives are buzzing about social responsibility. "In the past five years, the retailers, developers and communities have really come together to embrace social responsibility in our industry, whether it's recognizing that we are responsible for creating jobs or understanding that we're also in a position to touch consumers in terms of other issues, such as environmental sustainability," he said. "It's touching the soul of our industry."
The soul of the retail real estate business has indeed changed significantly in the ICSC's 50 years in existence. Retailers and developers now are working as partners rather than as landlord and tenant. The annual spring convention has changed, as well. What started as a meeting merely to take care of association business has become the largest event at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
This year, the convention will double in size, taking over all 2 million square feet at the center for exhibitor space and the leasing mall. The original plan was for the convention to expand to 2 million square feet in 2009, but the ICSC accelerated the process due to demand, said Kercheval.
The new size inspired other changes. Retailers will all be clustered in one area of the convention center, as investors and banks. ICSC will also introduce the Green Pavilion, a showcase of environmentally friendly real estate successes, and the Green Zone, a showcase of environmentally concerned vendors that provide products and services for retailers and developers.To help navigate the panels, the ICSC has created several educational "tracks" that lay out all the programs according to interest for those attendees who are more interested in education than networking or deal-making. For example, for someone interested in learning only about international investment, the ICSC has mapped out a schedule of each day's events in that area.
For convenience, trams will be running around the outside of the convention center so people can get from one side to another — the more sensible alternative to the scooters that the ICSC briefly considered, said Kercheval.
He said he expected the convention to continue growing. "We think that by the 75th anniversary, this will be the place to come to if you're a player in the industry anywhere in the world," said Kercheval. "Right now, we have simultaneous translation of a few of our panels, but we expect that in five to 10 years, we'll have almost everything we present translated into multiple languages. An event like this only becomes more important as our industry becomes more global."
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews