By  on August 31, 2009

Jon Kapelson is not one to look back.

When Kaps, his family’s 124-year-old, four-unit men’s specialty store chain in Massachusetts, succumbed to the economy last winter, he quickly searched for his next chapter. and for Kapelson, that translated into the newly created position of vice president of men’s wear for the MaGic trade show.

“It’s been fun,” he said of the position he accepted in March. 

At MAGIC, Kapelson, who remains based in New England, said his role is to help create a well-merchandised, dynamic show that encompasses a high-impact selling experience while working to fill the needs of retailers and exhibitors.

“It’s a hand-in-hand experience,” Kapelson said, noting that, besides working with vendors, he’s in close contact with MAGIC’s retail relations team to ensure that stores attending the show “accomplish what they need to do.”

Making the job easier this time around, he said, is the remerchandising of the men’s section that will be unveiled when the show opens today. Men’s, usually the venue for traditional sportswear, tailored clothing and classification brands, now will include contemporary labels as well as a revamped layout.

“When you walk in, you’ll find that the whole men’s area has been redefined,” said Chris DeMoulin, president of MAGIC international and executive vice president of parent company Advanstar Fashion Group. "It will be more open, with wide aisles and international fashion brands.” several lounges also are being installed for retailers to utilize when they need a break from shopping.

DeMoulin said the men’s area is designed to seem “like a gigantic store, where like brands are merchandised together.”

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