LOS ANGELES — The August lineup of Las Vegas apparel trade shows is marked by brutally high temperatures and an ever-changing list of shows test-driving new ways of luring buyers' dollars away from the competition. While more established fairs will fine-tune tried-and-true formats, some of Las Vegas' younger shows will expand exponentially, rolling out new features and buyer incentives.
MAGIC International, running Aug. 27 to 30 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Las Vegas Hilton, has some new tricks up its sleeve. The MAGIC Marketplace is the biggest of all the apparel-centric trade shows held in the city, and will present around 1,500 exhibitors this season, ranging from swim line L Space and gold jeweler EIO to Tommy Bahama's women's line.
Christopher McCabe, vice president and general manager of MAGIC International, estimated that the number of visitors would reach 120,000, matching last year's attendance. MAGIC will complement the apparel vendors with nearly 300 brands of footwear.
In addition to the main fashion show, which runs as many as four times daily, sportswear company Esprit will sponsor a 50-minute runway presentation of its latest women's sportswear and dress collections.
For the first time, Print Source New York will partner with MAGIC to produce Sourcing At MAGIC, where contractors and factories from more than 30 countries will try to woo designers and retailers that manufacture private label apparel.
McCabe said Sourcing At MAGIC would be slightly bigger than last year's run, as the number of exhibitors has grown. "It gives designers another reason to come to the show and gives [them] ideas on how to move the needle with their brands," he said.
Pool began as an alternative to MAGIC and has remained a place for smaller, fashion-forward brands. Now owned by MAGIC's parent, Advanstar Communications Inc., Pool will be held in the Gold parking lot of the Las Vegas Convention Center from Aug. 27 to 29.
The show will try to make a splash with a new separate section called S(eco)nd, where 30 to 50 of Pool's 400 exhibitors will offer products that reflect "green" values. "It's about sustainable clothing, but kind of like a sustainable lifestyle," said a spokeswoman. "It's about a concept and making changes."Although not all eco-friendly designers showing at Pool will be featured in the S(eco)nd section, the area was designed to make a statement about the importance of taking care of the environment in business and design practices, show officials said. "We are trying to make the point you can shop conservatively and still look good," said Pool's marketing coordinator, Maus Piet.
Running concurrently with Pool will be another Advanstar property, Project Global Tradeshow, at the Sands Expo & Convention Center. Sam Ben-Avraham, president of Project, said the show accepted 50 more women's designers than a year ago and let a few of the men's labels go. "We got to the size [we wanted] and we are very, very happy," he said, adding that the lack of changes was about putting buyers at ease. "People are very comfortable and familiar with [the layout]," he said.
The 12-year-old Off-Price Specialist Show will set up shop at the Sands Expo & Convention Center Aug. 24 to 28, introducing a new initiative that targets the negative stigma attached to closeout-priced apparel.
The new program, dubbed T.O.P.S. ("The very best of the Off-Price Specialist Show"), will send college students onto the show floor to model looks culled from the show's 500-plus vendors. The student models will wear signs denoting which booth each item of apparel came from.
"It will show the buyer that closeouts are not about broken sizes and colors and ill fits," said David Lapidos, vice president of the show, which is owned by Tarsus Group PLC, based in London. "That's not what it is anymore. Closeouts just mean it's a value. That's what buyers want — they don't care what you call it."
The show, which is expected to attract 10,000 to 12,000 buyers this August, will redecorate the primary lounge area with new leather furniture and potted trees. "We want something that's comfortable for buyers," Lapidos said. "We want to treat them well."
The 10-year-old Women's Wear in Nevada show, at the Rio hotel Aug. 27 to 30, will showcase 40 more exhibitors than last year, bringing the total to 500 vendors and approximately 2,000 misses' lines in 820 booths.Specialty Trade Shows, owner of WWIN, expects a turnout of 3,000-plus stores. Show manager Roland Timney said WWIN didn't have any new features planned, but would expand its advertising efforts by posting large advertisements throughout the walkway leading to the hotel's casino.
The independent Global E.C.O. Apparel Trade and Fashion Show, which was launched on the Strip in February, will return to the Venetian Hotel's Grand Ballroom Aug. 26 to 29.
The green-focused show will undergo some nips and tucks its second time out. "February wasn't as professional as I'd like," said Howard Gabe, show co-owner. "But we're very happy with the team we've [put together]." Gabe said E.C.O. might double or even triple the number of vendors from February, growing from 25 to between 50 and 75. It will stage an eco-friendly fashion show featuring looks from its green vendors, which include Sharibe, Toggery by Kate D'Arcy and Izzy Lane.
United, another trade show that was launched in February, will return to Alexis Park Resort Aug. 27 to 29. Show founder Ryan Walker said the company would feature 100 more vendors than it did in February, around 220 directional apparel companies. Walker expects 10,000 visitors, up from 5,000 the first time out.
The company will increase the number of shuttle buses that run from the Las Vegas Convention Center to United, picking up from in front of the Pier Restaurant across the street. "We have a rented swimming pool that we're going to put right out in front of Alexis Park," said Walker. "We're going to create one big pool party. We're working with some swimwear sponsors and they are going to outfit [buyers] and then [buyers] can take a dip and enjoy some barbecue." Core brands for the show include Krew, Royal Elastics, Cardboard Robot and Rezist.
Moda Las Vegas, a new bridge and designer ready-to-wear show known as Moda Manhattan in New York, will bow in Las Vegas in connection with its three-year-old sibling, Accessories The Show. The fairs, both owned by Business Journals Inc., will share space in hall D of the Venetian Hotel Aug. 27 to 29.
Badgley Mischka, Carmen Marc Valvo and Womyn are among the 300 vendors scheduled for Moda's Las Vegas debut. "Moda Las Vegas has been experiencing rapid growth each season in New York, and bringing the show to Las Vegas was definitely the next step," said Britton Jones, chief executive officer of Business Journals Inc. "The planning and promotion of Moda Las Vegas started during this past January show with our loyal exhibitors. Their excitement and willingness to participate has greatly fueled the continual momentum [it's] experiencing."Accessories The Show will feature 450 vendors, including Adrienne Vittadini Handbags, Babee D. and Crislu.
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