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Obituary: MAGIC’s Therese Allen, 51

LOS ANGELES — Therese Allen, group show director for all four shows of the MAGIC marketplace, including MAGIC, WWDMAGIC, MAGIC Kids and The Edge, died of breast cancer on Aug. 6. She was 51.<br><br>Allen emigrated from Belize in 1976 and began...

LOS ANGELES — Therese Allen, group show director for all four shows of the MAGIC marketplace, including MAGIC, WWDMAGIC, MAGIC Kids and The Edge, died of breast cancer on Aug. 6. She was 51.

Allen emigrated from Belize in 1976 and began her career at the Woodland Hills, Calif.-based trade show company as an assistant, at a time when MAGIC International was solely a men’s wear show composed exclusively of the West Coast firms that were its owners.

Eventually, Allen became show manager for MAGIC and MAGIC Kids, and was promoted to group show director in 1999, adding the women’s show, WWDMAGIC, and the streetwear edition, The Edge, to her responsibilities.

“Therese displayed tremendous dedication to MAGIC and its customers,” said Joe Loggia, president and chief operating officer of MAGIC’s parent company, Advanstar Communications Inc., in a statement. “Her contributions to the men’s apparel industry were limitless.”

For virtually anyone involved with the MAGIC show, and for dozens of co-workers through the years, Allen was MAGIC’s “go-to” contact.

A tireless worker of nearly legendary efficiency, Allen fielded many of the phone calls from exhibitors looking for more or better space, or simply trying to get into the show or onto its waiting list.

Even when her answer to these requests was no, she managed exceptionally good cheer, developing first-name relationships with thousands of exhibitors and suppliers over a time span that saw the show move from a hotel in San Diego to the Los Angeles Convention Center and finally, in 1989, to the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Allen is survived by her husband, Alonzo “Lonnie” Allen; two sons, Winston and Alex; a stepson, Conrad, a nephew, Brian, and several grandchildren.