LOS ANGELES -- It's going to be a busy time in Las Vegas this week, with three trade shows vying for the attention of retailers.

After canceling its mid-October 1993 run because of what was said to be a shortage of hotel rooms in a particularly heavy month for conventions, the Ladies' Apparel Show Vegas, which goes under the moniker LAS Vegas, is back. For the first time, the show, produced by Las Vegas-based Convention Business Services, is being held in conjunction with Fashion Accessories Expo (FAE), a New York trade show produced by CMC.

Also this week, MAGIC International, the largest men's wear trade show in the country, will be holding its regular twice-yearly parley in Las Vegas, with a smattering of women's apparel on view among its displays.

The three-day combined LAS Vegas and FAE shows will be held today through Thursday at the Sands Expo and Convention Center. In all, the combined show will feature about 800 booths on 220,000 square feet, with 500 to carry women's apparel.

About 1,500 apparel buyers and 2,300 accessories buyers have pre-registered for the event, said Peggy Timney, LAS Vegas buyer marketing director.

"The quantity of apparel lines have stayed about the same," she said, "but the quality of the lines has improved. Major lines that have been sitting back, waiting to see how we would do, are finally participating in the show."

"Vegas is a great place to do business," said FAE group show director Steve Levine. "It's inexpensive, safe and, of course, fun."

Space for FAE is sold out, Levine said, and the exhibition will include "a lot of lines that aren't represented in the L.A. market or that don't travel to the East Coast shows."

Levine added that the response has confirmed his belief that the country is big enough to support shows on both coasts.

FAE exhibitors are enthusiastic as well. Eileen Holcombe, director of sales and marketing for Judith Jack, a costume jewelry firm, said that the firm hopes to reach some new customers and see some buyers who aren't traveling to New York as frequently now."Some of our major accounts from the West and Midwest don't often get the chance to see the entire collection displayed altogether, since they haven't been coming into New York for every market," Holcombe said.

She added that because the show is paired with the apparel show, the firm hopes to make contact with new customers.

Sharif, designer for the firm that bears his name, has never participated in trade shows in the U.S. before and will be introducing several new product lines at the Las Vegas show.

"This seemed like a good opportunity to promote our new product areas, and I felt that with so many types of shows all taking place at the same time and near each other, this was the time to give it a try," said the designer, who goes professionally only by the one name.

The company's new collections include small leather goods, scarves and belts.

The FAE plans twice-a-year exhibits in Las Vegas. The next show will run Sept. 9-11, timed to coincide again with LAS Vegas and MAGIC. LAS Vegas will stage a solo production May 6-8.

Meanwhile, the MAGIC show joins the week's festivities on Wednesday and runs through Saturday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The giant men's wear show will have approximately 2,500 exhibitors in 4,400 booths.

MAGIC began allowing women's resources who specialize in the junior and activewear market to take booths two years ago. However, a MAGIC spokesman said, the show did not pursue this policy, choosing rather to continue its focus on men's wear.

About 100 exhibitors will show women's collections along with their men's wear, about the same number as the last event in September.

Next year, though, as noted, women's apparel at MAGIC will take on a greatly expanded presence when WWD joins forces with MAGIC to produce a women's apparel trade show, running concurrently with the men's wear show. The first show is slated for February 1995.

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