By  on December 16, 2008

Advanstar Fashion Group is making some changes to its Project and MAGIC trade shows.

In an effort to become more focused in its offerings, the company has decided to decrease the size of its contemporary and young designer-driven Project show in February in Las Vegas.In August, the show highlighted 1,100 exhibitors, but for the next show, which will run from Feb. 18 to 20, it will showcase about 700 exhibitors. Project also will move from the Sands Hotel to Mandalay Bay, which is able to accommodate the dates needed.

“The show just got too large,and we wanted to become more focused for the buyers,” said Sam Ben-Avraham, Project’s founder. “We are returning to our roots with Project. But we don’t want anyone to miss out.”

In order to do that, Ben-Avraham said that some of the exhibitors who were showing at Project will be moved to a new area of MAGIC, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. That part of MAGIC, called Premium at MAGIC, will be sectioned off and will have the same sort of vibe that is found at Project — clean, easy-to-shop booths and booming music.

“The reason Project became so popular was because it’s seen as the anti-trade show,” Ben-Avraham said. “It’s a fun show to shop, but it grew too much, so we needed to refocus.”

Ben-Avraham said that The Area, which was a section at Project highlighting slightly higher-end, edgier brands, has been increasingly successful. So the new Project will consist entirely of those brands traditionally only seen in The Area section.

As a result of this development, brands such as French Connection, Anoname and Marithé & François Girbaud have agreed to move from Project to the new Premium section at MAGIC. Higher-end labels such as Rock & Republic, J. Lindeberg, Anlo and AG Adriano Goldschmied will remain at Project. Because of this new focus, Project was able to secure some first-time brands, including BCBG Max Azria, Alex and Ani Jewelry and Kova & T.

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