MAGIC is bringing its men’s and women’s shows back together.
Starting in August, Informa Exhibitions, which owns MAGIC, will centralize its venues at the Las Vegas Convention Center, meaning that Project will leave its longtime home at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
For more than a decade, the Project men’s show has been at the Mandalay Bay while the WWDMAGIC and FN Platform women’s and footwear shows have been at the Las Vegas Convention Center. But a multimillion-dollar expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center means that Informa can finally reunite the shows.
Tom Nastos, chief commercial officer of Informa Exhibitions’ Fashion business, said, “Our goal has always been to create a single campus, but we couldn’t practically do it before.”
An $860 million investment by the owners of the Las Vegas Convention Center to build a new state-of-the-art facility at the corner of Paradise Road and Convention Center Drive changes that.
The expansion and renovation project includes a new West Hall and an additional 600,000 square feet of exhibition space. Additionally, the current facility will be overhauled once the addition is completed, Nastos said.
“It will create the largest exhibition space in the U.S.,” he said, “and it represents a key opportunity for the fashion community.”
Each of the shows will have unique “neighborhoods,” but they will be interconnected to the others. This is intended to make it easier for buyers hoping to attend more than one show.
According to Mark Temple-Smith, managing director of Informa Exhibitions’ Fashion business, “The move to a single venue will allow us to create unique neighborhoods, with a community feel, provide one-stop shopping for retailers and keep a variety of distinct shows that represent the most distinguished breadth of brands across all of fashion. We were inspired by the retail malls of Asia, which offer the convenience of everything under one roof in a heavily curated, engaging and community-led way.”
The Las Vegas Convention Center expansion is expected to be completed in time for the February 2021 shows. The August shows will be held Aug. 12 to 14, with Sourcing at MAGIC opening a day earlier.
Nastos said that although the project will not be finished for two more years, MAGIC needed to make its move now in order to “align ourselves with the building for the future.” It also allows the show to make a long-term commitment to the dates that work best for the industry. An issue with securing its dates this time meant that the trade shows got pushed ahead by about a week and are currently being held at the same time as New York Fashion Week.
The shows at Mandalay, which include MAGIC Men’s, the Tents, Pool, Project Women, Stitch, Curve and Children’s Club, currently take up around 800,000 gross square feet of space, Nastos said. The current Las Vegas Convention Center facility has the square footage to accommodate all of them in its current form.
Combined, Nastos said, the shows will take up 1.6 million square feet at the convention center.
“There’s room but it’s not unlimited,” he cautioned. “We’re urging people to sign up quickly.”
In addition to the venue shift, MAGIC soft-launched a new mobile app this week. Called “One MAGIC,” it allows buyers to more easily find brands and products across all of its shows and offers a digital concierge service.
“We’re putting a tremendous amount of resources into communication and marketing,” Nastos said, adding that the immediate plus side is the ability to “offer convenience to buyers on day one.”