Project is jumping into the streetwear fray at its upcoming men’s show at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
The trade show operator will introduce a new section, N:ow @ Project, that is intended to serve as an “incubator for culturally relevant ideas and forward-thinking fashion brands.”
What that translates into is an assortment of labels that will focus on the contemporary streetwear market including Alpha Industries, Atomic Mission Gear, Bricktown World, Defyant, Fairplay, Introspection, Publish, The Rad Black Kids, Rothco and Strght. In total, some 25 brands will exhibit in the space that will be located next to the Tents designer area and the Foundry’s elevated apparel and home goods section within the show at Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
These brands have either jumped to Project from other trade shows or have not shown in Las Vegas for some time, according to Tommy Fazio, men’s fashion director for Project.
Fazio said N:ow was created to showcase what he believes is “the future of marketplaces. It’s designed to inspire and connect brands to retailers and retailers to activations.”
He said the first iteration will be focused on contemporary streetwear “because that’s what’s happening in fashion now,” Fazio said, “but it’s a place you can come and see brands in their most creative form.” In the future, as fashion trends shift, N:ow will change its focus as well.
“N:ow will always showcase what is relevant and of the moment, while discussing and analyzing what’s to come,” said Jason Peskin, brand director of Project. “It’s a creative hive that’s been conceived to focus on the relationships and creative exchanges that fuel business.”
Fazio said he carved out 5,000 square feet from the show floor for the concept that will include a series of talks moderated by Highsnobiety’s editorial director Jian Deleon, trend forecasting from WGSN’s senior consultants Brian Trunzo and Rachael Dimit, and visual content produced by Enjoy Human. The entire initiative is being produced by creative agency Number Project.
“We’re changing the future of how people come to trade shows and shop,” Fazio said. He said Project is doing “a lot of outreach to retailers” that will discover “how streetwear can be purchased in a compelling way.”
If successful, N:ow will be expanded in the future and may also be added to the company’s twice-yearly trade show in New York as well, Fazio said.
The spring edition of Project runs Aug. 13-15 in Las Vegas. Agenda, a competing show that is held at the Sands Convention Center at the same time as Project, is skewed to streetwear and action sports. It will also run Aug. 13-15.