One big happy family.
That’s what Informa Exhibitions is seeking to create by bringing together all of its shows at the Las Vegas Convention Center for the first time this week.
The shows start Aug. 11 with Sourcing and run through Aug. 14.
For more than a decade, the Project men’s show has called the Mandalay Bay Convention Center home while the WWDMAGIC and FN Platform women’s and footwear shows have been located several miles away at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
But a $860 million investment by the LVCC — which is expected to be completed in about two years — prompted Informa to put all its chips into one pile at the conference center on Paradise Road and Convention Center Drive now.
So when the 100,000 or so visitors arrive in Las Vegas this week, they need only visit the 1.6 million square feet of space at the Convention Center to shop for men’s, women’s and children’s apparel and accessories as well as footwear.
Informa is using the moniker of “One MAGIC” to describe the centralization of WWDMAGIC, Project, Project Women’s, FN Platform, Stitch, Children’s Club and Sourcing. The shows will be laid out in what it refers to as “neighborhoods,” with interconnected spaces between the categories that are intended to streamline the shopping experience for buyers. For the first time, footwear brands will be interspersed throughout the apparel shows, allowing shoes to be merchandised next to the appropriate category of clothes.
“The Las Vegas Convention Center expansion and renovation gives us the opportunity to unite all shows in a single campus while allowing us to maintain distinct neighborhoods and show identities providing greater product synergy and easier cross-shopping for retailers,” said Tom Nastos, chief commercial officer for Informa.
But all the action won’t just be at the Convention Center.
The other competing shows — Liberty Fairs, Agenda and the PGA Show — have returned to the Sands Convention Center at the Venetian/Palazzo hotel complex. In February, Liberty and Agenda were forced to set up shop in a location in downtown Las Vegas’ Arts district because of a shift in dates by Project and their desire to stay in lockstep with that show. As a result, Liberty and Agenda were housed in large tents at the World Market Center, about a 20-minute drive from Mandalay Bay. PGA holds its show in Orlando, Fla., in January.
“We are super excited to be back home at the Sands Expo and showing alongside Agenda,” said Sharifa Murdock, cofounder of Liberty Fairs.
She said that on the Liberty show floor will be an installation for Calik Denim, an eco-friendly denim collection headquartered in Turkey, as well as a Jack & Jones-sponsored T-shirt station; a wellness lounge, and a barbershop.
Within the show will be the Quest section, an assembly of brands that blur the lines between luxury, contemporary sportswear and sartorial clothing; the Indigo section for premium and contemporary denim, as well as the General Store, which offers homewares and apothecary brands.
In addition, according to Laurent Huttinot, sales manager of Agenda, the two shows have teamed up to host a Chris Brown & Friends celebrity basketball game on Monday, featuring Black Pyramid versus Pro Standard NBA License and Maxima Apparel that will include a CÎroc cocktail hour during the game and a post-event cocktail party at the Tao nightclub in the Venetian on Monday.
There will be a T-shirt and tote print station and giveaways with Upcycle during the show, a Faze Clan e-gaming lounge and a trend gallery sponsored by The Ones.
On Tuesday, Agenda will cohost a party with Dope and a performance by Young Thug at the Drais nightclub at night.
The PGA Show, which is housed with Liberty and Agenda at the Sands, will host nearly 200 brands selling everything from clubs and carts to apparel. There are also educational programs and nightly networking events for registered attendees that will include a fashion show at Tao, a new location for the group, on Tuesday at 6 p.m., and the Demo Experience at Topgolf Las Vegas on Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m.
Meanwhile at the Convention Center, several brands at the WWDMAGIC and Project Women’s shows will be showcasing collaborations, including Skechers with actress and television personality Brooke Burke, and Unique Vintage’s reimagined looks from “I Love Lucy.”
There will also be some celebrity appearances at the show, including Christian Siriano at the WWD Social House on Monday morning, and Burke at the Skechers booth from 1 to 3 p.m. that afternoon.
Also in the WWD Social House on Monday, VH1’s “Girl Cruise” star Tiffany Panhilason and influencer Candice Nikeia will share advice and inspiring stories, and Rob Smith, human rights activist and founder of Phluid, will be featured on a panel tackling the issue of “Inclusivity in Fashion” with Rachel Richardson, founder of Lovely Studio Showroom and Sonia Lovett, founder of Style Beyond Age.
There will be an opening-night happy hour and performance by En Vogue at 5 p.m. Monday in the South Hall of the LVCC and a 6 p.m. show by St. Paul and the Broken Bones in the Grand Lobby of the Central Hall.
On Tuesday, entertainment reporter Catt Sadler will give a keynote address in the North Hall at 10 a.m., followed by a question-and-answer session with Nicky Hilton at noon in the North Hall and her appearance at the French Sole booth immediately after. Actress Jaime King will be featured in a chat at the WWD Social House at 1 p.m. and “Project Runway”‘s Matt Sarafa will speak about building a community of fans and customers at the WWD Social House at 4 p.m.
For the run of the shows, there will be an art installation of life-size dolls — designed for Instagrammable moments — in the main aisle of the South Hall at WWDMAGIC.
Turning to the Project men’s show, one addition is the partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The CFDA x Project initiative will feature a hand-selected group of men’s designers who will be featured with a new section called N:ow Lab.
Lizette Chin, Informa Market’s president of men’s fashion, said: “We wanted our first N:ow Lab to be a curated area that highlights emerging men’s wear talent and whose creative forces push the traditional boundaries in fashion. The CFDA played a vital role in working with us to select the brands and designers, many of whom are first-time exhibitors with us.”
The brands that will be showcased at the inaugural edition are Willy Chavarria, Sánchez-Kane, Kenneth Nicholson, Victor Li and NIHL. The brands will change at each edition of the show.
Several Japanese brands from the new Project Tokyo show will also be transported to Vegas and be housed in the Project N:ow section. They include Bonum, Flutten, Graph Zero, Onemade and SurReal.
Also in the N:ow section will be a variety of panels and forums during the run of the show that will include Jeff Carvalho and Jian DeLeon of Highsnobiety, Milan Vukmirovic of Fashion for Men and designers Willy Chavarria, Bárbara Sánchez-Kane, Neil Grotzinger and Jon Buscemi.
Jeff Staple, a founding father of streetwear, will celebrate his collaboration with Timberland at the District Lounge on both Monday and Tuesday afternoon, and former Major League Baseball players Mo Vaughn and Frank Thomas will talk about the big and tall market and sign autographs at the MVP Collections booth on Monday.
All told, there are 150 new or returning brands at the Project men’s show this time around including Polo Ralph Lauren, Bristol Studio, Champion, Chinatown Market, Carrots by Anwar Carrots, Surf Is Dead, Ovadia & Sons, Slushcult, Dumbgood and Marine Layer.
And once the workday is done, attendees can hit the official Project party sponsored by Champion at Omnia in Caesars Palace on Monday, starting at 10:30 p.m.
For all the shows at the Convention Center, a MAGIC mobile app will enable buyers to navigate the new venue and locate brands and will also include a digital concierge service. By downloading the app in advance, retailers can also view look books and learn about exhibitors.