A trendy new Fashion District format is shaping up at the Licensing Expo 2013 trade fair — and Gwyneth Paltrow will be on hand to lend star power to the show.

This story first appeared in the April 11, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Paltrow will give a keynote address June 18 to kick off the three-day licensing fair at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, which is organized by Advanstar Licensing and exclusively sponsored by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association. Speaking in her capacity as founder of Goop.com, a digital media company and lifestyle resource, and as co-owner of the Tracy Anderson brand, Paltrow’s speech will focus on her strategy in the global marketplace. The speech is titled, “Brands on the Brink of Global Expansion.”

The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Paltrow and her business partner, fitness expert  Tracy Anderson. The session will be led by Tony Lisanti, editor in chief of License Global magazine.

“I am pleased to be addressing this business audience relating to the growth and global expansion of both the Goop and Tracy Anderson brands,” said Paltrow, who will exhibit her products with Anderson in the new Fashion District area. Paltrow plans to launch global extensions for the Tracy Anderson brand, which currently includes fitness content, custom machinery and equipment, four state-of-the-art fitness studios in the U.S. and a range of DVD fitness programs.

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Meanwhile, exhibitors in the hip new Fashion District format aimed at the $185 billion global licensing market will house four zones: Art & Design, Brands & Agents, Entertainment and Factory Innovation.

New marketing tools will include:

• A VIP matchmaking program that links a brand’s goals with targeted marketing.

• Digital look books and a My Show Planner and corresponding mobile apps that allow attendees to review exhibitors’ info in advance of the show.

• Video advertising with an opportunity to submit a marketing campaign to be featured on a giant video display in the Fashion District.

From an apparel industry perspective, Henry Stupp, chief executive officer of The Cherokee Group Inc., said a “tremendous opportunity exists to create a credible hot spot hub within the Licensing Expo for today’s most marketable fashion lifestyle brands.”

“Our hope is that the Fashion District’s new format will continue to pull in fantastic fashion brands and, more importantly, a strong domestic and international audience of prospective partners,” said Stupp.

Steve Mandel, director of global brand licensing at Skechers USA Inc., said he believes a dedicated venue for fashion product will generate greater exposure for brands.  “I’m excited to see what the change will bring.…A dedicated space for fashion brands will be enticing for people to see,” said Mandel.

Chris DeMoulin, president of licensing and executive vice president of worldwide customer development for Advanstar, said he anticipates the new venue will draw between 60 and 80 exhibiting brands.

“We have the ability to build a unique, new resource for the fashion community. Our goal for this show is to grow and be reflective of everything in the intellectual market place with well-established entertainment and heritage brands and agents,” said DeMoulin. 


Nick Woodhouse, president of Authentic Brands Group, noted, “In the past, the Licensing Expo was more known for character licensing. But with the expansion and success of fashion licensing and branding this was a much needed move.This new Fashion District will attract new licensees as well as key retailers who are looking to garner great brands on an exclusive basis for their customers…Licensed brands have become much more polarized in  the past few years and licensees and retailers are looking for a full service licensor. I believe this expo demonstrates ABG’s commitment to being a full service brand owner.”


Allen Schwartz, co-owner of ABS by Allen Schwartz, said he believes the new fashion District format is an “excellent” idea. “It gives people a chance to relate to the image and it shows that the brand is relevant to other categories,” said Schwartz.