Byline: Kristi Ellis

LOS ANGELES — Coming off record-breaking attendance at the February show, MAGIC International has increased the size of WWDMagic yet again.
“We are no longer just a trade show,” proclaimed Laura McConnell, general manager of WWDMAGIC. “We are a fashion event.”
A record 96,000 visitors attended MAGIC’s four shows in February, which exceeded expectations of 91,000. The four simultaneous events that make up the MAGIC complex of trade shows are: MAGIC men’s wear; The Edge for young, forward fashion; MAGIC Kids; and WWDMAGIC women’s show.
In response to increased traffic at WWDMAGIC, show organizers have enlarged the square footage of the women’s show by 6,500 feet, to more than 210,000 square feet. McConnell estimated the total number of exhibitors to be more than 1,000, taking up 2,100 booths. The women’s show will hold its 12th installment at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas Aug. 28-31.
Meanwhile, dot-coms are participating in greater numbers and investing in WWDMAGIC and MAGIC in a bigger way at this coming show, McConnell noted.
Affiliated companies Texwatch.com and 7thonline.com are sponsoring a cyberlounge in the WWDMAGIC lobby, while Thethread.com is sponsoring banners that will be displayed throughout the show. Fasturn.net is creating cyberstations, as well.
“Dot-coms had a little presence last year, and a lot visited the show,” said McConnell. “We are one of the largest apparel shows, and this is an opportunity for them to get brand exposure and recognition.” She added that a handful will exhibit in the services area.
While show organizers have not added categories, they have expanded existing categories. Three of the fastest-growing segments are accessories, footwear and junior/young contemporary, McConnell said.
She noted that several companies have been newly added to the WWDMAGIC exhibitor roster.
Among them are: Rampage, 16 booths; Girl Star, six booths; Cutter & Buck, two booths; Sanuk USA, four booths; Sharagano Paris, two booths; Quick Reflex, two booths; Johnny Was, two booths; Space Girlz, two booths; Naked Feet, two booths; The Weekend Exercise Co., six booths; Watergirl, two booths; Wiz Dumb, one booth; PJ Salvage, two booths; Giesswein, two booths; White Rice, two booths; Signe Paris, two booths; Harebell, one booth; and Lounge Fly, two booths.
“In addition to selling merchandise, companies are using this show for branding and marketing,” she said.
Organizers also have created a new show environment; this edition will feature two still walk displays instead of one. McConnell said that there will be a display — a collection of mannequins featuring spring 2001 silhouettes and trends — at the two major entrances to WWDMAGIC. Additional accessories displays will be placed throughout the show.
“This gives our exhibitors more exposure,” said McConnell.
On the party front, MAGIC is serving up a new format that could indeed make it a fashion event.
The show will kick off with a traditional opening-night party on Aug. 28, but this time around, MAGIC is hosting a true fashion extravaganza, not just a concert.
“D&G Takes Las Vegas,” a fashion show held in conjunction with Dolce & Gabbana and D&G, will be held at the Hard Rock Hotel and will showcase the new D&G men’s and women’s collections, in addition to a surprise musical guest.
The show will present current and future D&G collections for men and women and will feature 60-80 models outdoors at the Hard Rock pool and lagoon.
Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce personally will select all of the looks for the show, including a number of preview looks from the spring-summer 2001 women’s collection; Kevin Krier will direct the show. Vanity Fair will cosponsor the VIP “party-within-the-party” together with MAGIC.
“This party provides the ideal entertainment for our industry to gather, incorporating an exciting international fashion event with live entertainment,” said Joe Loggia, president of MAGIC.
There will be continuous limousine service among the various shows — the men’s and children’s wear shows are at the Las Vegas Convention Center, while WWDMAGIC and The Edge are at the Sands Expo Center — and shuttle service will be provided between all hotels and show sites.

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