1995: MAGIC International and Fairchild Publications form a partnership to launch a women’s wear trade event, which would be a natural extension of Fairchild Publication’s flagship title, Women’s Wear Daily, and the MAGIC’s men’s wear trade event held biannually in Las Vegas.
February 1995: The first WWDMAGIC show is held at the Las Vegas Hilton, adjacent to the LVCC, home of MAGIC, and sells out with more than 870 booths and more than 500 exhibitors. Women’s categories include better; designer-bridge-contemporary; juniors’ and denim; moderate; intimate; active-swim-resort, and accessories.
August 1995: WWDMAGIC’s second show grows to more than 1,100 booths.
February 1997: WWDMAGIC outgrows the Hilton with more than 1,600 booths, and moves to tents across the street from the LVCC.
August 1997: The opening-night event is changed from a concert to a party format. This year’s party, themed “Disco Night,” is held at the MGM Grand and features Gloria Gaynor and KC and the Sunshine Band.
April 1998: Advanstar Communications agrees to buy MAGIC International, including WWDMAGIC, for more than $200 million.
August 1998: WWDMAGIC undergoes a complete restructuring, acquiring a new look and a new venue at the Sands Expo Center. The edge at MAGIC, showcasing women’s and men’s alternative, goth and streetwear looks, opens.
August 1999: Square footage is upped again, from 185,000 to 190,000 square feet, and 220 additional companies join the show. Color schemes, signage, displays and dining areas also are revamped. Accessories displays and mannequin exhibits are added for the first time, and exhibitors from overseas take over more space.
August 2000: Show organizers increase the WWDMAGIC square footage by 6,500 square feet, taking the total space to more than 210,000 square feet. Dot-coms also begin to participate and invest in the show in a bigger way than ever, as Tex-watch.com and 7thonline.com sponsor a cyber lounge in the WWDMAGIC lobby. In conjunction with Dolce & Gabbana, WWDMAGIC presents for the opening-night party “D&G Takes Las Vegas” at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. It features 80 models strutting their stuff around the hotel’s pool and lagoon.
February 2002: MAGIC International hosts the invitation-only Pierre Cardin retrospective fashion show at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
February 2003: In•dex, a cluster of juried contemporary vendors with a particularly fashion-forward edge, debuts.
February 2004: WWDMAGIC opens thegallery, a small group of jury-selected vendors set off in a specially designed pavilion within the sportswear and dresses category. “We want newness in thegallery,” said Tracy Withers, the show’s national sales manager. “The retailer can go there and outfit her store just within thegallery.”
August 2004: After the expansion of the LVCC and numerous requests to combine the marketplace into one venue, WWDMAGIC joins the men’s show, MAGIC kids and the edge at the LVCC. The event turns out to be one of the most well attended to date. The juried in•dex show merges with in•dex at MAGIC to ease shopping for retailers.
February 2005: The new Window presentation is introduced, which features better, bridge and updated sportswear lines and is a direct response to retailers’ requests for more sophisticated options. The exhibitors in the juried show are limited to independent, multiline showrooms for the first time. WWDMAGIC now has more than 1,100 exhibiting companies. Women’s categories include contemporary, young contemporary, juniors’, sportswear and dresses, casual lifestyle, outerwear, resort-swimwear, accessories and junior accessories. There are approximately 85,000 attendees from 80 countries.