Project is returning to its indigo-drenched roots. Born as a denim-centric fair many years ago in New York, the Las Vegas edition has seen the category’s popularity wane with changes in trends, consumer behavior and activewear’s rise. In collaboration with Turkish denim mill Isko and Flaunt magazine, UBM Advanstar hopes to invigorate the denim market by installing its latest company-wide initiative, called Blue.
Following its debut in February at Coterie in New York, Blue is claiming a high-profile spot at Project’s entrance. It’s aiming to grab attendees’ attention with blown-up images that Flaunt’s team photographed using styles from top denim brands such as AG, Paige Denim, Diesel, Hudson Jeans and Seven For All Mankind.
On Aug. 17, Blue is also sponsoring a panel discussion, allowing Project head Tommy Fazio, a representative from Nordstrom and other denim experts to share their thoughts on denim’s evolving role.
“We believe in premium denim,” Fazio said. “We wanted to bring the heart of Project back to the Project floor.”
• Zendaya is unveiling her new shoe line, Daya, in Titan Industries’ booth at FN Platform on Aug. 17 from 4 to 6 p.m.
• Whitney Port is manning her booth all day on Aug. 17 at Project Womens.
• Blogger-turned-designer Emily Schuman is multi-tasking at the BB Dakota booth at WWDMAGIC. She’ll show her new young contemporary line named after her Web site, Cupcakes and Cashmere, pose for photos and sign books from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 17.
• Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi from “Jersey Shore” is showing SnookiLove at Double Zero’s booth in WWDMAGIC’s Juniors section at noon on Aug. 18.
Getting Back to Work
After a three-year absence, Project is reopening Workroom as a locus for small men’s brands that emphasize craftsmanship.
Handpicked by Tommy Fazio, president of men’s for UBM Advanstar, who oversees Project, the brands cover the men’s spectrum, from skin-care accoutrements by King’s Crown 1774 to wooly knits designed in Voss, Norway, by We Norwegians. Of the roughly 14 brands expected at Workroom, a dozen of them are all first-timers at Project.
To ease their transition to the bustle of the Las Vegas trade fairs, Fazio picked The Park Showroom, which is also marking its return to Project with brands such as Thing Thing and AKA displayed in a parklike atmosphere, as a neighboring exhibitor to Workroom. After walking through Workroom, visitors arrive at the section highlighting California lifestyle brands, with the likes of Surfside Supply.
Fazio’s idea is to groom the Workroom lines so they can grow big enough, while maintaining a high-end sensibility, to show eventually in The Tents.
“It’s a smaller brand that you see in a little shop in Brooklyn or in the Arts District in L.A.,” he said. “They get lost in the shuffle. I wanted to give them a platform to express themselves.”
WWDMAGIC is shifting its selection of women’s sportswear brands to Central Hall from North Hall in the Las Vegas Convention Center. With an emphasis on affordable designs, the section features brands including B. Boston & Associates, Knit Riot, Language of Love and Mud Pie.
As ENK Vegas morphs into Project Womens, certain contemporary brands are making a change as well. Catherine Malandrino Indigo, Kensie Jeans, MLV, Nic + Zoe and XCVI are among those moving into Project Womens in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
24-hour Party People
Agenda, Capsule and Liberty Fairs have a theory that there’s power in numbers — especially when it comes to the nonstop nightlife in Las Vegas. The trio of trade shows will host a party featuring rapper The Weeknd at Drais Las Vegas in the Cromwell Las Vegas Hotel on Aug. 18. Their bash follows WWD- MAGIC’s 20th-anniversary shindig with rapper Juicy J and DJ Politik on Aug. 17 at Marquee. Also on Monday night, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is performing at FN Platform’s FN Café from 6 to 7 p.m.
Band of Bloggers
Liberty Fairs is enlisting a quintet of bloggers to help it get the word out. Staking an area in the front of the trade show at the Venetian Hotel, each blogger is occupying his or her own studio, lined up in a row, with a glass wall that allows attendees to watch them work.
To prevent overlap in coverage, Liberty is divvying different segments of the market for the bloggers: advanced contemporary for the Street Etiquette blog, denim and heritage for Rawr Denim, designer collections for Por Homme, streetwear for Creations of L.A. and contemporary for High Fashion Living. Taken together, the Web sites boast more than 1.6 million followers on Instagram.
“Obviously, digital is a lot stronger than print, a lot faster than print,” said Liberty Fairs founder Sam Ben-Avraham, adding that with the bloggers, “You can get [information] right away during the show and right after the show.”
A New America
Capsule is spotlighting five emerging American streetwear brands that balance a devotion to using domestic factories and craftsmen with a progressive look and feel. Making its debut in August, the New America section features Rhude, Bradley Soileau’s Blackfist, 424, Second Layer and Homme Boy.
Styled, Shot and Shared
Stitch is bringing trends to life with a fashion team to stage photo shoots right on the trade-show floor. Selecting pieces from Stitch and nearby expos AccessoriesTheShow and MRket, stylists and photographers will provide images to participating designers so they can instantly share them on their social media networks.
Growing interest in cute clothing for kids is causing Playground to fill up fast. For its second edition at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the show — the successor to the now-defunct MAGIC Kids — said it sold out of its 65 booths. Among the brands that are expected, buyers can scout jeans from Silver Jeans’ children’s division, organic cotton animal toys from Hazel Village and pastel-painted girls’ clothes from Everbloom.
Agenda’s agenda appears to be footwear this summer.
The trade show — which is a haven for action sports and streetwear brands — formed a partnership with sneaker digital media company and retailer Nice Kicks to be the official media partner of Agenda’s footwear category. As with Agenda Long Beach, Nice Kicks will broadcast and report live from Agenda’s show floor.
Retailers can also expect a spruced-up look at the show, with what the company called “a substantial investment” in “creating a new booth system that will give a whole new look to the show floor.”
Agenda is located in Hall D of the Sands Expo at the Venetian/Palazzo.
Motor sports and the great outdoors are two themes nabbing major floor space at this season’s The Collective.
The show, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, boasts about 25,000 square feet of licensed apparel exhibitors, about 40,000 square feet dedicated to the young men’s category and another 20,000 square feet of traditional men’s wear.
New this season is a motor sports pavilion that will play up brands such as Kawasaki and Ducati in a lounge that merges those sports with fashion.
Camouflage designer and licensor Realtree has one of the largest booths at the show — about 3,000 square feet surrounded by additional space absorbed by the company’s licensees — in a big show of the merging of outdoors with fashion.
Show officials have also made a concerted effort to vet registrations and cut the number of attendees who are not legitimate buyers or press, according to Bill Nosal, vice president of young men’s at MAGIC. “We made an effort to minimize those this last show,” he said, “and we still saw an increase in attendees, but the general consensus from exhibitors was the traffic was more valuable.”
Working on Wearables
From its new location in North Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Sourcing is sharpening its focus on wearable technology. Within an interactive exhibition, visitors can check out prototypes of high-tech garments as they’re tested on a treadmill. DuPont will provide an inside look at its stretchable electronic ink, while consultants and academics from WWA Advisors, North Carolina State College of Textiles and other organizations are offering a primer to beginners as well as industry leaders on how to meld smart technology with style.
CurveNV has doubled in size for this edition. The intimates and swimwear show, located in the main central hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center, expects more than 250 brands including Agua Bendita, Ale by Alessandro Ambrosio, Eberjey, Seafolly and Trina Turk. Some 4,000 to 5,000 buyers are expected, according to organizers, with confirmed attendance from Fred Segal, Diane’s Beachwear, Zappos, Amazon and Bergdorf Goodman.
Four fashion presentations will occur during the show’s first and second days, with two of the events featuring 15 swimwear and intimate brands, and two highlighting a broader selection of up to 140 brands. The presentations will be held Aug. 17 and 18 on the show floor at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
There’s no shortage of choices from among more than 1,600 brands representing men’s, women’s, juniors and children’s footwear at FN Platform.
The floor space is organized into six sections: Black Diamond for luxury brands, Cosmo for women’s fashion footwear, Bond for men’s brands, Camp featuring ath-leisure and advanced contemporary brands, Zen for comfort lines and In Play for juniors and children’s lines.
Seminars will be offered throughout the show ranging from how to build the bottom line (Aug. 16, 1 p.m.) and an analysis of Nordstrom’s customer service program (Aug. 16, 2:30 p.m.) to the future of footwear designs and technology (Aug. 17, 10 a.m.) and trend outlooks (Aug. 17, 8 a.m.).
Attendees can also commemorate Footwear News’ 70th birthday at a photo booth, located at the entrance to FN Platform, where they can have their pictures snapped and e-mailed.
AccessoriesTheShow will again be located at the Palazzo/Sands Expo. New to the show is Hammitt, a Los Angeles designer handbag line. Buyers looking for up-and-coming designers can shop TheNest, which will be located in the 1500/1600 aisle with its curated selection of emerging designers. Retailers looking to recharge will find cold-pressed juices and snacks available at the show.
Going to MRket
A curated mix of men’s wear brands will show at MRket with several areas to check out in its space at the Palazzo/Sands Expo.
The Vanguards Gallery, located in the center of the show floor, includes such brands as Alberto, Ernest Hemingway, Roamers & Seekers Ltd. and Wood Underwear.
Buyers looking for more casual labels can head to a section called the Coast Life, where lines like Johnnie O, Cricket, Southern Tide, Southern Proper and Smathers & Branson will show.
And, to help visitors beat show fatigue, there’s a coffee bar, popcorn and ice cream sandwich carts in an area at the back of the hall dubbed The Lawn.
Deals, Deals, Deals
Price-savvy buyers will have plenty of choices at Offprice.
Show organizers expect about 550 exhibitors, including an expanded footwear offering that added 10 footwear companies. Offprice expects about 7,300 retailers to pass through its show during the upcoming Vegas run.
“Increased awareness of the value of Offprice with the recent trends of some major retail stores expanding into the sector has contributed to an increase in our expected attendance,” said Offprice Show chief executive officer Stephen Krogulski. “Consumer confidence and a positive jobs outlook have also given us a boost. As consumers educate themselves on the value of Offprice, our market continues to deliver.”
The show floor also continues its slight growth of about 1,000 to 2,000 square feet each season, despite its land-locked position on the ground floor of the Sands Expo.
And health-conscious retailers can relate to the juice trend at Offprice, which will have a juice bar and health-food zone.
Project Womens is showing the strength of the activewear market in a new section dubbed Flex. Highlighting 22 brands that are all new to Project — including Nanette Lepore and Trina Turk’s respective plays on activewear, Olympic ice-skating champion Kristi Yamaguchi’s Tsu.ya and Yogasmoga — the space integrates a lounge, bar and yoga studio for retail buyers who need a break from the cacophony on the trade-show floor.
“I love to drink and do yoga,” Tommy Fazio, who oversees Project for UBM Advanstar, said with a touch of irony.
Turning serious, Fazio explained that Flex, which earlier had its premiere at Intermezzo in New York, underscores “the ongoing growth in the active-meets-luxury-meets-contemporary” market. Replacing the yoga and activewear section that was founded at WWDMAGIC in the Las Vegas Convention Center and upgrading it with a more sophisticated image, Flex is launching with women’s brands that retail for between $50 and $300. He noted that the timing for Flex aligns with activewear’s unabated inspiration on fashion, the boom in sneaker culture and Nike’s move to hold its summit for tastemakers and select athletic stores at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in conjunction with Project.
Fazio expects to expand Flex into the men’s active arena next year. “It’s the right time to build Flex,” he said.
The PGA Fashion & Demo Experience starts not on the trade-show floor, but on the golf course. The Pro-Pro Tournament for PGA professionals will be held Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. at the Cascata Golf Club. The PGA Demo Experience caps that day with the latest golf equipment available for attendees to check out and test.
A fashion show is set for Aug. 18 at 5 p.m. followed by a reception at 5:30 p.m. on the show floor. More than 200 exhibitors are expected at the show, which will be held in the Palazzo ballroom of the Venetian on the fifth floor.
An educational conference runs simultaneously with the trade show from Aug. 17 to 19.
Pool marks a return after five years to space adjacent to Project for an expansion of about 25 percent at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
Expect lots of newcomers. About 45 percent of the 225 exhibitors are first-timers, including jewelry brand JaxKelly, Gravity LA and Desu Clothing.
“It’s starting to be a buzz again whereas, for a while, people were maybe seeing the same brands,” said Pool show director Alli Johnson. “The new brands are always an attraction, but we’ve got some really strong staple brands returning, like Jeffrey Campbell and American Apparel.”
Buyer attendance at Pool was up in February by about 32 percent and the adjacency to Project is likely to bring additional foot traffic with the continued increase in attendance from Japanese and Latin American retailers, according to Johnson. Retailers can also expect some fresh faces in the Cash and Carry section, with about 40 new brands showing there.
Womens Wear in Nevada will again opt for quieter digs away from the rest of the trade-show frenzy at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino.
The show floor is organized across six rooms featuring a plethora of traditional, misses’, petite, plus-size, tall and contemporary brands. Buyers can also stock up on accessories, with exhibitors showing product from jewelry to shoes and hats. Free shuttle service is available between WWIN and Offprice Aug. 17 and 18 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pick-ups are available on the lower level of the Venetian or at the bus area for WWIN.
Fast-fashion footwear show WSA@MAGIC has skipped to a new location in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
A variety of fast-fashion companies will be selling footwear across men’s, women’s, juniors and children’s segments. More than 70 exhibitors are new to WSA, including Spirit Moda, Pegia Boots, Yoki, Minnie and Barbie.
Speakers from Modern Pulse and The Bromley Group will be on the show floor at 1 p.m. on Aug. 17 to offer pointers on building a footwear business; American Apparel and Footwear Association vice president of international trade Nate Herman will speak at 10 a.m. Aug. 18 to provide an overview of recently passed state and county chemical regulations.