A NEW ANGLE ON MEN’S WEAR
Capsule is enlisting Harvey Nichols’ Darren Skey to show a different angle on how men can dress. In a new section called “Perspective: Darren Skey,” the head of men’s wear for the British-based fashion retailer selected an eclectic mix of seven brands. Ne.Sense, the directional boutique based in Taipei, Taiwan, is launching a namesake line, and Rochambeau, a favorite of boundary-crossing model Cara Delevingne, is bringing its avant-garde designs from New York. Also in the mix are Swiss-made watches from Anglo-Swedish label Larsson & Jennings, rugged outerwear from Canada’s Pajar, casual sportswear from Denmark’s Soulland, unisex looks from Los Angeles’ Ghsts and contemporary styles from London-based Tourne de Transmission. Ne.Sense, Pajar and Ghsts are all making their debuts at Capsule.
PITCHING A BIGGER TENT
The Tents at Project are moving to a new location. Relinquishing its previous spot at the far left of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center to Pool, The Tents will set up to the right of the fair’s main entrance. Show organizers are staying selective with the roster of high-end men’s and women’s contemporary labels. J.Lindeberg, Belstaff, Theory and Mackage are among the established names showing there. First-time exhibitors joining their ranks include Christopher Fischer, David Hart, Aztech Mountain, Maison F Paris and ATM Anthony Thomas Melillo. Thanks to the strength of the greenback, which enables American retailers to scoop up more items from international brands at a competitive price, a third of the brands in the Tents hail from foreign lands. For instance, both Sweden’s Whyred and Australia’s TY-LR are premiering in the Tents. “People are dipping their toes in the marketplace,” said Erik Ulin, UBM’s president of men’s wear.
WINNING OVER WOMEN
Project is giving more attention to the women’s market. For starters, it’s partnering with Dolce Vita to bring back the complimentary bag that it stopped offering when the Project Womens show used to be known as ENK Vegas. What’s more, female bloggers are making themselves heard in the Blogger Project. Of the 14 bloggers, four of them specialize in the women’s market: Ania B, Dentelle + Fleurs, The Style Riot and Take Aim. The quartet is tasked with scouring the 500 brands at Project Womens to anoint the best in accessories, clothing collections, emerging brands and Oasis exhibitors for the show’s Blogger Awards.
C IS FOR CONSCIOUS
Project Womens is putting a spotlight on women’s brands that try to do good by being eco-friendly, recycling, respecting animal rights or integrating philanthropy into their business. For the first time, the expo is showcasing mannequins dressed in products by the curated Conscious Collection. “A few brands will show their collections on mannequins and talk about their stories and what makes them conscious,” said Kelly Helfman, show director for Project Womens and WWDMAGIC. Among the 10 participants in the display are N:Philanthropy, Half United, Liberty Garden and BauXo. “We have over 500 brands in Project Womens. Fifty of them are Conscious Collection, which we’re really proud of,” she said.
LET’S GET PHYSICAL
For its second iteration, Flex in Project Womens is beefing up. Adding 1,000 square feet in space, the zone dedicated to activewear and ath-leisure is featuring 32 brands, up from the 20 or so that showed in August. In addition to returning exhibitors such as Trina Turk Recreation, Splits59, Beyond Yoga and Vimmia, Flex is also hosting newcomers like Breathe by Body Glove, Liquido and Varley.
READING THE FUTURE
Project is teaming with WGSN to get a better read on the future of men’s wear. Aware that many of its buyers represent mom-and-pop shops on the West Coast and in the Midwest, Project is assembling a group of retailers, fashion directors and e-commerce experts on Feb. 16 at Shanghai Lily in the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino to discuss the future of the men’s contemporary market. “What we learned from our retailers is they want knowledge,” said Tommy Fazio, president and fashion director of UBM’s fashion group. “A lot of the retailers who come to this show don’t go to Milan and Paris. They want to understand what is happening in the marketplace and where it is heading.”
The Shop the Floor photo studio is packing up and moving from Project Womens to WWDMAGIC. From its new location on the Central Hall Concourse, the studio is partnering with Jane Cosmetics to allow any brand at WWDMAGIC to photograph its designs on a model. After the image is posted on Shop the Floor’s digital platform, retailers have up to a year to order the merchandise from the site.
YOUTHQUAKE AT WWDMAGIC
In WWDMAGIC’s juniors and young contemporary section, buyers are searching for more than trends and fast turnarounds. To aid this perpetual quest for newness, show organizers are introducing a number of first-time exhibitors in the juniors area, including She + Sky and Tea & Cup. In the neighboring young contemporary sector, Moon River is making its inaugural appearance, whereas Vero Moda from Denmark is returning after a year’s absence. Buyers will also have a chance to snap selfies with celebrity designers. Ashley Tisdale is making her first visit to the young contemporary section to promote Signorelli, where she added the duties of creative director to her résumé of Disney star, TV producer and fashion blogger last fall. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is doing the rounds again in Las Vegas to support her clothing line produced by Double Zero.
Liberty Fairs is going back to Las Vegas’ golden era. Recalling the days when the Rat Pack ruled, it’s requiring guests to trade their jeans and leather jackets for dinner jackets at the Feb. 15 soiree it’s hosting at Lavo’s Casino Club. Providing a different ambience for building community and encouraging networking, it’s accepting dinner reservations at Lavo for 10 p.m. onward. Then, it’s opening the new Casino Club for guests to try their luck.
THE 411 ON THE TPP
One of the most far-reaching trade agreements in the last 20 years, the Trans-Pacific Partnership opens a plethora of opportunities, but also a slew of questions. Sourcing at MAGIC has chosen the TPP as a focus area for its upcoming edition. Countries that are part of the historic trade deal are making their pitch on the show floor to designers and retailers in search of private-label partners. A seminar is also in the works to explain the benefits and intricacies of the agreement. Aside from the TPP, Sourcing continues to highlight wearable technology, global artisans, the made-in-USA movement and denim trends.
A BIGGER PLAYGROUND
With space projected to expand 50 percent at the upcoming show, the kids’ market expects some new players. In addition to offspring of Kenzo, Lemlem, Ralph Lauren, Hudson Jeans, True Religion and other denim and ready-to-wear brands, Playground is also welcoming emerging children’s labels like Freshly Picked, Egg by Susan Lazar and Ultra Violet Kids.
STITCHED IN STYLE
For its event at The Sands Convention Center, Stitch has commissioned Printed Village to design the complimentary tote bag for retailers, and Coleman Music to set the soundtrack as DJ. Most importantly, it’s promising the arrival of new brands. In its subshow dubbed Together, Benjamin Jay, Meesh, C’est Moi Clothing Co. and Casting are exhibiting for the first time. Meanwhile, Cambio, Chelsea and Walker, Fleurette and Maloka are finding spots in the main show. Amid the flurry of activity on the show floor, Stitch is hosting a lounge called Calming Cabanas, designed to allow buyers to relax and recharge.
ALL THAT GLITTERS
It’s a competitive world out there and with just about every show offering accessory exhibitors, AccessoriesTheShow — to be held once again at the Palazzo-Sands Expo Feb. 15 to 17 — aims to up its game this month. That strategy is translated into a greater focus on merchandising improvements, according to a spokesman from event producer BJI Fashion Group, with an emphasis on exclusives and “accessible fashion brands.” Officials have also sought to close the gap on less-developed categories in the vein of wearables, home accessories and its handbag offering. Show organizers expect a 3 percent increase in traffic; designers on show include Carla Mancini, Jonesy Wood, BU by Gratitude, Tara Gasparian Jewelry and Mokuyobi. AccessoriesTheShow is part of Modern Assembly, a collective pulling together the Agenda, Capsule, Liberty, Mrket and Stitch shows that, together, draw more than 15,000 attendees. Organizers are offering up to $10 off buyers’ cab fare to the venue. Visit the cab rebate desk with a fare receipt for the refund.
The Agenda tour bus continues on its third leg with a return to Vegas. The show, themed around the action sports and streetwear industries, comes off of its first show of the year in Long Beach, Calif. That was followed by its newest installment in Miami last month and stepped in to replace Agenda NYC’s winter and summer shows in Manhattan. The Miami summer show will run in conjunction with Miami Swim Week. Agenda Las Vegas doesn’t rival Long Beach in size, but rounds up a core list of brands, including Diamond Supply Co., Stance, Zoo York and Blvd Supply. There’s also a strong footwear contingent with Fila, Native Shoes and New Balance.
The show runs Feb. 15 to 17 in Hall D of the Sands Expo at the Venetian/Palazzo.
Men’s suiting will be at The Collective in a big way this month.
The show floor, dedicated to all things men’s fashion, carved out about 5,000 square feet of exhibitor space for premier suiting in what it’s calling the Designer Collective — and its biggest expansion for the upcoming show. At Designer Collective, buyers will find brands such as Tiglio and Baroni. Outdoor exhibitors and the presence of camouflage designer and licensor Realtree continue to make up another strong component of the show floor, with Champion marking a return to The Collective. There will also be dedicated floor space for licensed merchandise from exhibitors such as DC Comics, “Star Wars” and Dr. Seuss. Overall floor space is up slightly with modest increases on the attendee side for the past few shows. Management recently thinned nonbuyer traffic in an effort to improve the quality of feet walking the floor, eliminating roughly 5,000 registries, according to MAGIC vice president of young men’s Bill Nosal. “We’re focused on making the quality of the buyer specific to retail apparel buying as opposed to people trying to drum up business for their consulting business and manufacturing business,” Nosal said.
The Collective is located at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and runs Feb. 16 to 18.
Expect a heavy focus on intimates for fall this month at Lingerie and Swim by CurveNV@MAGIC. It’s somewhat of a change from past seasons with the show residing within WWDMAGIC. The thought is to ease logistics for buyers who want to shop intimates and ready-to-wear without having to walk too far. The hope is that the show’s new location will also pull in boutiques and stores that might not have traditionally shopped Curve. While February will have some swim exhibitors, August will resume with a robust mix of intimates and swim brands in a show separate from WWDMAGIC, but still within the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The show this month runs Feb. 16 to 18 and is in the Las Vegas Convention Center’s Central Hall.
LITTLE BIT O’ SOLE
FN Platform, with more than 1,600 brands showing, is banking on the adage that one can never have enough shoes. Options range from men’s and children’s to women’s and juniors with several brands new to FNP, including Blueprint, Firenze Studio, Hart Schaffner Marx, Kat Maconie and Lori Blu. Instagram noteable Jiff the Pomeranian (the pooch with two million IG followers) will be at the Chinese Laundry booth Feb. 17 to help the company promote its new handbag collection. Andover, Kansas, high school senior Amelia Flores will be in Vegas for charity Soles4Souls as part of her effort to collect 25,000 pairs of shoes. Flores’ involvement with Soles4Souls even managed to nab donations from Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Another event, involving Project Sole, Two Ten Foundation and the Boys & Girls Club of Southern Nevada, will bring shoe and clothing donations to the Andre Agassi Boys & Girls Club Feb. 15.
And partygoers can revel in opening-night festivities featuring Eagles guitarist Don Felder Feb. 16 at the FN Cafe starting at 6 p.m.
FN Platform runs Feb. 16 to 18 in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Think downtown lofts. That’s the new look Mrket Las Vegas is going for with its booths in a bid to elevate the show for men’s wear buyers, with floor spaces incorporating industrial steel, wood grain and other such materials. The Vanguards Gallery section will house more than 40 emerging brands, which is up about 16 percent from February 2015. VG Platinum is an addition to Vanguards Gallery and is focused on luxury labels like Brackish, Daniel Won, Dielmar, Hommard, Kapraun Ledermoden, Kiff Kiff, Res Ipsa and Truefitt & Hill. Coast Life, which soft-launched in August, is back for February and dedicated to outdoor brands. All told, Mrket will feature more than 300 exhibitors of which more than 30 are new, with Gyde Supply Co. Dubarry of Ireland, FHP Original Khakis, Itochu Prominent, One More Then We’ll Go and Cockpit USA among the exhibitors making their Mrket debut. And in line with several other shows, buyers can get reimbursed for up to $10 off their cab fare to the venue.
Mrket runs Feb. 15 to 17 at the Palazzo/Sands Expo and opens one hour earlier, at 8 a.m., on Monday and Tuesday.
Buyer tip: Get to Offprice early and prepare to dig. The strategies for shopping Offprice’s exhibitors — ranging from private label to brand names — are always the same, but show officials emphasize that buyers will find the best deals during the first two days, with brands offering prices as high as 80 percent below wholesale across Offprice’s 137,500-square-foot show floor. Some 45 companies are new or will have expanded space at Offprice, including La Moda Italiana, Delfics and New Yorkers Apparel. Buyers can expect a larger roster of exhibitors in the cosmetics, footwear and Cash and Carry space. There’s also a healthy dose of boho chic, with about 15 such vendors dotting the show floor. Retailers can capitalize on the unseasonably warm winter in parts of the country that was partially to blame for some stores’ lackluster holiday selling season, with lots of outerwear and cold- weather accessories expected at the show. A complimentary round table on social media tips will be hosted in the social media lounge Feb. 14 at 5:30 p.m.
Offprice, along with the Cash and Carry section, runs Feb. 14 to 17 at the Sands Expo.
THE WATER’S FINE
Pool Tradeshow is switching locations. The show — which aims to provide buyers with a roster of arty, off-the-beaten-path vendors — remains at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center but will be adjacent to Project and The Collective in a move seen as “beneficial for both the Pool buyer and exhibitor,” according to show director Alli Johnson.
Last year it was adjacent only to Project, which was thought to be a smart move in nabbing buyers coming to or from the neighboring show. The floor square footage is roughly the same as in August, with a similar number of exhibitors. Expect to see Est Wst Collective and Wear We Wander, along with a heavy mix of accessories companies, such as These Are Things and Voz Collective, among those marking a debut at Pool. Tiger Mist is returning to the show and stalwarts such as Jeffrey Campbell and American Apparel, will once again be there.
Pool will boast about 200 brands with one-third of those new. The Cash and Carry section will count about 40 brands, with about 40 percent of those new to the show.
FEET ON THE STREET
WSA@MAGIC returns with the latest in fast-fashion footwear for women, men, juniors and kids. New brands include Henry Ferrera, Bubblegummers, M068 and Uzuri K&Y Designs. On Feb. 17, the show will host a cocktail reception from 5 to 6 p.m. on the show floor.
WSA@MAGIC runs Feb. 16 to 18 in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
WWIN — Women’s Wear In Nevada — will have a packed house this season, with more than 500 exhibitors representing more than 2,000 lines in the misses’, plus-size, petite, tall, contemporary and traditional categories taking the entire show space. There’s a large contingent of exhibitors including Anne Koplik Designs Inc., Enchanted Imports, Fashion Sense, Hand Kreation, Shewan Design and West Indies Wear.
The accessories section continues to grow with additions in the hats, shoes, scarves and jewelry categories, among others. Urban Expositions disclosed its purchase of WWIN from Specialty Trade Shows Inc. following the August show, making February the inaugural WWIN under the new parent’s auspices. Complimentary breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks will be provided along with shuttle service between the venue and WWDMAGIC or the KidShow Las Vegas. Tech-savvy features include a show app that places the show floor map and schedule on buyers’ phones. QR codes on products in the preview section can be scanned for more information and show-specific deals.
WWIN runs Feb. 15 to 18 at the Rio All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel and Casino convention center.