UBM Advanstar Buying BJI Fashion, Taking MAGIC to Japan

Trade-show giant MAGIC is getting even larger. UBM Advanstar—parent company of MAGIC, Project, Pooltradeshow, Coterie and Intermezzo—will expand its trade-show holdings with the acquisition of Business Journals Inc., which produces the MRket, Stitch, Access ories The Show and Fame trade shows.

Rumors of the deal swirled around the Las Vegas trade shows, where UBM Advanstar and BJI hosted shows in February.

The acquisition expands UBM’s reach in New York, where it hosts Project for menswear as well as Coterie and Intermezzo for women’s apparel. The addition of BJI shows adds menswear show MRket; accessories show Accessories The Show; and three womenswear shows, Moda, Edit and Fame in New York.

In Las Vegas, UBM’s holdings currently include women’s apparel show WWDMAGIC, menswear shows Project and Collective, emerging designers show Pooltradeshow, sourcing show Sourcing at MAGIC, and footwear shows FN Platform and WSA as well as lingerie show Curve@MAGIC, which is run through a joint venture with Eurovet. UBM’s shows are held at the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. With the acquisition of BJI, UBM’s holdings will also include upscale menswear show MRket, upscale women’s apparel at Stitch, and jewelry, handbags and other accessories at Accessories The Show.

“Having BJI’s shows join Coterie, MAGIC, and Project within the same company provides the fashion industry with a comprehensive range of finely segmented shows to serve the needs of every fashion category. Adding BJI allows us to be more responsive to our customers as we work to coordinate venues and dates and organize show floors to make the process easier and more valuable for exhibitors and retailers,” said Scott Schulman, chief executive officer of UBM Americas. “Moreover, as part of UBM, BJI becomes part of a global company that can help its customers expand internationally.”

The deal is part of a long history of growth for MAGIC, the trade show that began as a small regional menswear trade show in California. The show acquired Project and Pool in 2005. In 2012, it acquired ENK International and then in 2014, Advanstar was purchased by UBM for $972 million.

It is unclear how the UBM/BJI deal will affect the partnership between BJI’s shows and Liberty, Agenda and Capsule, which together form Modern Assembly. The five shows are held at the Sands Expo & Convention Center and adjacent Venetian ballrooms in Las Vegas.

BJI has been in the trade-show sector since 1997. Today it produces 27 events annually. The company also operates several digital and print properties, including MR and Accessories magazines; 10 websites; and an extensive database of fashion retailers. The company also hosts the annualMR Awards.

“Having the greatest possible selection of brands brought together in one place and merchandised in a compelling way makes every retailer’s life easier and helps the wholesale buying process,” said Chris DeMoulin, managing director, fashion, UBM Americas. “We are really excited about the expanded possibilities for helping retail buyers be more efficient and find the best products for their stores. In doing so, we will be bringing exhibitors an even greater number of retailers who want to find and buy the best fashions. Additionally, having media brands like MR and Accessories will help our markets stay informed and connected 365 days a year.”

Sources familiar with the deal say BJI staff will continue to organize and manage their trade shows.

“UBM Americas is the perfect home for BJI’s hallmark brands,” said Britton Jones, president and CEO of BJI. “The complementary nature of our portfolios and teams will undoubtedly create opportunities for growth and a better overall experience for our brands and retailers. I am excited by this union and confident that together we will craft the future of events for the fashion industry. This is a great day for our customers, our industry and for BJI.”

MAGIC in Japan

UBM Advanstar is also taking MAGIC overseas in 2017. The company struck a joint venture with Japanese publisher Senken Shimbun, which produces the JFW International Fashion Fair.

Together the two groups will host the IFF MAGIC Japan event next year in April.

The April 26–28, 2017, event will be held at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition center during Japan Fashion Week. According to organizers, IFF MAGIC Japan will provide a platform for Japanese fashion brands and designers to promote themselves to Japan and the global market as well as an opportunity for international brands and suppliers to gain access to the Japanese market.

“Fashion is a truly global industry, and we are thrilled for MAGIC’s upcoming expansion into the Japan market in partnership with JFW International Fashion Fair and UBM Japan,” said UBM Americas’ DeMoulin. “Our combined expertise will not only help IFF MAGIC Japan evolve quickly to meet the dynamic needs of the Japanese market but will provide a new platform for UBM Fashion’s global customer base to find new business partners and brands in Japan as well.”