Project: Big Show and New Sections
Project introduced new sections to the sprawling Aug. 13–15 show devoted to men’s styles at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
One neighborhood was called Project Golf. It was dedicated to athletic and lifestyle wear inspired by a game defined by sports heroes such as Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer.
Among the 11 brands exhibiting in this section were Huntington Beach, Calif.–headquartered Travis Mathew as well as Original Penguin Golf and Lacoste, which originally made its name as a tennis brand. New York–headquartered Psycho Bunny, which offers an irreverent brand identity, exhibited an expanded collection of golf shirts.
Another new section was N:OW, which focused on streetwear and emerging brands. It is where San Clemente, Calif.–headquartered label Stance introduced its first line of T-shirts. Among the 16 other exhibitors were Alpha Industries, which focuses on flight jackets; lifestyle label Publish Brand; and African-American skate brand The Rad Black Kids.
Danish-label Knowledge Cotton Apparel made its debut at the show. Mads Mørup, the brand’s founder, said that the show’s business was good. “The quality of the people who came along was high,” he said. But he had hoped for more buyer traffic.
Jay Ko showed his New York–headquartered brands Jomo Harujuku, James Tattersall and Kings Cross. A significant part of his business is producing private-label clothing for retailers, which has been increasing in the past few years and on which he focused at Project. “Before, they would want your brand. Now they want private label,” Ko said.
Project offered show-floor real estate for a myriad of categories, ranging from men’s suiting, scores of denim brands such as Levi’s and Paige, hats, underwear, contemporary styles, and almost anything else that can be placed in a wardrobe.
Danny Marsh, owner of the Sy Devore boutique in Los Angeles’ Studio City neighborhood, said that the show’s sprawl could be overwhelming. “Sprawling is okay. It was a big space,” Marsh said. “But it completely lacked focus. You’re trying to appeal to so many different styles of stores and customers. Everyone has their own need. You can’t have a show that size and scope and make everyone happy.”