MAKING VEGAS MOVES
Established Las Vegas Trade Shows on the Move, While a Newcomer Offers Alternative
The summer 2019 editions of the Las Vegas trade shows welcomed newcomers, revealed show consolidation and saw certain events return to old locations as buyers searched for Fall, Holiday and Spring 2020.
The Informa Markets MAGIC events were produced under one roof at the Las Vegas Convention Center Aug. 11–14, but this new layout will not last. For the Feb. 5–7, 2020, shows, MAGIC will move to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center but return to the Las Vegas Convention Center for the August 2020 events.
News of a big move also came from WWIN | Womenswear in Nevada, which ran Aug. 12–15 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Convention Center. During next summer’s Aug. 17–20 edition, show producer Clarion UX will host the event at the Caesars Forum Conference Center, which will open in 2020.
Following one season in downtown Las Vegas, Agenda and Liberty Fairs returned to the Strip producing shows at the Sands Expo Center Aug. 12–14, while in a different area of the convention site the Offprice event lured bargain-hunting buyers Aug. 10–13.
For its first Las Vegas edition, which ran Aug. 12–13, the CALA show entered the Vegas trade-show circuit at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, providing an intimate, business-focused environment for buyers.
Committed to its own model of bringing together buyers and lines in a more relaxed space, IFJAG produced its show at the Embassy Suites Las Vegas Aug. 10–13.
Familiar space at Liberty Fairs and Agenda
Agenda unveiled its Agenda Style Lounge, where prominent stylists Darryl Brown, Satthra San and Julian “Milli” Doster produced displays of significant trends in streetwear, said Robert Weinstein, vice president of marketing for ReedPOP West, the parent company of Agenda.
Liberty saw the return of some veteran vendors such as AG, Hudson and Karl Lagerfeld along with some debuts of brands new to the show such as Scotch & Soda, Bldwn, Vince and Denham, said Sharifa Murdock, a show partner.
Building relationships at Sourcing at MAGIC
Surf-and-skate retailer Sun Diego’s Eric Steddom, who manages the Vista, Calif., company’s private label, marketing and e-commerce, used Sourcing at MAGIC to meet with established partners and find new supply-chain connections. The potential threat of additional tariffs on imports from China was on Steddom’s mind but will not immediately affect his sourcing.
“It’s a concern and something we’re keeping an eye on,” he said. “We want to make sure that it will not make or break us.”
Immediates and Holiday at WWDMAGIC
With many buyers moving from Fall into more-festive garments, WWDMAGIC provided opportunities for bright Holiday pieces, but some buyers couldn’t resist filling in.
Shopping the show floor from Windsor, Colo., Coast to Coast Styles President Caroline Walker placed orders for Fall bohemian chic–style pieces under $30 wholesale for her female clientele ages 18 to 75.
“I was looking for Holiday and Spring but fell into buying Immediates,” she said. “Cropped and flowy designs are trending. I am looking for oversized sweaters with a little bit of shape.”
MAGIC Mens sees colorful, tailored trends
Buyers from department stores such as Macy’s came to Magic Mens for notes on suiting and tuxedos, according to some show vendors, but it was also a place for new shops to scout trends.
Purtis Johnson II and La Tanya Johnson, principals from the recently launched Houston-based retailer Allen Johnson Formalwear, said that they would mix tech-enabled retail with traditional customer service. La Tanya said that men’s suiting and tuxes are becoming bolder. “Guys are getting bolder with colors,” she said. “There are more patterns and plaids. There are a lot of florals.” Also on the trend horizon are matching sneakers and tuxes.
Women’s brands move into men’s at The Tents
At The Tents, retailer Randy Brewer of Aiken, a group of four stores in the San Francisco Bay Area, said that he preferred the previous arrangement where Project and The Tents were located in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
“I didn’t have to go through all of these people and all of these different shows,” Brewer said.
Making a debut at The Tents was Sarah Pacini Man, said Marcel LaFrance, the line’s brand manager. The Canadian womenswear line Sarah Pacini released this new line of high-end styles for men, which includes knits.
Growth for Project
The various shows produced this week marked new milestones and announced new vendors.
Projectmarked the one-year anniversary of Project N:OW. With a focus on streetwear, Project N:OW was unveiled with 17 vendors in August 2018.
During the most recent Project, it grew to 80 brands, which included established labels such as Champion as well as emerging brands such as Dumbgood, said Jason Peskin, a brand director for Informa Markets’ men’s fashion shows.
Picking trends at Project Women’s
During her first time at Project Women’s, e-commerce brand Glitz N Garb’s founder, Teri Lee, was visiting from Clinton, Md., hoping to find colorful stripes, jumpsuits and sweaters with a metallic appearance that were priced at a wholesale cost of $10–$15.
“I am trying to get ready for Fall and looking at Spring, but I’m not ready to buy yet for that season,” she said. “The show is a great networking opportunity. They give a lot of insight.”
Stitch@Project Women’s provides quality garments
Walking the floor during Stitch@Project Women’s, Marie Frederick of The Goodnature Store, Inc. in Garner, Iowa, was searching for Immediates to fill in Fall inventory, in addition to Spring 2020. While she focuses on style and quality, Frederick searched for pieces that wholesale between $30 and $40 for shirts and $40–$50 for jeans.
“For Spring, we’re going for hot pink and yellow and looking for skorts in lightweight poly fabric,” she said. “Lulu B has the skort figured out. We just bought Nygård Slims—they have pants figured out.”
Buyers expand inventory at Curve Las Vegas
Buyers from the Serenity Springs Spa, located at Coarsegold, Calif.’s Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino,are regular MAGIC attendees, but Curve Las Vegas provided an opportunity to grow their retail reach. Looking for a $30 wholesale price point, Grayce Rodriguez wanted to expand her business.
“We’re looking at one-piece styles with fun, bright, neon colors,” she said. “Attached to our spa is a pool, so we thought we should expand.”
Pooltradeshow has new debuts
New vendor debuts were seen across the trade shows. Gecko Hawaii was popular in the 1980s and 1990s, and it made a comeback at Pool. It had not exhibited at a trade show in a decade, said Derek Sciacqua, a partner in the brand.
Putting all of the Informa shows under one roof gave these vendors new opportunities. Jason Hallock, owner of the Goodie Two Sleeves and Dirty Cotton Scoundrels brands, exhibited at Pool and was happy with the single location.
“I like the openness of the new plan. I like the way they put it together,” he said. “We got a boost from the high-end shows.”
Creating intimacy at CALA
Promising an intimate atmosphere to drive business, CALA attracted exhibitors such as downtown Los Angeles’ Arlene Henry Sales, which was selling the Staples made in USA and Yauvan lines, and saw new accounts.
Shopping at the booth, John Kiskaddon and Terry Kiskaddon of the Lafayette, Calif.–based Harper Greer searched for dresses and pieces with unique prints, mentioning that hunter green was trending.
“It’s refreshing because we can concentrate on the vendors that we have worked with before in a less harried atmosphere,” said John.
Adding bargains at Offprice
The Offprice show celebrated its 50th show in Las Vegas with a 1990s-themed party, said Tricia Barglof, the new chief executive officer of the Tarsus Group, the parent company of Offprice.
With a 17-year career with Tarsus, Barglof has helped produce other Offprice shows, but this event was the first one she helmed. Former chief executive officer Stephen Krogulski will continue working with Tarsus and focus on business development for the show.
WWIN on the move
More than 420 exhibitors displayed their lines at WWIN during the August 2019 edition, said Marketing Director Suzanne Pruitt. Even though the show has been produced at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Convention Center for 20 years, it is scheduled to move to the Caesars Forum Conference Center in August 2020.
Located east of the strip, the $375-million convention center will be linked by bridges to Harrah’s, LINQ and the LINQ Promenade, which are on the Las Vegas Strip. The new development is scheduled to open in 2020, according to a Caesars statement.
Showroom-style suites at IFJAG
After attending the International Fashion Jewelry & Accessories Group, or IFJAG, for many years, Melinda Taddeo of Designer Details was visiting from Mission Viejo, Calif., searching for bohemian-chic and designer looks at an ideal wholesale price point of $10–$13 per dozen.
“It’s all condensed and easy,” she said. “Every retailer is looking for the hot new item. Exhibitors work with you here.”