The fashion world has descended on Las Vegas this week with two major trade show collections, Modern Assembly and MAGIC Market Week, here along with a few independents.
As the newest of the bunch, Modern Assembly has taken over the main floor of the Sands Expo and Convention Center with six shows running through Wednesday evening: Agenda, Liberty, Capsule, Accessories, Mrket and Stitch.
Official attendance for all of Modern Assembly wasn’t available, but to give some perspective, Agenda’s estimated attendance is 10,000, not counting buyers and distributors. More than 250 brands are occupying about 100,000 square feet of exhibit space. Agenda’s first Las Vegas show in August attracted 9,000 buyers and 200 brands. Mrket — yes, it’s spelled that way — and Accessories the Show expect about 7,500 and 2,000 attendees, respectively.
All of this week’s fashion trade shows are meant for industry only.
MAGIC Market Week consists of 10 events owned by Advanstar spread across the Las Vegas and Mandalay Bay convention centers running through Thursday.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority estimates 80,000 people came to MAGIC Market Week, bringing an estimated nongaming economic impact of $100.6 million to the city.
Also at the Sands Expo through Wednesday is Offprice, the discount fashion trade show. The convention authority estimates 10,500 people are attending, bringing an estimated nongaming economic impact of $13.2 million.
WWIN, or Women’s Wear in Nevada, has taken over the Rio’s convention area. The 14-year-old show is locally owned by Roland Timney.
Among the many exhibitors showing off their goods this week is local fashion brand Live Life Large, appearing for the first time at WWIN. Spokeswoman Arlene Skinner said the show is going great for the brand that caters to plus-size active women with items such as skorts, tank tops and yoga pants.
“This is a great show from our perspective because the plus-size customer is being recognized by retailers as an important, yet underserved, customer,” Skinner said. “We’ve had a lot of retailers in our booth who want to start adding our size specification in their merchandise assortment.”
At the Las Vegas Convention Center, Hot Girls Pearls founder Connie Sherman is showing off her freezable pearl bracelets, earrings and necklaces designed for people who need a little cooling off. The jewelry looks like 28 millimeter pearls, but is made from the same freezable nontoxic gel used in ice packs.
This is Sherman’s first time at WWDMAGIC, although her jewelry is carried in about 200 independent stores, at country clubs, by catalogs, and in gift shops, spas and salons.
“I wanted to do Las Vegas because it’s the biggest. People want to come to Las Vegas anyway,” said Sherman, who’s based in New York City.
At Liberty, Woolmark is presenting its Hemisphere collection, a collaboration with British tailor and designer Timothy Everest using 100 percent Merino wool. Popular sample box brand Birchbox had a presence there, too.
A Birchbox spokeswoman said the company decided to join in this week because Liberty aims to align with unique brands, which matches Birchbox’s mission.
Also, Birchbox Men’s is featured in Liberty’s new section, Drugstore, showing about 20 men’s grooming brands such as Marvis and Reverie. Look for a similar section at MAGIC Market Week’s Project trade show.
New this week at Agenda is a sneaker-cleaning station provided by Jason Markk, as well as Agenda WMNS, the women’s collection. At Agenda’s last Las Vegas incarnation, ladies wear was few and far between.
Back at WWDMAGIC and the Las Vegas Convention Center, Silver Stop Inc. designers Jennifer Bednar and Amanda Mullins are showing off two of their collections, Voodoo Vixen and Jawbreaker. The former is a vintage-esque brand that plays into pinup culture; the latter is more alternative focused for juniors. This is the designers’ third time at MAGIC.
“MAGIC is one of the biggest shows in the world that encompasses all different types of clothing brands. It’s like the Who’s Who of the industry. We’re here for brand recognition,” Bednar said.
Although good for getting a wide audience to see a brand, large trade shows can be challenging.
“One of the challenges is getting placed in an area where people are going to walk past you,” Mullins said. “You could easily be placed in a section where you can’t be seen.”
To make themselves stand out, the two designers place postcards representing their brand in the convention center’s main lobby, and each time they leave the booth for any reason they take the cards to hand out. The duo also sends email blasts to existing and potential customers before the show. And this year they’re included in an industry publication highlighting alternative clothing brands.
“I’m really looking forward to presenting our new lines. We’ve really worked hard to put out some really cool things. I love to see how people react to it,” Mullins said.
Besides their own designs, Mullins and Bednar create their own fabric prints. This year they’ve incorporated many seasonless styles into their collection, per customer demand.
Rounding out MAGIC Market Week’s shows are FN Platform, Sourcing, WSA, Project, MVMNT, MAGIC Men’s, ENK Vegas Women’s, The Tents at Project and Pool Trade Show.
The latter focuses on emerging art and design-driven brands such as Curbside and The Poster List. Pool’s offering a couple activities meant to grab attendees’ attention and increase name recognition for a few new brands.
A design-a-watch competition pits would-be designers against one another, with one design to be produced in a limited quantity by Sprout Watches.
At the Sock It To Me Lounge, people can trade in their socks for a new pair from the brand. The on-site Fashion Business Accelerator lets designers get advice from industry experts on everything from sourcing to production.
At nearby Project in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, the segment focuses on contemporary apparel, premium denim, designer collections and footwear. Brands such as Superdry and Field Scout are showing off their latest designs for fall and winter 2014.
Contact reporter Laura Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4588. Follow @lscvegas on Twitter.