Just back from LAS VEGAS—The breadth of goods on display at the recent Las Vegas trade shows was astounding—from juniors merchandise to contemporary and misses, menswear, action-sports apparel, streetwear, accessories, shoes, and sourcing resources spread across 20 shows and six venues. Too much for anyone to take in during the three days! Besides WWDMAGIC, Pool, Project, Slate, Sourcing, there were the other independent shows: MRket, Moda Las Vegas, Curves, Off Price Winn, ENK, AccessoriesTheShow and too many other names to list or let alone remember!
The taxi lines were humming when I arrived into Vegas on Sunday. From the airport, I was whisked off to the Info POD in MAGIC Sourcing. Here, Susan Power and I answered the many start-up questions from new entrepreneurs that came to the show. (Susan has a great resource guide to help with domestic sourcing for fabrics and sewers “Sourcing Guide”.) Between us, we had a steady flow of people with ideas and new business ventures. It has been interesting to note the number of new apparel businesses that have started since the start of the depression. Many have been laid off from years of working in a wide variety of jobs and they are now looking to realize their dream of one day owning their own label, taking and using their hard earned savings to invest in themselves. The bravery is truly amazing as are the ideas!
Additionally, through my non-profit, the Fashion Business Inc. (FBI) and MAGIC, we collaborated as partners to organize the new MAGIC Launch Pad for twelve (12) new emerging designer labels. Through this collaboration, our juried first time designers were able to exhibit for a really good affordable first time rate in small booths in the Mandalay Bay, Men’s section of the show. The Continuous Line won a free booth space in the Slate section for next February show, having been recognized as exceptional for their presentation at MAGIC and the coordinated and aggressive approach they took to selling at the show! This is a must and the guys from Continuous showed everyone how it should be done! Well done!
While at MAGIC, I presented two seminars to attendees, “From Rags to Riches” and the “Global Industry Changes”. As part of the seminars, attendees got to hear from three very successful CEO’s who talked about their journey from starting their own brand to where they are today. One of the CEO’s was Alicia Estrada from the Stop Staring clothing line. Alicia noted that they had buyers at their booth by 8:30am, even before the show opened. In addition, her booth was swamped with buyers during the first couple of days, an indication of how strong her product and brand are, not to mention that the buyers were in a mood to buy! A good sign that not all is “gloom and doom” in the economy right now!
Overall, the show was good, with many exhibitors reporting being pleasantly surprised by the traffic! Perhaps we ARE turning a corner, regardless of what the media says!
So now, after a few good nights rest, we’ll be off to the races for the many new and exciting events on schedule for the next couple of months! Stay tuned!