Vegas biggest fashion trend: laid back and comfy style
Vegas biggest fashion trend: laid back and comfy style
 

21 Feb. 2014

Review: Las Vegas Shows f/w 2014

The biannual fashion pilgrimage to Sin City came to its seasonal end yesterday when the shows under the MAGIC Market Week umbrella–including Project, Pool and ENKVegas–concluded their three-day run. Vegas this season was a bit of a mixed bag. Attendance seemed healthy and the overall business mood appeared to be upbeat yet a certain “umph” also lacked across the board. For example, the biggest fashion trend was jogging pants (yawn) and denim looks straddled a kind of “no man’s land” that was either dark, clean and sober or retro and destroyed (been there, done that….) Nothing/no brand screamed or declared, “This is the next big thing!” So, although it was a bit like visiting Limbo, Vegas this season was nonetheless successful.

Here are some highlights of the key shows:

Project
With more than 400 exhibiting brands, including 85 in its Tents section for designer/contemporary brands, Project returned to The Mandalay Bay Convention Center and was more inclusive/cohesive as its areas were all under one roof this time. Show president Tommy Fazio told us that the big fashion story there this season was the tailored-meets-casual combo and we do not debate that.

Highlights:

• More than 400 brands in total
• 85 brands in the prestigious The Tents section, which was directly attached to the main show floor this time
• Still the show for established premium denim players including 7 for All Mankind, Joe’s Jeans, AG, Paige, Hudson, True Religion, DL 1961, Robin’s Jeans, etc.

General Impressions:

• Flow of the show was much more fluid than previous seasons and areas were clearly segmented
• The Tents, now directly attached to the main show floor, seemed much more “democratic”
• Denim appeared to generally be safe and on the dark side, especially compared to the colors and prints of recent seasons

Favorite Things:

• Silver’s Joga Jean, a knit sweatpant that looks EXACTLY a like jean but is not. (And it retails for a mere $98).
• The arrival of Pantone Colorwear, which has morphed from colorful basics to sophisticated colorblocked pieces
• Metallic colored jeans at Robin’s Jean (and his new shoe line)

Liberty
Sam Ben Avraham’s new baby returned to The Sands for its second Las Vegas edition and had nary a case of “terrible twos.” With an eclectic and interesting exhibitor mix, the well laid-out fair boasted a laid-back vibe and numerous special sections that spotlighted everything from cutting-edge streetwear to Made in the USA brands.

Highlights:

• About 400 exhibitors
• Beautifully curated special sections included the new grooming section The Drugstore, The Foundry (Made in USA brands), Freedom Hall (directional sportswear) and The Blok (high-end streetwear)

General Impressions:

• Probably the best mix of brands and styles under one roof in Vegas
• Easy to navigate
• Arguably the best show to discover new brands, including Matiere, Quarterlife, Asbury Park and District Ninety One

Favorite Things:

• Darring’s knit cotton shorts (think a sweater as a bottom)
• The debut of Striver’s Row, a new denim brand with amazing washes
• Rogue’s new lesser-priced collection, Rogue State, which has the brand’s edge with a less expensive tag
• The return of Gsus Sindustries and Girbaud to the US market

Capsule
Armed with many of the same gang as its previous Berlin, Paris and New York editions, Capsule returned to Vegas as the undisputed mecca of young and up-and-coming brands. That said, we were most impressed by somewhat established brand Gilded Age this season, whose founder and designer, Stefan Miljanic, is doing a series of high-end handpainted jeans. His Edgar Allan Poe—themed fall 2014 collection was equally cool. Asian brands such as Drink Beer Save Water were also good finds at the show.

Agenda
This street and action sports haven returned for an especially energetic season. Going upscale was a big trend at the show, exemplified by WeSC’s new higher-end women’s capsule collection and Mitchell & Ness’ introduction of leather and suede team caps. At $200+ they are nearly 10 times more expensive that this brand’s usual offerings.

Pool
Held at a new space at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, this show was once again the place to discover new graphic and message T-shirt brands. Our favorite finds this season were Hips and Hair and Cool Cats Club, a line with a feline-fan bent.
See more trends in our gallery:
Christopher Blomquist

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