28 Feb. 2011
SHOW REPORT: LAS VEGAS TRADE SHOWSProving that the show schedule was insanely tight this season, the trade shows in Las Vegas overlapped with New York Fashion Week for three days, forcing some labels such as Timo Weiland to show in New York just hours before packing up their collections and flying to Vegas. That annoyance aside, the overall mood at most of the shows in Vegas was good, and exhibitors and buyers generally seemed to be optimistic about the new season…By Christopher Blomquist
Running for three days across two massive venues, MAGIC again proved itself to be the granddaddy of the Vegas shows. At the Las Vegas Convention Center, the footwear show FN Platfrom has ballooned and was large enough to take up an entire floor of the South Hall. There, brands such as Levi’s Footwear and Nine West reported strong business. In the womenswear area, Peggy Merck of Camuto Group, which produces the nearly $1 billion/year Jessica Simpson line, said their booth had experienced steady traffic.
Across town, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Project again featured hundreds and brands, including denim giants such as G-Star, 7 for All Mankind and Big Star, which showed skinny cargos in shades of burgundy, a key color for fall. Gant showed its Gant by Michael Bastian line using a “digital” booth of mannequins and computer screens while Reebok used Project to announce its new creative partnership with musician and tastemaker Swizz Beatz, who made a live appearance. In addition, menswear line Rogue introduced its new line of vintage-inspired boots at Project.
While the size of Project was somewhat overwhelming (especially compared to its recently revamped but intimate New York edition), two sections were especially memorable: The Project 10 area and Workroom. The former, a display of 10 cutting-edge brands chosen by retailer and men’s collection The Brooklyn Circus, featured standout brands such as Teddy Boy, Vane and Welcome Stranger. Workroom, which ran alongside Project as a kind of annex, featured approximately 100 directional brands from Ace & Jig to Zak.
Running for three days in two ballrooms at The Wynn Hotel, ENKVegas featured approximately 200 juried brands and had steady traffic on its first day. Here, richly colored burgundy or brown bottoms were a key story for denim-based brands such as Citizens of Humanity, Agave and Paige, which based its fall collection on designer Paige Adams-Geller’s trips to the British countryside. The show also saw the debut of Ronan, a new rather clean denim and footwear line from Rock & Republic founder Michael Ball and his business partner Andrea Bernholtz. Other notable exhibitors at ENK included No Excess, which showed strong outerwear and a gray cable knit sweater with a plaid lining, and Psycho Bunny, which impressed with a printed merino scarf that retails for $95 and vibrantly colored solid tote bags made from Dacron with tan leather handles.
Capsule Las Vegas
Running for just two days at The Venetian, Capsule served up and impressive assortment of about 200 cutting-edge and directional brands, though the ballroom’s garishly printed rug did not make for a the most aesthetically pleasing of environments. The show saw the trade-show debut of successful menswear brand Burkman Brothers, and co-founder Doug Burkman said he was pleased with the experience. Also happy was Paige Cowan of the Canadian brand Muttonhead. Another Canadian, Brandon Svarc of Naked & Famous, used Capsule to show his latest denim innovations for the season. They included pomegranate-dyed denim, a collaboration with Japanese brand Big John and a pair of jeans that glows in the dark!
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