Advanstar's MAGIC Marketplace Shows Strong Growth

August 23, 2012

Fashion is back en vogue, or at least that was the vibe on the crowded showfloor of Advanstar Communications’ MAGIC Marketplace, the world’s largest trade show for the fashion industry, held Aug. 20-23 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.

Inspiring several collocated events and numerous parties across town, the biannual event draws global buyers and sellers of the latest trends in men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, swimwear, footwear, accessories and sourcing resources.

"This is our largest show since 2008," said Christopher Griffin, WWDMAGIC vice president. "Our square footage is just at a million square feet. The hotel bookings were up 34 percent.”

He added, “We had a sense that we reached a tipping point in terms of recovery and the show has been phenomenal. In no uncertain terms, fashion is coming out of the recession."

Though specific numbers were unavailable at press time, the event is expected to attract some 81,000 attendees and more than 4,000 of exhibiting companies, according to show organizers.

Last February, it spanned approximately 800,000 square feet and saw around 60,000 attendees and 3,800 of exhibitors.

"What MAGIC offers buyers is very on trend in terms of the shift towards well-designed affordable fashion," Griffin said when talking about the success of the show and its strong comeback after a few tough years, in part thanks to aligning to with the market's demand for democratization of fashion.

FN PLATFORM, the shoe part of the show, also continues to pick up speed in the footwear segment with expected double-digit growth in buyer registration, compared with August 2011, and more than 1,600 exhibitors.

“As international brands continue to see robust retail sales here in the USA, they are attending FN PLATFORM in record numbers to gain market exposure and take advantage of our large retailer audience,”said Leslie Gallin, vice president Footwear for Advanstar. “This August will be our strongest show to date.”

MAGIC Marketplace always pulses with new ideas and initiatives, ranging from Project Love, which highlights brands integrating philanthropy into their business model to social lounges, buzz boutiques, photo studios and live mural painting.

In a true spirit of the fashion week, beautiful images offashion icons Valentino, Cacharel and Alexander McQueen, obtained in collaboration with Condé Nast, lighted up the floor and set atmosphere of a high-profile event.  Live fashion shows turned up the energy level and draw crowds.

French department store Galeries Lafayette partnered with Transatlantic to bring an Airstream with the latest in French fashion and parked it in the Heart of Prêt at WWDMAGIC.

U.S. brands also were a center of attention. "There's a strong buzz on the floor about trying to make products in the U.S.A. again," Griffin said.

"Made in America" brands got special recognition with a logo on their booth and U.S. accessories manufacturers showcased their products in a designated pavilion.

Veteran exhibitor Kathy Barrett, president of Kathy Barrett Selections, also noted the pickup in business. The company recently refreshed its product line with bright, catchy purses that were quickly a hit at the show.

Barrett said that although it's good that more buyers come because of all the events during the fashion week, it's important to do pre-show marketing to get the attention of the right people. She added, "You have to be a destination."

First-time attendee Caterina Talbot with Buraquino boutique traveled from Ecuador in search of new products from top brands.

"We came to see Desigual and also discovered several small brands. It has definitely been worth it,” she said.

MAGIC will return Feb 19 – 21 to Las Vegas. 

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