LAS VEGAS—The aisles were crowded as were the booths, where reps were running through collections and buyers wrote orders—but still, the reviews were mixed for the recent round of trade shows in Las Vegas.

The more than 15 concurrent trade shows—including the MAGIC Marketplace with its WWDMAGIC, MAGIC Menswear, S.L.A.T.E., Premium, Sourcing and Footsteps , and FN Platform , as well as sister shows Project, Pooltradeshow and Workroom and satellite shows WWIN (Women’s Wear in Nevada), MRket, Moda Las Vegas, Accessories The Show, CurveNV, Capsule, ENKVegas and the OffPrice Show —offered a broad range of product, each with a different target market and calendar.

Owners and reps reported meeting with buyers from across the country and around the world. Many buyers from the American Southwest turned out, as did representatives from Europe and the Pacific Rim.

“People are dropping orders,” said Drew Bernstein, owner of Los Angeles–based Kill City , which was showing at Project. Bernstein said he met with a significant European chain store at the show, as well as a promising new retailer.

The main events were MAGIC and Project, which kicked off on Feb. 14 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Mandalay Bay Convention Center . This year, show organizers moved Sourcing and FN Platform from the LVCC’s North Hall to the South Hall. Over at Mandalay Bay, organizers took down the walls separating Project from Workroom and Pool from MAGIC Menswear.

Justin Timsit, vice president of sales for Los Angeles–based M Collective —which produces the Morphine Generation, Factory by Erik Hart and MG Black brands—was pleased with the new Workroom layout.

“It now seems like Project is standing behind Workroom,” he said. “It feels like part of the family of Project.”

Timsit has been showing the Factory by Erik Hart collection at Workroom since its launch last February. This season, he decided to show the MG Black label, as well.

For the other Las Vegas shows, it was a matter of settling into their existing spaces or tweaking their merchandise mix. The OffPrice show spread out at the Sands Expo and Convention Center , adding more footwear and shoe exhibitors to its broad selection of off-price merchandise. Lingerie trade show CurveNV added more loungewear and hosiery to its offerings at The Venetian. MRket, Moda Las Vegas and Accessories The Show, also held at The Venetian, continued their focus on upscale menswear, womenswear and accessories. And Capsule maintained its emphasis on up-and-coming contemporary brands at its space upstairs at The Venetian. Although there are some relatively new contemporary brands at ENK Vegas, held at the Wynn Resort , the trade show primarily featured well-established contemporary brands, including several in the premium-denim market.

At WWIN, held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino , buyers were placing orders for upscale misses merchandise, accessories and plus-size lines.

Despite the bustle in the aisles and buzz on the show floors, some exhibitors said business remained slow as cautious buyers were more likely to take notes than place orders.

For Los Angeles–based juniors line YMI , showing at WWDMAGIC offered the company a chance to meet with smaller specialty-store buyers, rather than YMI’s big department-store accounts who place their orders in New York and Los Angeles.

And although many exhibitors were reluctant to declare the show a success, others were enthusiastic about the turnout and the business done at the shows.

It was standing-room only at the Life After Denim booth at ENKVegas, where returning exhibitor Michael Choi, brand director for the Los Angeles–based men’s line, said the show was not only an improvement over last August, it was busier than the New York show last month. “We’ve gotten more people than ever before,” he said.

At WWIN, buyers continued shopping up until the last day, filling every seat at many booths and placing orders.

Vancouver-based Wild Rose was returning for the second season with its collection of tattoo-printed mesh shirts, dresses, leggings and kids’ apparel.

“It’s unbelievable,” said designer Susan Setz. “The last show I did was really tough. This one was like someone turned on a switch. The market is back.”

Check next week’s issue for coverage of each show.

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Maryan Barbara
Maryan Barbara

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