Magic Trade Show Expands to Two Venues, as Upstarts Grow

By Alesandra Dubin February 18, 2010, 7:20 PM EST

A scene from Magic

Photo: Courtesy of Magic

Twice a year, in August and February, fashion industry players descend on Las Vegas for Advanstar’s Magic Marketplace family of shows. For the latest run, which took over town February 16 to 18, the program launched dual campuses at the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Organizers billed it as the most significant format change in the show's 77-year history, meant to add 50 percent more space to the generally sold-out show and to organize the offerings in a way most efficient for attendees and exhibitors. Magic also launched a new footwear show, FN Platform.

Chris DeMoulin, president of Magic International and executive vice president of Advanstar Fashion Group, called the new format “much more space and an open, airy atmosphere,” in a release, adding it was “a completely new approach.” Magic spokesperson Kathleen Flaherty said feedback from attendees and exhibitors was positive, and that nonstop shuttle service between venues allowed for a smooth flow between the shows.

For its debut in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, Magic had a vastly expanded floor, plus more amenities. Menswear buyers found their relevant exhibitors at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. The menswear campus has a distinctly masculine look and feel developed and executed by architectural design firm Cleanroom Inc. and Advanstar’s new chief merchandising officer, Andre Warren.

Concurrent with Magic was the Capsule men’s and women’s apparel show on February 16 and 17 at the Venetian. Final numbers are still being tallied, but organizers expected the show to draw about 1,500 to 2,000 visitors—up 30 percent from last year—to shop twice as many brands.

Contributing to the show's design was Philadelphia-based 222 Projects, which, in collaboration with agency BPMW, designed new wall and display units and writing tables for the booths. “The display unit concept is a group of modular boxes that require no hardware, making for fast setup and modification by the exhibitor,” said 222 Projects’ H. Evert Lee. “The simplicity of materials makes the product shine and gives a uniform look to the show environment. The box concept has extended into the writing tables and will unfold further with the launch of a new lounge design in the near future.”

Also taking place this week at the Venetian, from February 16 through 18, was menswear industry show MRket LV, helmed by show director Lizette Chin. Now in its second year, MRket LV sold out of booth space with more than 270 brands and grew by 12 percent, according to early figures. Perhaps part of the draw for attendees, MRket kept them fed, hydrated, and comfortable: The show offered free breakfast and lunch, coffee and tea, messenger bags, taxi reimbursement, and amenity-filled lounges.

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