This week, the FGRT team attended the August Magic trade show, held every year in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show is produced by UBM, a UK-based event organizer that puts on more than 300 events per year. Magic is held twice a year (in February and August) and its origins lie in a trade show that was launched in 1933 by the Men’s Apparel Guild in California (which is cleverly shortened to “magic”). The show is held at the enormous Las Vegas Convention Center (which also houses CES, the consumer electronics trade show, every January), with additional exhibits in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Magic consists of 13 unique communities covering footwear, apparel, accessories and manufacturing. Running concurrently at the Sands Expo Center/Venetian Congress space in Las Vegas was another trade show that featured off-price merchandise.
The 13 communities comprising Magic are:
- FN PLATFORM—an international showcase for men’s, women’s, junior’s and children’s footwear from more than 20 countries
- WWDMAGIC—women’s and junior’s apparel and accessories, focused on emerging designers
- THE TENTS—a platform for luxury and designer, contemporary men’s, and dual-gender labels
- PROJECT—the contemporary marketplace of top buyers and innovative designers
- PROJECT WOMENS—women’s contemporary collections, denim and accessories
- THE COLLECTIVE—established men’s and young men’s classic collections and lifestyle-driven and licensed apparel
- STITCH—contemporary, sportswear, lifestyle and international brands from focused and ready-to-wear designers
- POOLTRADESHOW—new and emerging brands seeking retail customers
- WSA@MAGIC—trendy, affordable footwear (buy now, wear now) for men, women, juniors and children
- CURVE LAS VEGAS—lingerie and swimwear
- CHILDREN’S CLUB MAGIC—contemporary children’s brands
- SOURCING AT MAGIC—links to the entire global supply chain
- FOOTWEAR SOURCING AT MAGIC—connections to footwear factories around the globe
The FGRT team attended presentations, seminars and panel discussions and met with a variety of apparel and media leaders at Magic. Discussion and presentation topics included retail, sourcing, social media, apparel manufacturing, automated manufacturing technology, fashion, store layout and design, outsourcing to countries such as Vietnam and China, and many others.
Given how competitive the retail industry is, Magic offered an enormous amount of free information for show visitors, emerging designers and retail store managers. One Magic veteran even gave a presentation on how to approach and manage the show, as the extent and scope of the event can easily overwhelm first-time visitors. Attendees characterized the show as exhausting, due to the sheer volume of apparel on display and the need to both gauge consumer demand and calculate the profitability of a given garment that must be ordered well in advance at the show.
Many of the presenters offered free consulting sessions to attendees. One former apparel designer simply offered a checklist of the steps that new designers must undertake, in the proper order, if they want to turn a design into a completed collection that adheres to fit guidelines. The presenter noted that taking the steps in order can help reduce mistakes and increase the likelihood of success. The topic of fit was mentioned numerous times, as it is one of the main reasons garments are not purchased and one of the main reasons they are returned by shoppers. Ensuring that consumers find the optimal fit can dramatically reduce return costs, which can make or break the profitability of a retailer. The same presenter also provided tips on the necessity of both accurately estimating the cost of a garment and reducing waste and, therefore, costs.
The FGRT team will continue to attend and share key takeaways from important industry conferences and events.
Other pieces you may find interesting include: 10 Top Takeaways from Magic 2017, Top Takeaways from Day 1 of Magic 2017, 10 Top Takeaways from Day 2 of Magic 2017, 10 Top Takeaways from Day 3 of Magic 2017