If you’re in the business of fashion, MAGIC is where you need to be. Held bi-annually every year in Las Vegas, MAGIC is a trade show event that has become the epicenter of thousands of industry professionals from all over the world. The event opened Sunday, February 13th with Sourcing at MAGIC and continued through Wednesday, February 16th with a number of events that occurred simultaneously including WWD MAGIC, FN Platform, MAGIC Menswear, Project, S.l.a.t.e, Pooltradeshow, Street, and Premium. From manufacturers to buyers to fashion and textile designers, and everyone in between, professionals attend MAGIC to find out about up-and-coming new trends, network, sell, buy, and quite simply, to make MONEY. This is where it’s at. This is where it all happens.
Let’s get one thing straight. When you go to MAGIC, as with anything in life, you go big or go home (and you don’t wanna go home broke…or worst yet, broken lol). One of the prevailing and exciting aspects of MAGIC is brand identity: Who are you? Who are you selling to? What do you do? WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT? All of the companies or brands who showcase at MAGIC go through great and expensive lengths to sell and advertise their brand with visual displays, free gift bags, lookbooks, models, sample garments, edible treats, etc. They literally build an exhibit around their brand in the hopes of attracting any and all consumers, buyers, investors, and so on. All who are interested in this cutthroat, competitive, chew-you-up-and-spit-you-out industry needs to know one thing: if you don’t produce something people want, you’re done. This is a business… a very profitable business, but only if you have something people want and are willing to pay for. Leave the glamour and glitz to the magazine ads and storefront windows because in the business of fashion, you can’t afford to be ignorant, out-of-the-know, or stupid. You need to be smart or get smart, be innovative and creative, and work hard (the no sleep, no vacations, spend every last penny you’ve got, risk it all, put everything on the line, execute like a one-man army kind of hard…in case you were wondering). MAGIC is the one-stop-shop event where any fashion business owner or entrepreneur can literally get in there and make things happen.
Aside from the hustle and bustle and constant grinding that occurs on the show floors, one of the lesser advertised yet highly profitable and advantageous events are the seminars conducted at MAGIC. Presenters and keynote speakers are world-renowned fashion industry professionals and yesterday’s lineup included Kevin Ryan, founder and CEO of Gilt Groupe (the #1 invitation-only online shopping site that offers a luxurious, fashionable lifestyle at insider prices), and David Wolfe, Creative Director of Doneger Creative Services (the leading trend forecast company in the industry). Ryan gave a comprehensive look into the world of e-commerce and the realities of utilizing the internet and social networking to create revenue. Ryan stressed the importance of understanding that social commerce 1) does not equal explosive sales, 2) is not passive and requires a lot of resources, and 3) is most beneficial when listened to.* Wolfe gave a highly informative and entertaining presentation that broke down current and future trends in women’s sportswear. Trends to look forward to are Calm Chic: easier silhouettes and layers and stripped-down design for absolute purity, Retrocentric: a return to old-fashioned femininity and recalling classics by paying tribute to greats such as Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel, and Establishment: respecting traditional taste, refreshing classic brands and privileged labels with long-lasting, proven integrity, and revisiting good taste with ageless style.** Having the opportunity to listen and meet key players in the fashion industry such as Ryan and Wolfe was a privilege and honor for all who attended and no doubt will aid many professionals in building and growing their businesses.
If you love fashion, go to the mall. If you want to work in fashion, still go to mall. But if you want to take your fashion business or brand to the next level, go to MAGIC. You have to be there. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. The business of fashion waits for no one and certainly has no room for the weak and unimaginative. MAGIC makes things happen on a global scale so when you come to play, be prepared. That’s WhatItDo in the international world of fashion and this is how MAGIC do.
Article by: Juliet Uata
*PowerPoint Presentation, Presented by Kevin Ryan, Founder/CEO, Gilt Groupe, www.gilt.com
** “What’s NOW and NEXT? Fall 2011…and beyond” Handout, Presented and distributed by David Wolfe, Creative Director, The Doneger Group, www.doneger.com