Popular menswear trade show Project may have come and gone, but the show ain't just over yet. The fourth edition recently took place in New York from January 24-26, just missing the major blizzard that struck the east coast and is now on its way to Las Vegas for the first time for another three-day run starting on February 13.

"The blizzard came and went, and we as a collective industry had to muscle right through it," said Project founder Sam Ben-Avraham. "Everything went off without a hitch, though some things took longer than they might have without the snow. International visitor numbers were up, business was brisk and the overall vibe at the show was great. We missed some of our friends from LA, but we'll see them in Vegas. We're anxious to make our debut next week at the Mandalay Bay -- it's just the start of big things for all of us!"

Over 5000 visitors turned out for the show, which featured a total of 276 exhibitors who were housed in two venues: The Lehigh Building, where retailers shopped a sea of premium denim brands, new luxury labels and limited edition sneakers and the Metropolitan Pavilion and adjoining Altman Building where leading streetwear labels, shoes and cool accessories were abound.

Fall/winter 2005/06 collections offered a variety of trends. Cargo pocketed olive green aviator, outdoorsy or military-inspired looks were strong and were seen in collections including Boxfresh, Energie, E-Label Los Angeles, Z Brand and Aem'Kei. A number of brands such as Ringspun, Keanan Duffty, Subranded and Juicy Couture Men's mixed British-inspired aristocratic looks with a punk rock edge. And of course, there was plenty of prints and patterns like argyle, plaid, herringbone and houndstooth on everything from blazers and pants to shoes, shirts and sweaters.

In addition to denim, which by the way, came every which from raw and dark to faded and destroyed, slim and fitted or relaxed and loose, bleached and paint splattered to a simple trouser, there was great-looking corduroy. Pants and blazers were offered in variety of colors including sage or olive green, brown and light blue.

Several new lines made their debut at the show. Alpha Industries, known for its flight jackets and other outerwear, launched a new line of footwear that included several hip hiking boots and two very cool aviator-style boots that came tall or short. 575 Denim, a new denim line based in LA, featured pennies as buttons on its selection of jeans. Hot sellers, according to President Shaun Hurley, included a style called "Planter"--a Japanese denim that came destroyed and stitched. LA Denim Atelier is another new line based out of the City of Angels and is owned by Guess. The line offered a variety of vintage-inspired jeans and leather jackets, fine-combed ring spun knits and soft cotton T-shirts with witty graphics that are centered around Hollywood such as "Everyone's an Actor" and "Drifter." In addition, Barking Irons, a new line of graphic tees from New York, made a strong debut with its selection of clever designs based on 19th century graphics and verbage from New York's Bowery. This line rethinks the on-fire retro trend by looking well beyond the 1940s or 1950s to a time when New York's streets really had an authentically gritty edge.

For more information on Project or the upcoming Project Las Vegas show, visit www.projectshow.com.



Joselle Yokogawa, Features Editor