Sin City was buzzing as designers, buyers, bloggers and press took over Las Vegas from February 16 to 19 in search of the hottest looks for Fall ‘15. Anchored by trade show giant the MAGIC Marketplace and the Modern Assembly alliance of shows, over 20 apparel, accessory and sourcing trade shows drew thousands of attendees to Las Vegas. It was a strong turn out with plenty of top-notch brands as well as exciting new lines to discover. Fashion trends played on traditional themes including the great outdoors, military inspiration and activewear. But for menswear, the newness was in the details. Refined tailoring, mixed media, bold colors, innovative denim techniques and unexpected styling twists were key.
In its fourth season, Modern Assembly kicked off February 16 to 18 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center and continued to be a draw for buyers. The event, which is made up of independent shows Liberty, Agenda, Capsule, MRket, Accessories The Show and Stitch, offered a diverse range of apparel and accessories.
Herschel Supply Company at Capsule
Liberty, which includes a curated selection of menswear as well as women’s brands, had another successful show. Exhibitors reported strong traffic on opening day, and steady, though slower traffic on day two and three. Most seemed pleased with the buyer turnout, however, some questioned the timing of the Vegas shows as many stores have completed their buys before the shows begin. That said, there’s not doubt it’s important to be represented in Vegas and there were plenty of key brands at Liberty including John Varvatos, G-Star Raw and Woolrich as well as cool up and coming brands such as Bravery For All and Thing Thing. The great outdoors was a strong theme as many brands showcased plaid fabrics, quilted jackets, knit sweaters and fur hats. Noticeably apparent were the number of hat makers exhibiting at the show - Christys Hats, Gi’n’gi and Bailey of Hollywood to name a few. Hats such as the wide brim fedora seem to top most hipsters’ heads these days, but the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down. In fact, the quality of hat brands in attendance and the launch of new ones leaves us thinking hats will be an ongoing trend for some time to come. Directional looks at the show included Rainforest’s colorful puffer coats and Curated’s fresh collection of shirtings which combined mixed media prints and pants made in vintage Japanese fabrics. The Mark McNairy for Generic Surplus shoe collection featured a fresh mix of plaid tennis shoes and slip-ons that are on point for the season.
Agenda, the undisputed ‘go to’ streetwear, activewear and sports lifestyle show, had its usual colorful approach to style. The aisles were buzzing with the buyers looking for interesting finds, which hinged around the show’s eclectic mix of surf, skate and street attire. A few standout lines included Rains’ sleek backpacks, Ames Bros graphic printed T-shirts and Ink Addict’s artistic tattoo-inspired skateboards and apparel. Arts and Repertoire, a new line of streetwear based in Los Angeles, looks promising. Its oversized shapes and innovative take on the traditional plaid shirt was refreshing in a sea of traditional tartans.
Citizens of Humanity at The Tents
Capsule never disappoints. Within its hip international selection of brands from denim to vintage cash n’ carry and European ready-to-wear, there is always a new discovery. Accessories including sunglasses, shoes, bags and jewelry were key to the show. New England Outerwear’s boots combined mixed media materials including leather and suede and Nocturnal Workshop utilized 3M reflective fabrics for its backpacks and accessories. Herschel Supply Company’s line-up for Fall looked contemporary and techy in fabrics such light denim and metallic gold nylon. It also presented its new Bad Hills Workshop Collection, a high end line of leather backpacks, duffel bags and fanny packs. Other top finds included NSF’s collaboration with Bliss and Mischief. The premium denim line launched the women’s collaboration exclusively at Barney’s New York for Spring, but this season marks the launch of the collaborative men’s collection which includes jeans and army jackets with exquisite Native American inspired embroidery. CWST is an upcoming menswear brand to watch. Created by the founders of Riviera Club, the collection found its voice this season by combining sophisticated tailoring and luxe fabrics with its laid back California sensibility.
Project, which ran from February 17 to 19, was at floor capacity this season. Held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center along with MAGIC Men’s, The Tents, ENK Vegas and Pooltradeshow, it included its always impressive roster of exhibitors. Project is a must - even if the overwhelming size of the trade show floor seems intimidating. Denim brands including Hudson, Paige, Levi’s and 7 for All Mankind were all represented. Diesel, under the creative director of Nicola Formicetti, was directional with a mix of military and rock n’ roll inspiration and a decidedly colorful punk touch. Bright blue fur trims anyone? There were also plenty of fashion forward finds at the show such as Buckaroo’s innovative painted and distressed denim looks which were incredibly detailed.
The Tents, a curated section of designers within Project, included brands such as Billy Reid, Calvin Klein, Belstaff, The Kooples and J Brand. Highlights included Citizens of Humanity’s new Premium Vintage men’s collection as well as Orley’s contemporary Italian-made knitwear-based line. It’s easy to see why the brand was recently nominated for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and is in the CFDA Incubator Program. And one of our favorite finds is the new William by Will Leather Goods Hat Collection which launched at the show. The company enlisted hatmaker Gregory Westbrook to help create its exquisite felt hats, which are made on turn-of-the-century equipment. Equally well-made are the line’s selection of high-end leather bags.
Pooltradeshow offered its always kitschy assortment of T-shirts, clubwear and accessories. The show was eclectic - think American Apparel alongside colorful leggings by Nuvango and printed caps and iPhone accessories by CRSHR. There were many fashionable finds in the mix including Indigo Imports’ tote bag collection made from repurposed vintage mail bags. Army green colors, British flag prints and Postes France logos lent an international vintage flair. It always pays off to look for the unexpected.