While none of them ever experienced jam-packed aisles, the major trade shows held in Las Vegas last week – including MAGIC, Pool, Project, ENK Vegas and Capsule – generally left exhibitors satisfied and attendees happy with the S/S 10 seasonal offerings on hand. Here, reports from all of them.


The big news at MAGIC this season was a completely rejuvenated menswear hall that debuted this season, introducing a host of European brands, young talent at S.L.A.T.E and top street and athletic trends. Heading up the English invasion was Nicole Farhi’s S/S 10 collection, along with Liberty of London, which looked alive in bold, entirely exclusive floral and abstract prints. Likewise, the 225-year-old label John Smedley boasted 30 gauge cotton and 30 gauge wool sweaters. Other key exhibitors in this section were Sand, DKNY Men’s and Talia Orange Men’s, which cheekily referred to themselves as “Etro with a twist” and showed quirky coat linings, grosgrain trim and scarves. Pete Julienne of Nomad Footwear, which offered flip-flops and rain boots, said: “This was the best show for us all year. MAGIC did a really good job." Scott Harden, director of marketing for Laguna Beach Jean Co. in the premium section, agreed. "The show was fantastic for us," he said. The company’s bestselling items included in women's a pink double hand-stitched embroidered pocket denim and, in men's, the orange double hand-stitched destroyed denim that comes in a signature, wooden box.

Across the way in the Men’s Hall, Factory-owned Chor and Urban Outfitter’s exclusive Charles and a Half showed Smart Basics with slouchy, street-inspired designs, textured tees, striped tie-dyes, prepped-up hippie tie-dyed plaid wovens, and pleather jackets which retail for $90 and looked exactly like leather. And country music star Kenny Chesney graced the lounge area with a massive mobile home heralding his clothing line. Also nearby were Rock n’ Roll Gibson-licensed tees and wovens, while English Laundry’s Fender Collection sat proudly among the label’s other Sunset Strip-suitable button downs, socks, hats, ties and suiting.

Christian Audigier and his bevy of lifestyle brands including swimwear, computer accessories, hair accessories, barwear, eyewear, wireless components, fragrance, children’s clothing, watches and jewelry also created a show-within-a-show at the back of the Men’s hall. S.L.A.T.E at MAGIC, showcasing progressive streetwear, got off to a good start in its third season. The juried assortment of emerging designers had an electric atmosphere that suited the area’s artistic, musical influences. Brand showing there included Aerial 7 and Jedidiah, the humanitarian fashion brand, among many others.

Running the gamut from sportswear to contemporary, including juniors, dresses, outerwear, ecological friendly designs and children’s, WWDMAGIC Marketplace gave shoppers hundreds of options. And, with the addition of the new Premium section, the north hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center became the most convenient place for womenswear buyers to do business.

Junior favorite YMI dramatically expanded its collection and their booth this season. With an aggressive marketing campaign and new licensing deals in activewear and dresses, the brand showcased burnouts, sublimation, tie-dye and loungewear. In the same vein, Freeze tees had success with their own appliqué, foil, studded, vegetable dye, burn out and sublimation styles. Rock and roll sells well for them, especially The Beatles which they said were “on fire” at the moment.

One of the busiest stops in the junior section was Ya. Its tiered, fitted skirts, leggings, dresses and zipper appliqués kept the sales team busy writing up orders. Though the folks at Chinese Laundry claim to not get as much business from a showplace like MAGIC, they appeared to be doing quite well with their pink zebra bags, perforated leather, fringe and nautical bags along with layered or footless tights and throwback neon footwear.

In Young Contemporary, Va Va went boho with belted and silk embroidery, caftans, pique and gauze. The Jessica Simpson line, which has an incredible amount of involvement from the family, showcased 18 product categories including dresses, swimwear, belts, scarves, legwear, luggage, eyewear, dresses and even tween footwear.

The ECOLLECTION at MAGIC shined in its second season with tee shirt, clothing and bag designers who made more than just sustainable fashion. The exhibitors’ stylish gear could compete with any non-environmental company. Reveal's handbags, which educate and empower the consumer, offered more transparency through information on materials and processes used to create their bags, while Recycle Me tees boasted prints embedded through a heating process that won’t flake or rub off, even after repeated washings.


Performance painter Garibaldi greeted Pool attendees this season with his high intensity, danceable painting style. He created an on-point portrait of Michael Jackson in mere minutes and then repeated the experience, depicting Albert Einstein in what seemed like even less time.

In the booths, an Oregon-based design group showcased its labels VSOP, Bridge & Burn, No Star and Oh Snap. No Star branched out this season with its humorous, word play tees while Oh Snap showcased photography from designers and friends including the current ping-pong paddle theme. Across the way, Homage summoned a hippie, “dead head” feeling with their Surf Ohio tees housed in a creative booth complete with lounge chairs, Astro turf, an old VW bus and suspicious-looking but delicious brownies. Capturing that Pool attitude, the label representatives said that since they have to sit there all day anyway, they might as well make it fun.

C. Com. Ca, a French line, popular in Europe and especially Greece, debuted at Pool this season with its precious, big buttoned looks. Kent, a label that started with unprocessed raw jeans, soon developed to include woven tops. A Pool first-timer, the label’s American sourced materials were a hit with buyers.

The Pool Cash and Carry section overflowed with wood, laminate and sterling jewelry, knit and cashmere caps and clever fabric-covered buttons and headbands.

The fashion booths were enhanced by Myra Oh and her live tattoo artistry, a yummy Hint Mint, Designer Mint booth and the everyonebikes.org display.

The Portland company Badge Bomb brought its darling, kooky pins and did well with its button boxes and Retard Riot Line. "The show went really well for us! We are really stoked,” said brand rep Lucas Hay.

There were also Dynomighty paper wallets, colorful Alessi watches, plastic fun with Burger & Friends wallets, Wize & Ope interchangeable retro digital timepieces and Mimoco’s fabulous USB drives. But the king of all things cute had to be TokiDoki which offered a selection of skate decks, pillow cases, baby onesies, shoes, jewelry and watches in an explosion of color and animation.

Said Matthew Henri, designer of Free Gold Watch, whose bestselling pieces were a bow time and a sheer black women’s shirt, of the show: "Our reaction was strong to very strong."

Blue Platypus, president and designer Heidi Oberschmidt, added: "Best show since Pool Mandalay Bay. Buyers have done their homework and they don't look scared."


Now in its sixth year, Project continues to feature the brands at the forefront of today’s contemporary market.

Sophisticated, modern, sleek and edgy, Project’s sportswear and denim collections attract buyers from across the globe. Divided up like a New York street map, The Sands Convention Center Project booths ran up and down numerical avenues and along streets such as Madison and Broadway.

In the women’s section, Koch, a Dallas company that creates all its own fabrics, showed its gold trimmed tunics, shorts and easy dresses along Avenue F. And LA star Rachel Pally continued her prolific assault on jersey knits — no longer dry clean only and at a friendlier price point this season. Fellow Angeleno Trina Turk did not disappoint with prints and sweet silhouettes along with an expanded jewelry collection for spring ’10.

The looks in denim ran the gamut this season from distressed and rock ’n’ roll to sleek. At Alina Jeans, Venice Beach zippered Indiana wash, skinnies and biker styles packed the booth. Wild Fox started its denim collection in ’08 but this time added fun graphic tees and ripped shirts with studs. Rockstar continued with denim as its focus. It displayed motorcycle jeans but added knits, dresses and a unique feathery, furry vest.

Paige Premium Denim’s angle, this season, is less deconstruction, more marbling. It feels it’s subtle that way, avoiding back pocket embroidery and aiming for tacking and textural interest instead. Meanwhile, J Brand Denim Co. launched its men’s style Dylan at Project. These jeans are a bit looser up top but still skinny and tapered at the bottom. Though skinny is in, the company insisted that theirs is a man’s jean and they kept it masculine with perfect whisker placement, oil slick washes, antique buttons and a grayed white denim.

Among the hundreds of exhibitors on hand, Kitson LA’s booth not only served breakfast but also their Superdry jeans collection, Kitson colored denim, and their hand-painted, limited edition jeans which somehow retail for only $119. Project also featured a special display of 19 “Special Cut” limited edition items designed by 19 different brands to mark the show’s sixth anniversary.

Said Dr. Martens’ Sara LaHaie of the show: “The response of retailers and vendors welcoming us to the show has been just great. Hearing stories about ‘my favorite pair of DM's’ has been so much fun. Coming from exhibiting larger trade shows, Project does a great job of keeping it fresh.”

Dave Grange, VP of sales for Lacoste Footwear, which debuted a premium yachting shoe in premium fabrics and three colorways, added: "The show has been fantastic and busy."

Catherine Morisone, dress designer for Rockstar, whose bestselling item was a sequined glitter dress, confessed: "The traffic was a bit slower and people are being cautious but people are here and ready to buy."


Starting its three-day run at the Wynn Hotel on Monday morning, ENK Vegas welcomed visitors and its approximately 120 exhibitors with a free, elaborate breakfast buffet in the rear of the Lafite Ballroom. Intimate and easy to navigate, the show drew steady, but not necessarily heavy, foot traffic on its first day.

“It has been a little slow this morning but I like being her to have the chance to meet face to face with buyers and editors,” said Commonwealth Utilities co-founder Anthony Keegan.

Showcasing numerous denim bigwigs such as Hudson Jeans, Earnest Sewn, Lucky Brand, Agave, J Brand, Parasuco, Serfontaine and Habitual, the event also featured several young lines such as Square One, a collection of men’s and women’s basic tops starting at $16 by the shirt brand Drifter; Commonwealth Utilities, whose collection of sophisticated menswear featured neck details and faux scarf effects; Life After Denim, a denim-friendly line of tops, sweaters and chinos that doesn’t actually use any denim; and Company of We, a new buzzed about menswear line from NYC that offers men’s designer-look basics at completely affordable prices.

J Lindeberg, sporting its usual clean and athletic aesthetic, made its ENK Vegas debut this season as well.

Chock full of boutique-friendly contemporary womens- and menswear, this was the largest edition of ENK Vegas yet, but despite its increased size, the show remained intimate and easy to shop.

Said Company of We co-founder Christopher Crawford: “It was great for us. We got a lot of interest from some major accounts and expect them to bite in the weeks ahead.”


The Capsule show’s third Vegas edition debuted in a new location, a ballroom in the Venetian Hotel not far from the entrance to Project. Showcasing about 100 brands, many of which also showed at Capsule New York in July, the rail-only show again featured the crème de la crème of cutting edge casual menswear and streetwear. And although the layout was somewhat cramped, it added to the lively energy and gave the impression that the show was busy.

“The show has been really great,” said Micah Cohen, designer Shades of Greige, whose bestselling items included a red dinner jacket with tan lapels, two-layer V-neck shirts and printed tank tops.

Dave Rowan of Hot Air, which offered a T-shirt with an abstract bright pink print, added: “We are also showing at S.L.A.T.E., which is busy but hectic. Here it is more uniform and pleasant but we have sold more at S.L.A.T.E.”

Other notable pieces at the show included a YSL tribute T-shirt by Jason Nevikov, a “Choose Death” ironic T-shirt by Obesity and Speed, and a dark denim bustier by New Zealand favorite Huffer. There was also plenty of imaginative footwear on display from the likes of Creative Recreation and Opening Ceremony.

—Rebecca Paiement and Christopher Blomquist