by John Russel Jones

PROJECT Las Vegas ran February 14th to 16th at the Las Vegas Convention Center, bookended by the MAGIC and SOURCING trade shows. Nearly 1,500 brands exhibited across the three shows, up 15 percent from August 2021’s event. Informa Markets Fashion reports that 35% of attending retailers were new buyers, with online retailers making up 18%. 

“MAGIC, PROJECT and SOURCING at MAGIC continue to be important flagship events serving the entirety of the fashion ecosystem, providing an all-encompassing platform for big box to boutique retailers to discover the latest products and new lines that will excite their customers,” said Kelly Helfman, President of Informa Markets Fashion. “We’re all about discovery, connection, and spotlighting the latest trends, so that brands, both established and emergent, have a platform to promote their product, and retailers are able to ink deals with the hottest new brands across a wide range of categories. The fashion industry and consumer preferences are constantly changing and it’s crucial that we evolve alongside the marketplace; so this year, we were proud to integrate digital to extend buyer access beyond the show floor and provide solutions to today’s most pressing challenges via our expert-led educational offerings.” 

PROJECT welcomed new men’s brands like Dockers Specialty, Family First, IMAGO, Original Paperbacks, Pendleton, Propaganda Agency, PRPS and Tiger of Sweden. Returning brands included 34 Heritage, 7 For All Mankind, Barbour, Jack & Jones, Reyn Spooner, Scotch & Soda, and WeSC. Footwear and accessories brands also exhibited, including Frye, Gola Classics, Lavair, Maverick & Co., and a selection from new showroom Golden Meteors. The NOW section of the show featured brands Akoo, Alpha Industries, Baja Llama, BSRABBIT, Cult of Individuality, and Dead.Than. Men’s exhibitors at the primarily women’s MAGIC event included Copper Rivet, LCR Black Edition, Mantoni, Mizumi Couture, Giovanni Tessi, Prestige Originals, T.R. Premium, Tiglio, and Urgent Gear.

Informa Markets Fashion for Change is an ongoing corporate initiative whose mission is to foster allyship, inclusion, and equality within the fashion community through programs that support, nurture, and elevate minority-owned, women-owned, and LGBTQIA+-owned fashion brands across men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, and footwear categories. The 2022 IMFC Incubator Participants – in the men’s or dual-gender categories – that came to Las Vegas included Todd Patrick, XOG Skincare, Kwasi Paul, B|M|C, Under Komfort, Carlton Jones, and Nappy Head Club. 

The SOURCING show featured a focus on sustainability, including a partnership with Hey Social Good to vet exhibitors claims regarding sustainable initiatives and to function as a resource for event guests. 

Among the many retailers attending were ASOS, Buckle, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Halls, The Clotherie, and Lisa Kline. 

Special guest speakers included Elaine Welteroth (of Project Runway), Dapper Dan, and a roundtable with the team from Blamo! about “How to Grow Your Brand Through Storytelling.”

Of course, it wouldn’t be Vegas without a party. Festivities included The SOURCING Bowl, a Superbowl viewing party, and a performance by the Grammy Award winning Salt-N-Pepa.

Photo: Hailley Howard