Scaling Retail on the Go: NYFW and MAGIC Las Vegas

.Are you up to speed with everything that was new at NYFW and MAGIC Las Vegas?

Once again, industry duties have sent me and members of our team on the road. Our most recent stops? Vegas and New York, of course!

NYFW

The really cool thing about NYFW is that it almost feels like it takes over the entire city. There are so many events, it’s almost as if the whole city is for fashion people. Downtown was filled with pop-ups, previews, presentations and runway shows. They were usually held at places like Lincoln Center and Bryant Park in the past. It would’ve been great if they gave away playground maps of Lower Manhattan, highlighting all of the places with New York Fashion Week action and details of what’s happening. It really felt like one big playground!

NYFW is maintaining an unusual balance of exclusivity and inclusivity. You need a formal ticket to attend a show that has to be scanned (this started a few years ago). But all of the action is shared in real-time with the world through technology including Snapchat and Instagram Live. It’s an exclusive, inclusive situation. For example, I was live streaming the BCBG show and it’s weird when you think about it. I had to stop and wonder if I was experiencing the collection through the lens or outside of it!

Gorgeous crystal displays at NYFW

Tech has definitely changed the week in a lot of ways. I feel like so many designers opted for presentations instead of traditional 5 minute runway shows because they’re designed to maximize the Instagram-ability of it all. A fashion show is over in minutes but a presentation could stretch on for an hour or even more. It offers many more opportunities to be shared.

BCBG Presentation at NYFW

The two biggest trends at New York Fashion Week were super experiential presentations/shows and incorporating that element that will get people talking about them (whether through casting, strategic collaborations or anything else).

MAGIC Las Vegas

Syama at MAGIC Las Vegas 2018

I saw tons of buyers from around the globe at MAGIC Las Vegas. I’ve never seen anything like it. The people who listened to my presentations were from places as wide-ranging as Nigeria and Brazil. It was exciting!

I love MAGIC’s new methods. The show has become a lot more organized and they’re doing a lot to keep buyers coming back for more. Some of the most effective tactics are curating attending brands and high quality programming. Now the shows are curated similarly to how buyers buy like Conscious Collections for sustainability-focused brands and Oasis for emerging and/or otherwise standout brands. This a huge help for buyers so they don’t need to tackle every area and every booth.

The number of international buyers wasn’t the only surprise. My audiences were filled with retailers too. People from big names like The Doneger Group and Macy’s were there sitting in on talks to find out what’s happening with the future of the industry. They came out to engage and that’s really fascinating. It’s no longer only the new brands listening in.

MAGIC Las Vegas’ programming was a lot more focused on the strategic, the tactical and outlining next steps. The programming at Assembly (an initiative by Liberty, Agenda and Capsule), however, was a lot more aspirational which makes sense. They feature younger streetwear brands – streetwear, luxe athleisure, advanced contemporary, contemporary. They’re thinking about what’s on the forefront and they’ve very youth-oriented. This resulted in seeing creative directors and designers on stage (Jaden Smith, Ronnie Fieg, Jeff Staple) and sort of putting them on a pedestal. They talked about what’s happening in the market and inspired audiences.

Something else that stood out was the number of brands from Kickstarter and Indiegogo showing at POOLTRADESHOW (which typically shows younger tech brands). I’m obsessed with Shop Fun Club’s edgy designs. Their message is fun and on point and they created an atmosphere to match it with donuts, hard lemonade and painting sessions.

Now I’m excited to see what happens in the summer. Will the momentum keep up? Or was market booming this season because Fall/Winter is usually a bigger buy?

What’s next? Arianna is near the end of her trip to New York. Afterwards, she and I are heading to Paris for market.

Stay tuned…

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