Being a Buyer Part Two - MAGIC
This August, we had the opportunity to visit MAGIC, one of the fashion industry's largest trade shows, held twice a year in Las Vegas. Once again we wanted to share what it's like being a buyer - and how MAGIC is particularly unique compared to what we experienced in Canada.
While Vegas is commonly known as a great vacation destination, it's also a hub for conferences because of its immense event facilities. We can say this much - visiting Vegas in February (when the show's other semi-annual event is held for Fall/Winter collections) will probably be a more delightful experience than going in the summer. With temperatures reaching the mid-40's in Celsius, us poor Canucks were roasting all week! Still, one of the cool things about attending a major event like this in Vegas is the hospitality you receive. The size of MAGIC - which we'll get to in a moment - meant the entire city basically knew we were in town. Welcome signs appeared at the airport, in malls, on billboards, you name it - plus just about everyone we mentioned we were attending a trade show to knew exactly which event we were talking about.
The biggest difference between MAGIC and the shows in Canada is the sheer size. As we said, Las Vegas has massive event facilities at virtually all of its hotels, and the Las Vegas Convention Centre (LVCC) is actually the third largest facility in the world. MAGIC takes up the entire LVCC, plus all of Mandalay Bay's convention facilities. Did we mention that Mandalay Bay is second only to LVCC? And that combined, the two facilities offer nearly 5 million square feet of space? Jaw-dropping right?
So what's the big idea? Why is MAGIC so much bigger? The main reason why is the trade show is actually an umbrella for nearly a dozen different shows, catering to all sides of the fashion industry. They have shows for every category of men's, women's, and children's fashion, plus speciality offshoots like accessories, shoes, swimwear, lingerie, and more. Plus, they also have a sourcing show, meaning brands can be on the hunt for materials to craft the garments that eventually end up at MAGIC as the products we carry. The good news is, provided you aren't a mega department store, it's pretty easy to focus. We mostly stuck to WWDMAGIC, which carries all the brands we know you'll love!
On that note, another difference between MAGIC and the shows in Canada is we got to meet up with a lot of brands that don't normally showcase their clothing here (like Closet, which is where the dress above is from). As we mentioned in our last post about being a buyer, seeing clothing in person is a great way for us to grasp the quality of the fabrics, the true colours of things, and key details like the length, whether something is sheer, or if it has a tricky back.
The presentation for each brand was also quite different than what we've seen in Canada. In Canada, we typically visited a showroom's booth and would look at anywhere from one to five different brands at once. At MAGIC, each brand has its own booth for the most part (sister brands like Poppy Lux and Sugarhill Boutique will share one space, as an exception), allowing those brands to really theme their booths to suit their brand. We particularly loved Kling's adorable astro turf and house-themed booth, which you can see in the picture above (also dig that cute retro sporty dress!)
Perhaps the craziest thing of all about MAGIC is the sheer amount of effort that goes into coordinating a show of this scale. The massive volume of staffers that covered everything from shuttle buses to get us to and from our hotel to the various venues, to the folks that checked us in, to the people that greeted us at the door and asked if we needed assistance, to all of the crazy behind-the-scenes work that would need to go into getting these vendors set up and happy, is immense. We were thoroughly impressed by the professionalism of the event and it made us that much more giddy to meet with the brands and check out their spring / summer collections.
MAGIC is probably best suited to shops that carry a ton of different products - but for us at Ever Rose it was still an amazing experience to get to meet with a ton of new brands and ones we already loved, and also made us excited about the prospect of carrying that much more in the future. Stay tuned for more insights on being a buyer!