Runway News

MAGIC: LAS VEGAS

Magic, one of the most talked-about and highly anticipated fashion trade shows in the world, just wrapped up in Las Vegas.  A massive marketplace housed within the Las Vegas Convention Center, Magic attracts tens of thousands of buyers and sellers who meet, mingle, connect, and immerse themselves in the latest and upcoming consumer trends. 

 

What began as a Los Angeles-based menswear show (the name stands for “Men’s Apparel Guild in California”), MAGIC expanded in the 90′s to include womenswear, children’s, swimwear and accessories. Today, womenswear enjoys center stage at the show and is really the standout of the whole affair.
 

 
The overriding theme of the event was the designers’ and distributors’ desire to keep prices accessible in the midst of an economic downturn: 
  • Sledge USA manages to keep price points between $29 and $42, despite its commitment to making everything in the U.S. (Los Angeles) including cutting, sewing and dying fabric.
  • Blaque Label fancies itself the antidote to those expensive designer labels and keeps price points between $20 and $88, even though the elegant feminine pieces are far more accessible than they appear.

 

 

  • Barbi Brunton, Ft. Lauderdale-based designer of whimsical women’s hats and accessories for over 20 years, provides couture wear at affordable prices (most hats and bags under $300). Barbi’s daughter who acted as model attracted attention as she walked the floor in her mother’s wares.
  • Krisham Chaudry has been designing for 35 years out of studios in L.A. and India. His knits are made in China while prints and woven fabrics are manufactured in India making them intrinsically organic, although he avoids the certification process so as not to pass on the expense to the customer;
  • Catherine Lillywhite’s rose clutches retail at only $21.

MAGIC also features an ever-expanding “Ecollection” representing eco-friendly brands dedicated to sustainability and fair trade practices. As the shift toward eco-consumerism continues (we can see now that it is more than a trend), eco-apparel is thankfully moving away from the less imaginative and shapeless basics, to more interesting and luxurious fashion-forward designs.
 

 
Although there was enough of the former at MAGIC’s Ecollection to prove disappointing to an eco-fashion follower, a sense of the slow emergence of a more sophisticated eco-fashion future did provide some hope: 
  • Reveal handbags, based on the designer’s desire to “reveal what the products are made of so the customers know what they are buying” is an exquisite collection of chic and sophisticated handbag luggage that just happens to feature recycled polyester, reclaimed leather, organic jute and cotton as some of its eco-sensitive ingredients.
  • Ecochicc, or “ecologically conscious organization celebrating, honouring, inspiring creative communities” markets apparel and accessories made from recycled and sustainable items by worldwide artisans such as a dress crafted from pop can tabs.

 

  


 

Images and text by Laura Connell

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