LFD brings fashion Magic to Magic Las Vegas
The Magic Fashion Trade show hit Las Vegas this February 05-07 as part of a bi-annual visit to the city in the desert. We LOVE Vegas and Magic for lots of reasons: the fashion, obviously. And it’s a chance to get away from our city and visit the one that never sleeps. And we didn’t sleep, but not for ‘those’ reasons. We were busy working the event - honest!
The alternative location nods to what goes on at the Mandalay Bay Convention Centre during three hyperactive days. This is NOT a couture-driven series of high end, behind-closed-doors shows. Instead, upcoming and established brands get to show their wares and test the market side by side. Sales people can meet up with potential stockists. All kinds of deals can be forged. Magic is a fashion juggernaut with the hottest new brands on show, plus events, discussion and forums to attend over thousands of square feet. Menswear, womenswear, kid’s clothing, footwear and accessories all feature.
Vegas also makes for a change of perspective. In our experience, the fashion scenes in the coastal cities is pretty localized, whereas at trade shows - and one as far afield as Nevada - you meet different manufacturers and designers from all over the US and the world. Plus you have the chance to talk to the wonderful, cool, crazy, busy people who make and care about this stuff 24-7 (which you cannot do via Instagram).
If you love fashion but don’t do trade shows … DO. Just once. You see that this fashion business is a business, and that it’s hard-core. All those pretty people snapping themselves in designer jeans in the backs of cabs are part of a HUGE machine that depends on that one shot breaking the internet.
But the best products always win. Here are a few of the new and breaking brands that hit Las Vegas this February and that we completely loved (including our own righteous offering). Phones at the ready now.
Korean Brand BS Rabbit combines - somewhat confusingly! - the word board (ie snow-board) and street in urban creations that mix hard world realities with a stoner ethic and dayglow Hypebeast presentation. Nothing fussy. Funky website and funky stuff.
We love Kendall and Haley in their eighties JPS inspired Cloney hats; and so do Cloney, judging by the coverage the fore-mentioned Alpha-girls get wearing said items (along with Bella, Courtney and Ariana wearing other Cloney stuff) on the brand’s site. Cloney (derived from the word ‘clone’ and - in earlier promotional stints - George Clooney, who might sue one day) thrives on the blurred lines between traditional media marketing and the life-through-a-lens approach of hard line social media. Will success and an old school view on growing into a mega brand be Cloney’s downfall, or are we witnessing something akin to a 2020s SuperDry revolution? Only time and cash flow will tell.
Love the name. How do you craft an original take on casualwear that beats the wave? DTC seems open to all possibilities now, with minimal collections that incorporate 90s grunge and modern athleisure looks. While other head-turners at Magic like Crooks&Castles or neverbrokeagain were clearly t-shirt design focused concerns, DTC has an intrinsic focus on exemplary quality driving a classy image and design model.
Dekryptic clothes literally come to life before your eyes. Their t-shirts are an insane eye-filling riff on early and latter day gaming culture, with collaborations with Popeye, NASA and Rubik’s Cube a kind of meeting ground for everything pop means to all people plastered on a t shirt. And then you have the augmented reality bit - wave your phone at the image on the front and they start doing some crazy stuff. Beats a Louis Vuitton handbag every time, in our humble opinion.
Any brand that takes its name from a British form of underground dance music has to be pretty cool. At first glance the most surprising thing about this streetwear label is that its Spanish, but look a little closer - patchwork hoodies, hi-fi tops, and battle spec dragon logo jackets - and you’ll dig a brand with genuine concern for intelligent aesthetics over chutzpah and a couture angle on what it’s trying to do, rather than just blowing hot wind over print logo ts. Very good indeed.
They have a cartoon cat called Nermal who appears on virtually every item of clothing giving the finger or engaging in some form of stoner shenanigans, and whom you can’t help but kind of love even if you don’t trust completely. Probably destined to take over the whole world, and probably an indication that everyone else is taking things far too seriously.
Black belt with red stone jewels ain't the kind of thing you’ll wear to the gym or work. It’s our concession to a certain Las Vegas state of mind, where you go to breakfast on last night’s winnings or you skip breakfast and get married wearing this belt and a white tuxedo. Maybe we’re getting carried away, but if the clothes lead us that way...
It’s nice when a label is so good at doing something that that is pretty much all it does, and it still looks great. Parachute gear? Bondage gear? Mod gear? We’re not really sure how you’d describe Tripp NYCs range of energizing streetwear. You could rave to the dawn in this stuff; you could also raid the bank next door from the roof. It’s that good. Really.
For our new collection we wanted to come to Vegas with something that would create tremors in the sand. We stuck with menswear and - genuinely - the reception was huge. We’re going places, we’re gonna break Europe. These were the words of reps and stockists, not our own. With business done, we headed back to the hotel, but not before we necked Pepsi at the Bellagio fountain. Our designs - 21st century streetwear with future psychedelic tendencies. 100% quality as our guiding light. We were 100% exhausted and -on the plane back to LAX - 100% happy we’re on the right track.