When I decided to launch Unhinged Boutique I knew I would have to travel to trade shows. One trade show in particular was at the top of my list was Magic Las Vegas! This trade show happens twice a year in February and August, and is the mother load of wholesale clothing for retailers and buyers. With the launch of Unhinged Boutique just weeks away, I knew I had to make the trip to Magic to purchase the latest trends for summer and fall.
I had never been to Las Vegas, and with my husband out of town on business, I had no choice but to go alone. Yes, I was nervous! But I had to put on my big girl panties and buckle up for the ride.
The views from the plane were spectacular!
Once I arrived at the airport I fetched a cab and started heading for the hotel. My cab drivers name was Ricky and he told me I was V.I.P and didn't need to stand around for cabs while I was in Vegas (He told me V.I.P meant Very Important Princess.) LOL! I threw him an extra $5 for the compliment, grabbed his business card and hopped out at my hotel.
If you know me personally, you know I'm not one to turn down a drink, let alone a game of blackjack. But this trip was all business, and I had to go over inventory that night for the shop and prepare for my meetings with some of my vendors the next day.
(If you think this blog is going to be like a scene from the Hangover, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but it's not going to lead in that direction.)
The next morning I woke up early, 5AM to be exact because I was stuck on east coast time. Ugh! I sat in line at the hotel waiting for a bus that never came, and then decided I better call my boy Ricky to come pick me up and start heading to the Las Vegas Convention Center. Thank goodness for Ricky!
Once I arrived, I was given my all access pass to Magic!
Magic is a combination of 10 different shows divided up based on the type of merchandise, style and price point. Some of these shows are at the Las Vegas Convention Center while others are located at Mandalay Bay Hotel.
The shows are:
FN Platform global showcase for branded footwear, showcasing over 1600 men’s, women’s, juniors and children’s footwear brands from more than 20 countries. A mix of luxury and casual footwear.
WWDMagic brings together the latest in women’s, junior’s and children’s apparel and accessories, activewear and swim.
WSA@Magic is the newest and largest selection of footwear recently on the market
Sourcing is 35 countries representing inspiration, education, innovation and resources is what keeps fashion moving.
Mens branded apparel for men and young men featuring traditional men’s, young men’s, streetwear and licensed apparel.
Playground is children's shoes and apparel.
Project is the premier contemporary fashion event, exhibiting men's and women's advanced contemporary, premium denim, and designer collections.
ENKVegas is an assortment of better contemporary womens collections, lifestyle products and accessories
The Tents is top luxury and designer men's brands
PoolTradeShow is new and upcoming fashion and accessories
Magic is HUGE! To give you an idea, they have around 60,000+ industry insiders at the show coming from all over the world. This particular Magic event made 17.6 Million Social Media Impressions, the event reached out to 8.6 million people, 5,100 Instagram photos were taken, 3,100 tweets were tweeted and 215 Videos were posted. Crazy!
Obviously it's A LOT to see in just three short days and there is no way possible to view all the shows. Since Unhinged Boutique is focused on women's unique and simple apparel, I spent my entire 3 days at WWDMagic at the Las Vegas Convention Center. I literally went aisle to aisle browsing all the different booths collecting business cards and placing orders through the summer into fall.
I understand why they call it Magic, because it truly is Magic! There are always fashion shows going on, or interviews with top retailers to sit down and enjoy. You are surrounded by beautiful clothing from all your favorite brands. You quickly go one by one breezing through the racks of clothes. Someone will walk around with you and grab the pieces you pull to start a rack for later purchase. You meet so many hardworking and creative women who have been in the boutique business for years, or other girls who are just starting out like me. I chatted with girls who are buyers for Saks and Neiman Marcus, and even a few fashion bloggers while I was rummaging through the clothing racks.
It is a fast paced environment that I can't wait to go back to. But next time, I will remember to bring a good pair of tennis shoes and skip out on the high heels. ;)