WWDMAGIC at 20: The History
WWDMAGIC at 20: The History
It's been two decades since women's lines have had their own dedicated show under the MAGIC umbrella, and the organization - as well as the industry- has experienced dramatic changes in the interim.
-MAGIC International partners with Women’s Wear Daily to form WWDMAGIC, the company’s first women’s wear show, in February. It makes its debut at the Hilton Convention Center.
-WWDMAGIC moves from the Hilton Convention Center to five pavilions across from the Las Vegas Convention Center, where the men’s shows are held.
-WWDMAGIC adds the Alternative category to the show floor.
-Advanstar Communications buys MAGIC International for $200 million.
-The women’s show moves to the Sands Expo.
-WWDMAGIC partners with DuPont Lycra for a mentor program to bring 12 up-and-coming designers to the show.
-The show adds Business Solutions, Tech and Design sections.
-The Intimate Apparel category first appears at the show.
-WWDMAGIC adds “still walk” mannequin displays and accessories displays to the show floor and moves Surf and Swim into the Juniors section.
-WWDMAGIC’s first opening-night fashion event, “D&G Takes Las Vegas,” is held at the Hard Rock Hotel’s pool with 60 models.
-Mary J Blige is the first major celebrity to appear at the show.
-Pierre Cardin hosts a fashion show.
-The women’s show moves to the Las Vegas Convention Center, North Hall.
-Numerous celebrities appear, including Jessica Simpson, Boy George, Anna Nicole Smith, Christine Baumgartner, Nelly, Nicky Hilton and Pamela Anderson.
-Esprit celebrates its 40th anniversary at the show.
-Organizers introduce Twilight, a happy hour on the show floor, with wine stations. As Chris Griffin recalls, “We made an announcement that free wine is now being served. Well, everyone stampeded out of the exhibitors’ booths to get the free wine.” It wasn’t a hit with exhibitors. “So at the very next show, we reversed it. We delivered the wine to the brands, in their booths… and let them play bartender to their buyers.”
-Paris Hilton makes an appearance.
-WWDMAGIC moves to the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, and the Concourse area is created.
-WWD@100 celebration on the Concourse
-L’Oréal Paris launches its MAGIC Smooth Foundation on the Concourse in a beauty bar.
-The launch of the Blogger Lounge on The Concourse marks the first time fashion bloggers operate at the show.
-Scouting brands in Paris and a partnership with Prêt-à-Porter Paris show results in the Heart of Pret section.
-Desigual brings Cirque du Soleil to its booth. “They had performers take over their booth and dance on their tables and dance in and around,” Griffin recalls. “It’s called trade show. People want to be entertained and they expect a compelling story when they walk the show floor.”
-Launch of the Teen Vogue Blogger Lounge & iPad art wall exhibit on the Concourse.
-Launches of the Buzz Boutique and Emerging Designer Showcase.
-Betsey Johnson appears on the Concourse.
-“Dreaming of Chanel” book signing by author Charlotte Smith accompanies a vintage dress gallery with 30 dresses, including a little black dress vignette and a little red dress vignette. “Sure enough, [Smith] brought an Eighties Betsey Johnson dress. Betsey was doing a P.A. in the Central Hall, and this was in the North Hall, and we walked Betsey over to meet Charlotte and took a photo in front of her dress and the crowd went crazy,” says Griffin.
-Organizers bring fashion shows back to the show floor. “Everyone likes a cat- walk,” Griffin says. “It’s just fun, it reminds you that this may not be Paris or Milan, but fashion is fashion, they like the glamour that a runway brings to bear.”
-The Creme de la Creme contest with Galleries Lafayette gives executives from the winning brand a trip to Paris to meet a women’s buyer.
-Guest fashion director Hal Rubenstein curates shows at WWDMAGIC.
-TV’s “Shark Tank” hosts a booth on the Concourse.
-Scouting brands in Tokyo results in the launch of Japan Fun Time section.
-Joe Zee appears on the Concourse.
-Playground (kids’ categories) launches.
-Partnership with Curve begins, unifying Swim and Intimates sections
-WWDMAGIC marks its 20th anniversary.
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