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WWD MAGIC Las Vegas:  23-26 February 2004

Fashion

Trade Shows

Design Studio

News

Fashion Review

Focusing our sights on vendors with a strong visual presence, the Apparel Search editorial team set off to conquer the world's largest apparel tradeshow spread over multiple venues along the Vegas strip and spanning mens, womens, childrens RTW and accessories collections.  In four short days we covered miles of booth space a staggering blur of good, bad and ugly.  It was easy to spot the winners:

Nestled between classic mens brands like Tommy Bahama and denim giants Parasuco, Cabral's microbrand instantly caught our attention.  A bright, modern booth showcased surf and wakeboard gear with bold artistic graphics and a designer fit.  Garth Cabral presented a Spring capsule collection of shorts and tees for the beach, complemented by shirts and pants to take his stylish pro rider beyond the water.  A modern lifestyle brand indeed.

With a strong grasp of current architectural design trends, Levi's showed its collection in a series of plushed-out shipping containers.  A double-height booth with simple, industrial detailing formed the backdrop to its bohemian young staff and classic American jeans.  We salute this corporate giant for being 3 years ahead of the container phenomenon, which is just now reaching mainstream shelter magazines.

Hugo Boss conjured up a VIP lounge at an arctic way-station, inviting buyers to chill out in style, sip glacier water and vibe to frosty DJ beats in the company's ice-blue concept lounge.  Not a bad way to remind customers that sartorial mens suits are still cool!

Serving up its cult-favorite mix of footwear eyecandy, British brand Gola exploded its popular molded spit-bottom sole into an infinite variety of colors and upper treatments for men and women.  Account executives report mens and womens sales on par in the US, with stalwart old-school styles like Harrier complementing the punchy new Candy and Pixel.

In the Streetwear pavilion, pinup goddess Pamela Anderson was on hand to introduce Pamela Collection, her sexy and surprisingly sophisticated apparel, footwear and accessories licensed through ULG.  Nearby, rap diva Eve's collaboration with Innovo Group, Fetish by Eve, conducted a brusque business and promoted the line after hours with a hot party at V Bar.

Dickies Girl took Best of Show in the Womens pavilion as winners of the booth competition.  This was an important show for the team, which invested heavily in advertising to launch a denim collection consisting of relaxed 5-pocket styles and cargo silhouettes.  A steady stream of press and buyers was its due reward.

Contemporary resources like Jeffrey Campbell footwear, Harveys Boutique and By Cesar apparel represented the best of West Coast design, each grooving to the beat of their individual style pulse.  These brands exemplified a unified contemporary message of color, hand-worked details and an effortless combination of vintage-modern.  As the global fashion community continues to mine California shores for trend direction, these are certainly three hot brands to watch.

Links of possible interest: Design Studio LA Fashion NY Fashion

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