After several seasons of collaboration, Liberty has acquired competing men’s and women’s apparel and accessories trade show Capsule, according to an exclusive WWD report.
Created by Sam Ben-Avraham, the original founder of Project and owner of Atrium stores, Liberty’s shows in New York and Las Vegas have catered to retailers seeking forward-thinking men’s (and recently women’s) brands and design-driven concepts since 2013.
Capsule, which has been owned by U.K.-based Reed Exhibitions since 2014, was founded by New York-based consultancy group BPMW in 2007. With events in New York, Las Vegas and Paris, the show originally set out to spotlight independent, premium designers and has evolved to include grooming products, eyewear, travel items and more.
“Bringing the Capsule show under the Liberty Fairs Fashion Group umbrella creates an even stronger platform for all of our shows,” Ben-Avraham told WWD in an interview. “We are always thinking about the future, about what’s coming, how we create the right thing to satisfy our core audience, and also attract new eyes to what we are doing. Together we will have more opportunities to serve the fashion space and also build our network of influencers and experiment with some direct-to-consumer efforts.”
The shows have found synergies in marketing, as they regularly take place during the same days and in the same places. During the Las Vegas shows in February, Liberty, Capsule and Agenda, another apparel and lifestyle trade show owned by Reed, combined efforts to launch a two-day conference with keynote speakers and workshops. In 2017, Liberty and Capsule also teamed up with the CDFA to host men’s fashion presentations during Men’s Fashion Week.
“The powerful combination of Capsule and Liberty Fairs will provide Capsule customers a truly unique opportunity to receive exceptional customer value,” Hervé Sedky, president of Reed Exhibitions Americas, told WWD. “Capsule and Liberty have always been, and will continue to be, committed to delivering events that provide a positive business outcome for all those who participate.”
Capsule will re-launch next season with a new format and roster of exhibitors. Ben-Avraham told WWD his plan is to run both shows with their own names and distinct focuses. For now, Agenda will remain a property of Reed. Ben-Avraham said he has no plans to acquire the show surf and skate-focused show.