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How Project Is Recalibrating for a New Retail Landscape

Attendees at Project in Las Vegas will see the full scope of expertly merchandised Spring/Summer 2020 menswear, denim, footwear and accessories.

The show, taking place this week, from Monday to Wednesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center, is the first with all 12 MAGIC trade shows housed under one roof, providing buyers a 360-degree view of the season and brands the opportunity to meet a diversified group of retailers.

And with brands like Levi Strauss & Co., Paige and BLDWN, Project will remain the go-to show for contemporary fashion, premium denim and designer collections, as well as a roster of topical seminars on streetwear, social media and sustainability.

Here, president of men’s fashion Lizette Chin and Brian Trunzo, head of sales, shares with Rivet how the show is addressing new retail challenges and opportunities, and the brands to watch.

Rivet: What does it mean to have all MAGIC shows under one roof at the Las Vegas Convention Center?

Lizette Chin and Brian Trunzo: We are moving to a single campus to become one community to increase connectivity and opportunity for our attendees. Our goal is to build a singular, powerful experience for our entire industry that brings together commerce, innovation and education.

Rivet: How are trade shows and their attendees evolving?

LC & BT: Our brand ethos is based on four attributes: education, retail and community, media and experience. It through the lens of these attributes that we address the evolving needs of our attendees with a focus on introducing new brands and highly-curated areas of our show floor.

Rivet: What hurdles are brands and retailers facing, and how is the show addressing these challenges or providing solutions? 

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LC & BT: Consumer shift in how people shop has affected the entire industry and we are all recalibrating and evolving as a result. Our goal is to help our brands and attendees navigate this new retail client and we address this in our on-site seminars and consultative approach to the business.

By partnering with the likes of WGSN, Highsnobiety and key protagonists in the space, we are presenting information in our N:OW Forums that can help give both brand and attendee an edge at the show and after. We have invested heavily into this blend of education and networking. New connections are made, out-of-the-box ideas are presented and results are being seen from our community. We look to expand this throughout the show based on the four attributes.

We are also a supporter of all channels of brand distribution and are big believers in the physical brick-and-mortar store as evidenced by numerous industry reports that indicate that Gen Z overwhelmingly prefer in-store shopping for their apparel.

Rivet: Going into Spring/Summer 2020, what is exciting you about menswear? 

LC & BT: We are seeing a great confluence of styles, and it’s making for a very dynamic menswear landscape. Tailoring is influencing streetwear, streetwear is influencing preppy Americana, the great outdoors is influencing the runways and ’90s nostalgia is bleeding into the early-00s. It’s almost as if anything goes, and this is bringing about great creativity within the contemporary and denim markets.

Rivet: What do you think is the status of denim in the overall fashion market?

LC & BT: The category is definitely broadening as influence trickles down from designer houses, like Loewe and Prada, but also bubbles up from emerging players. On our floor we have a great mix of legacy pure players, like Mavi, 7 for All Mankind and Paige, and also rising brands such as Ovadia & Sons, Raleigh Denim and a great mix of progressive Japanese brands that will be in our N:OW neighborhood visiting from our Project Tokyo show. This is pushing those who design denim to new heights, and we expect the market to be quite strong heading into 2020.