Indie labels like San Francisco’s Effie’s Heart (which picked up a
lot of new accounts at the show, including two Canadian boutiques);
celebrity lines from Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake; and giants like
Levi’s, come together under one roof for this twice-yearly schmoozing
and sell fest.
“To a first-timer like Jennings, beholding the spectacle of thousands
of racks of merchandise – from blingy tees to skinny jeans to men’s
suiting, women’s casual and cocktail wear, jewelry, sunglasses,
watches, hats, shoes and more – it might seem like all is right with
the retail world..
“But MAGIC, which began as the Men’s Wear Manufacturers of Los
Angeles in 1933, and changed to Men’s Apparel Guild in California in
1948, was a shadow of itself. .
“Only six months ago, there were three lavish in-house produced
runway shows a day, and now there were none. The four-day event was cut
to three. Vendors complained about the slow traffic; there were barely
any celebrity appearances, save for TV star Charlie Sheen; and most of
the sellers, who used to be spread out over three convention halls,
were consolidated into two. .
“Still, there was plenty of business being conducted – the old-fashioned way, with a pen and a clipboard and a smile..
“. .Local designers try their luck in Las Vegas Jennifer Jennings, Serial CulturaJennings, an Oakland textile and fashion designer who has shown in the GenArt show, came to the Pool show (a wing for youth-oriented brands of the MAGIC trade show in Las Vegas) for the first time last month. She could afford only the smallest space, a tiny piece of floor with no partitions, for $2,500 for the three-day show. She brought one rack of clothes, a table, an order form and an optimistic attitude. Buyers strolled by, asked a few questions and moved on. Unfortunately, that pattern continued throughout the show. “I’m so bummed,” said Jennings, nearly in tears by the third and last day. “I didn’t get a single order. I’ll just have to go back to cold calls and store visits.” (In fact, she was in New York last week doing just that.) Her dresses, easy-to-wear silk A-lines in digitally printed bold swirls, and cap-sleeve tops with an unusual triangle-shaped back, are hand-printed and made in limited quantities in San Francisco; the line’s been carried at MAC in Hayes Valley in past seasons. But at $125-$175 wholesale for a dress and $75-$130 for the tops, buyers weren’t exactly lining up. “People were being very cautious,” Jennings said, a few days after the show. “I’m really glad I went, but I wouldn’t do it again. I don’t think it was the prices; they weren’t the right buyers for me.” Serial Cultura’s spring line is carried at AB Fits and La Library in San Franciscom.”Chris Gorog, Revel IndustriesUpbeat and chatty, Gorog is a Pool trade show veteran. This was his ninth time in Vegas. “Things have changed,” he said, standing in his booth that cost about $4,000 to rent. “Six months ago, I had three booths and five reps here. Now, it’s just me.” Revel Industries is a hipster men’s multi-brand apparel company on Florida Street in San Francisco that sells in-house designed graphic tees, silk ties and bow ties, wovens and jackets. Like every other businessman, Gorog said, he’s had to adapt to the times: “I can’t sell a $650 jacket at retail so I didn’t bring them. But I can sell a $65 tie.” His skinny silk ties with subtle patterns, designed and made in San Francisco, used to retail for $85; now they’ll retail for about $65. “We’re a lot more flexible with clients with delivery times and quantities. On their side, they have to pay up front; that’s the trade-off.” Gorog was busy all three days of the show greeting buyers from the United States, Asia and, for the first time, Europe. “We did more business this time than six months ago. We picked up U.K., Swedish and German buyers; in the states we picked up Midwestern boutiques and specialty stores from Colorado, Michigan, Maine and Vermont – this was all new for us,” he said. “I was writing with both hands.” Revel Industries ties are sold at Villain’s Vault and Density in San Francisco, among other boutiques. Moriah Carlson and Alice Wu, Feral Childe The clothing hang tags now read “Feral Childe, New York,” but that could change. One half of this design team (Wu) already lives in Oakland and Carlson is considering a move. The art-driven line of casual womenswear – in organic cotton, Tencel, silk blends and jerseys – with abstract graphics and handmade buttons, is designed via Skype, fax, texting, e-mails and cell phone. Every couple of months they get together for face-to-face design meetings. Wu moved to the East Bay two years ago. She found design inspiration everywhere; the new spring line is called Yosemite. The Ansel coat, a sort of artist’s smock with line drawings that resemble rock formations and with jagged-edge buttons, was inspired by photographer Ansel Adams’ driving coat, Wu said. This is the third time the duo has come to the Pool show, and they restrategized. “You can’t depend on foot traffic,” Wu said. “We made an effort to let buyers know we were here and we saw a lot of people by appointment.” Those buyers took a lot of notes. After last season, Wu said, when the mood began to turn gloomy, she was pleased with the amount of traffic this time around and they picked up some new stores. “It’s after the show that the real work begins,” she added. “All the follow-ups on the note-takers.” Feral Childe is sold at Candystore Collective, Backspace, Arkay Workshop and Boutique Harajuku in San Franciscom..
“Source : San Francisco Chronicle.