Half-naked girls, pro-skateboarders, rappers, streetwear enthusiasts, retailers, graffiti artists, established brands and up-and-comers alike all congregated at the massive MAGIC tradeshow bi-annually in Las Vegas late last month. This year the buzz was on the fashion tradeshow’s recent installment, S.L.A.T.E., which focuses on the most progressive streetwear labels in the underground skate, surf, art and music scenes.
A walk through the exhibitor’s lanes is a buyer and streetwear connoisseurs’ dream. Diamond Supply Co., Crooks & Castles, Huf, Mishaka, Stussy and The Hundreds are just a few of 100-plus brands showing at S.L.A.T.E. It’s a special place where the established are side-by-side with the newly established.
This gives retailers the opportunity to see what their current stocked brands are doing as well, as a chance to browse through the newest and emerging trends. Gavin Ward of Bleecker St, Melbourne Australia’s premiere street boutique, says the trip to Las Vegas is mandatory for his shop, which exclusively sells the newest fashion coming out of New York and LA.
The Industry’s Finest
MAGIC is one show that everyone is at. The who’s who of the industry are coming for that fact alone. Nick Tershay of Diamond Supply Co., notes that this is only their second year at S.L.A.T.E., and though they do the majority of their sales outside the tradeshow, he views the show as the essential meet and greet industry mixer, where they get the chance to have valuable face-time with their buyers.
His line is just one of the core skateboarding brands showing thanks to MAGIC’s newest initiative RIDE Unltd., the new home of all things action sports. In addition to showcasing the broad selection of boardsports brands, S.L.A.T.E. has brought the action on-site by teaming up with Maloof Skateboarding.
The Vegas mogul family presented the Best Line Challenge during the show in which Ronnie Creager took first place earning $10,000 in 10 minutes for his lines, that included a smith grind 270 out, switch tailslide 270 out and switch crook halfcab flip out.
The tradeshow might end at 6pm but the work is far from over for most. In an industry where image rains king, many brands are off to the hottest after parties of the night or are hosting their own, like streetwear giant Crooks & Castles.
As a brand known for throwing one of the hottest MAGIC after parties, Crooks turned the $25,000 a night Palms Hotel’s hard-court Suite into an all night VIP soirée. Jadakiss, Chris Brown, Fat Joe, and Raekwon were just a few of the many high profile Crooks aficionados who partied to the beats of LA Based turtablist DJ IVY.
“As a brand the importance of throwing a party at Magic is very significant! We wanted to give our buyers a true one of a kind experience that tied in with some of the products and messages we we’re portraying in the collection,” explained Chris Natalio of Crooks. “We’re letting everyone know that not only are we still here, we're only getting bigger and better with every season. This definitely made a difference in how they bought our product.”
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