Written By Jacqueline Aro, Marra Manansala, Ashley Rivas, and Sergio Sanchez
MAGIC, or The Magic Marketplace, is a bi-annual trade show that showcases men's and women’s apparel, accessories and footwear. It has become the largest apparel and accessory trade event in the U.S. The tradeshow previews trends and apparel to hundreds of thousands of people whom attend from all over the world. Each February and August the largest and most influential network of buyers, brands, and media unite for this event and provide an inside perspective on the trends that will influence consumers today. Fashion is ever changing, and new trends and merchandise are always in demand.
MAGIC, short for Men’s Apparel Guild in California, started as an association of Los Angeles men’s wear manufacturers in 1933. Around that time, the association went by Men’s Wear Manufacturers of Los Angeles. In 1942, their first show, the Roundup, took place in Palm Springs. Six years later, the association officially became the Men’s Apparel Guild in California.
Unlike today, MAGIC had two locations for its biannual shows, with the first covering the spring and summer markets in Palm Springs, while the Fall and Winter market shows took place in San Diego. Both shows found their home in the Los Angeles Convention Center in 1979 and, through its growth, opened its doors for retailers worldwide to participate. A widespread interest initiated MAGIC’s reputation as the largest, most anticipated fashion trade show in the world. Since 1989, MAGIC has settled down permanently in Las Vegas. The city is the most convenient host to the event since nearby hotels are able to accommodate the hundreds of thousands buyers and participants.
However, MAGIC has had its share of downfalls. Attendance is often unpredictable, but that goes for any trade show. Despite this uncertainty, attendance steadily increases with every event; MAGIC seems to surpass the economic roadblocks. The environment is busy and full of competition, which often makes it difficult for businesses to keep buyers interested at their booths. Business owners have to work up some magic of their own to stand out amongst the thousands of booths.
Though the show is made for the buyer, seminars, better known as Sourcing, at MAGIC are offered to participating business owners to motivate and inspire success. These educational seminars are lead by the industry’s most influential leaders.
In addition, participants are able to set up appointments with buyers through an invaluable database of contact information. You know what they say: It’s networking, networking, networking! MAGIC allows participants to strategically place their booths in specific areas to target buyers. Emerging labels get the chance of a lifetime to showcase their merchandise amongst the big dogs, including Steve Madden, Marc Jacobs, and DKNY. As we all know, opportunities for lines to get carried in stores don’t show up at doorsteps every day. MAGIC seems to be that chance to create business partnerships and exposure to help advance businesses of all sizes. Prices to participate in the trade show can run a little steep, but in the world of fashion, you can’t afford to be left in the dark. Attendees should devise some kind of game plan as to what they want to see due to the size of this iconic trade show.