VEGAS BUYING TRIP RECAP
On Super Bowl Sunday we headed to the Philadelphia Airport sporting our Eagles green to attend the second buying show of the year in Vegas! MAGIC is a traveling buying show (Vegas, New York, and Nashville) that takes place twice a year in Vegas. We attend all of the MAGIC shows throughout the year, but the two in Vegas are always the biggest (and in my opinion the best!). A majority of the brands are based out of Los Angeles and with the quick trip to Vegas the installations and collections are always bigger and more impressive compared to New York and Nashville.
With the three hour time difference we arrived in Vegas around lunch time and had a few hours to kill before Super Bowl Kickoff at 3:30. We checked into The Bellagio and met for lunch at Sadelle’s conveniently located off the main lobby of the hotel. Sadelle’s never disappoints and is a go-to for breakfast or lunch. I ordered the grilled cheese and tomato soup which was perfect after a long flight.
After lunch we walked the shops in The Bellagio and Caesars Palace. Reannoin, our Creative Director, was on the hunt for new sunglasses and found a pair she absolutely loved at Prada. With the Super Bowl kickoff quickly approaching she decided if the Eagles won the Prada sunnies would be hers! You all know how that ended… but we still went back on the last day to buy them (with a new excuse - Valentine’s Day!)
Bruce had two seats reserved in the sportsbook, but as much as we love the Eagles we were more interested in finding a pretty place to enjoy a cocktail than subbing in and out of that second seat. The live piano music at The Petrossian Bar in the Bellagio was calling our name so instead of the Chiefs fan filled sportsbook. We enjoyed drinks and score updates from our phones as we awaited Rihanna’s halftime performance (thank you YoutubeTV for coming through with the live stream!). I thought the performance was 10/10 and from that moment forward Reannoin and I started each morning listening to “Best of Rihanna” as we got ready. Bop after bop after bop!
That night we had reservations at The Mayfair Supper Club in The Bellagio. It is modeled after an old school supper club and is described as “anything but the usual”. All tables surround a main stage and live performers sing old school music accompanied by a four piece band. To top off the entertainment, the restaurant’s large windows facing the fountains of The Bellagio made for a stunning backdrop to the main stage. If you are heading to Vegas and want to see a show but don’t have anything booked, The Mayfair Supper Club fills this void. The atmosphere and service was excellent, but the food was not our favorite during the trip. If I were to return I would order drinks, heavy appetizers, and dessert. Our entrees were sadly nothing to write home about, but the experience made up for it!
A three hour time difference makes it hard to stay up late at night, but it sure does make it easy to wake up early in the morning! We all met at the gym, enjoyed smoothies from Juice Press, and prepared our numbers for the day before heading off to the Las Vegas Convention Center for MAGIC. Bruce joined us at the show, but spent most of the day buying for his own store, B. Gross Menswear, at PROJECT (an extension of the show that carries both contemporary mens and womens lines). The first day of the show is always bustling with high energy and excitement. The DJ’s music was on point and set the vibe for the entire day. We had large numbers to fill and hustled through brands from show beginning to show end. The top trends we saw are oversized button down shirts, cargo pants, and eyelet details. We saw some of the best floral prints (vibrant colors!) yet and are excited to bring them into our collection this spring. The day ended with musical guest Busta Rhymes performing in the lobby of the convention center. MAGIC always completes day one of the show with a musical guest which is a fun end to the first day. In the past we have seen Salt n Pepa & T-Pain - can you tell they like a good throw back?!
We have started a tradition of eating at Piero’s (right across the street from the convention center) after night one of MAGIC. Bruce reserved Piero’s for the first time a few shows ago and we have returned every show since. Our first visit was comical - from the exterior Candice and I were not impressed and could not believe we let Bruce take over the reservation for the night (chain link fence surrounding & plain stucco exterior). But let me tell you, Piero’s is a hidden gem. Once we entered we were instantly transported to an old school supper club and knew we were in for a treat. The service is outstanding and the classic italian menu never disappoints. Don’t leave without a taste of the carpaccio, garbage caesar, or chicken parmesan. Fun fact - a portion of the movie Casino starring Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, and Sharon Stone was filmed in Piero’s!
All items purchased for Stile are broken down into categories (such as bottoms, dressy/casual tops, etc.) and we have a budget for each category every month called an OTB (open to buy). On the second day of MAGIC we shifted focus from buying all categories to buying the categories with the highest need (largest OTB to fill). In the spring, our dressy tops and dressy dresses are two of our top performing categories, which makes sense because the season is full of events such as showers, graduations, weddings. In our mind, an event is always an excuse to buy a new outfit - and we can tell you we have AMAZING options coming to Stile this spring. We focused on these categories for the majority of the day and most will arrive in-store and online during March, April, and May!
Hundreds of brands come to MAGIC and they use their booths to capture new buyers. Booths feature intricate installations, fresh baked chocolate chip cookies (this one is hard not to stop!), signature cocktails, and more! While all are enticing, the clothes are the most important focus and it can be hard to avoid the distractions. Most draws to each booth are visible from the outside looking in, but one booth housed the best kept and most creative secret! While we were pulling a rack, a sales rep asked Candice and I “do you want to go to the speakeasy?” At first we were confused, but then she nodded to a white door at the back of the booth. We stopped mid-buy for a peek and were surprised to find a long bar with LED signage, a drink menu, and a bartender ready to take our order. We truly could not believe it and thought the idea was so clever. Reannoin was off listening to podcaster Lauryn Bosstick from The Skinny Confidential, but we called her to join us and she was just as surprised as we were. Such a fun break from a busy day!
We ended the day with dinner at the Capital Grille with Karen Giberson (President & CEO of the Accessories Council) and Grace Ryu (Vice President of Business Development for the buying platform FashionGo). It is always nice to chat and share ideas with other people in the industry. Our dinner was absolutely delicious, but the company made the night. Favorites from the menu were the tuna tartare, pan-fried calamari, and stoli doli martinis!
Day four was entirely focused on closing up the buy for March & April. We spent the morning going over numbers and identifying the areas of highest priority before heading off to the show. A quick stop at The Bellagio Patisserie before hopping in the cab was calling our name. We grabbed coffees and split a cheese danish & raspberry macaroon with an almond filling - DELISH! Starting off the day on a sugar kick had us running around from booth to booth and we ended up finding some of our best pieces of the trip.
MAGIC is a three day show, and on the third day it always wraps up early. That night we had a red eye flight home, so we had time for dinner before heading to the airport. We ate at SUSHISAMBA in the Venetian and it was the perfect meal before traveling home. Favorites were the Tiger Maki and El Topo rolls. After dinner we packed up, took a quick nap, and headed to the airport for our midnight flight home.
I thought our January Dallas Market buy was the best one yet, but our February Vegas MAGIC buy is going to compete. I can confidently say the collection we have curated for Stile this spring will be the best one yet. Our warehouse has become a main stop for UPS drivers daily - some days delivering us a full truckload of shipment. Our Dallas buy is available in store and on stilebyperlei.com now, and the Vegas buy has already begun to ship!