Stage is Set for Debut of FN Platform

LOS ANGELES — A new show is ready to step out in Las Vegas.

FN PLATFORM — a joint venture between MAGIC and Footwear News — will include more than 400 brands spanning roughly 50,000 square feet of exhibition space.

The dedicated footwear show, on Feb. 16-18, joins MAGIC’s cast of apparel-centric events — Menswear at MAGIC, WWD MAGIC, Street, S.L.A.T.E., Project, Pool and Sourcing at Magic.

The show floor will be divided into five distinctly-themed sections to service different categories of the footwear market.

“Each of the areas of the show has its own neighborhood and is anchored by its own lounge,” said MAGIC President Chris DeMoulin.

The Cosmo portion of the show will feature women’s product, including Aquatalia by Marvin K., Stuart Weitzman, Steve Madden and Ralph Lauren. Camp, which houses fashion athletic and lifestyle product, will include Sperry Top-Sider, Auri, Palladium and G.H. Bass & Co. The men’s dress area, called Bond, will showcase brands such as Donald J Pliner, Mezlan, Bacco Bucci, Cole Haan and Allen-Edmonds. Comfort items will be found in the Zen area, which will include Easy Spirit, Naturalizer and Aetrex. Finally, the InPlay section features product for juniors and kids, including Stride Rite, Poetic License, Lelli Kelly and XOXO.

An additional 200 shoe brands will be exhibited throughout other areas of the MAGIC family of shows, but DeMoulin said eventually they would likely move into FN PLATFORM.

“They’ll realize it’s easier for both the footwear buyers and the ready-to-wear buyers to know where to find footwear,” he said. “We believe at the end of the day, what’s going to make it easiest for the buyers is to have all the footwear in one place.”

In addition to ready-to-wear buyers shopping for shoes at FN PLATFORM, pre-registration for retailers that sell mainly footwear has doubled, and now includes Zappos.com, Kurt Geiger, Shoes.com and DSW.

On the show floor, DeMoulin said the event was designed with straight aisles and no custom booths, putting the emphasis on the shoes. “We developed a whole new booth package, so it almost has a city-grid layout,” he said. “The look and feel of the show is clean and upscale and very much about the product and the ease of the shopping experience.”

Several events are also scheduled during the show. On opening night, FN PLATFORM will team with YP for 210, a networking group of young footwear professionals organized by the Two Ten Footwear Foundation, to host a benefit bowling party at the Orleans Bowling Center at The Orleans hotel.

“We wanted to do something different that brings the young people in the industry out for an event,” said Ross Evans, Two Ten’s VP of marketing and community initiatives.

MAGIC VP of footwear Leslie Gallin said FN PLATFORM would also honor a number of brands celebrating milestone anniversaries, including Sperry Top-Sider’s 75th, and 20 years each for Steve Madden and Donald J Pliner. “We will be doing something to pay homage to these great people and these really significant milestone celebrations.”

For more information on show events, check out the Feb. 1 edition of FN.

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