FN Platform Expands Its Reach

FN Platform has made further enhancements and expects an uptick in international participation when the show hits the Las Vegas Convention Center Feb. 19-21.

Leslie Gallin, VP of footwear for Advanstar Global, which owns the Magic Marketplace, WSA, Sole Commerce and FN Platform shows, said the latest installment of the trade event includes more than 150 brands showing for the first time, including Ugg Australia, Derek Lam, Oliver Sweeney, Aerin Lauder and Frank Zambrelli’s Local Uniform label.

Also, ANCI, the Italian Footwear Manufacturers’ Association, and the Italian Trade Commission will return after a hiatus with, to date, 28 footwear brands, including Fratelli Rossetti, Loriblu and Janet & Janet. “This is a really big deal,” Gallin said. “When the economy went bad, many [international companies] pulled back or retreated a little bit from the U.S. marketplace, and now they’re coming back. It’s good for all of us because they’re well-known brands.”

Gallin added that for the first time a buying group from Peru will attend the show, and FN Platform will see an influx of exhibitors from Brazil, Spain, Portugal and Mexico. “International participation is definitely on the rise,” she said.

In all, the show will cover approximately 20 percent more square footage than it did for the February 2012 edition.

To help buyers traverse the floor more efficiently, a golf cart shuttle service will deliver buyers to three stops inside the FN Platform hall, as well as two between FN Platform and WWDMagic.

On the skywalk between WWDMagic and FN Platform, trend research and advisory company Fashion Snoops will curate a footwear trend gallery that will be on display throughout the week.

FN Platform also will feature a new wayfinder system to help buyers find specific brands and booths. Large 60-inch display panels will replace a previous branding wall at the front of the hall. “It will work just like an iPad,” said Gallin. “You can search it by category or by area.”

Additionally, the Black Diamond luxury area has been made over with fixturing and decor enhancements to help define the space. “We put some aesthetics behind it,” Gallin said. “It’s going to be like coming into a Beverly Hills mansion — gates and all.”

Similar to the Black Diamond revamp, the Camp area of the show also will get a new look for the summer edition, after doubling in size over the past year.

Other highlights at next week’s FN Platform include new seminar topics, a celebrity appearance by Kristin Cavallari, the formal launch of Magic’s Virtual Showroom and updated Magic Marketplace app, and numerous amenity improvements.

Overall, Gallin said she feels optimistic about the event and the industry in general. “We’re seeing major retailers creating dedicated footwear floors and not just areas,” she said. “People are seeing that the consumer wants to buy.”


The Calendar

Visual Merchandising Seminar
3 P.M., Monday, Feb. 18
LVCC, Room S229
How to develop strategies to better merchandise product in ways that lead to sales.

Making the Right Connections
5 P.M.-6:30 P.M., Monday, Feb. 18
LVCC, Room S229
Matches independent reps with brands seeking representation in the U.S.

The Next Frontier in Digital Commerce

8 A.M., Tuesday, Feb. 19
LVCC, Room S229

Expanding Your R-t-W Business to Footwear

3 P.M., Tuesday, Feb. 19
LVCC, Room S229

Opening-Night Party
6:45 P.M.-8:30 P.M., Tuesday, Feb. 19
FN Café at FN Platform

Mapping the Direction for Success

8 A.M., Wednesday, Feb. 20
LVCC, Room S229
Examines the challenges manufacturers face in sourcing and selling.

Appearance by Kristin Cavallari
2 P.M.-3 P.M., Wednesday, Feb. 20
LVCC, Cosmo Lounge

ANCI Presents: Orietta Pelizzari
4:30 P.M.-5 P.M., Wednesday, Feb. 20
LVCC, Cosmo Lounge
Her take on the next generation of Italian shoes.

Cocktail Parties
5 P.M.-6 P.M., Wednesday, Feb. 20
LVCC, Footsteps Lounge, Cosmo Lounge, Camp/Bond Lounge

Networking and Cocktails with Wifi

5:30 P.M.-7 P.M., Wednesday, Feb. 20
LVCC, Room S231

BEST GROUP Photo by Angelo Lanza Sponsored By ITA

Evolving Italian Design

Upcoming Italian trade show Expo Riva Schuh & Gardabags will take place in-person for its winter edition.
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