FN PLATFORM and WWDMAGIC: A Global Showcase for Footwear and Fashion

An optimistic industry heads to Las Vegas for the summer edition of FN PLATFORM/WWDMAGIC.

Mark your calendars for Aug. 13-15. That’s when footwear and women’s apparel and accessories mavens convene at the Las Vegas Convention Center for WWDMAGIC and FN PLATFORM.

“Global leaders in footwear convene at FN PLATFORM to shape the industry, network and shop for shoes,” says UBM, the organizer of these and other major B2B events. “This international showcase is the pillar of branded footwear featuring men’s, women’s, juniors’ and children’s footwear brands from more than 30 countries. Offering seven merchandised environments from luxury to lifestyle, FN PLATFORM provides buyers with a convenient and efficient way to shop the most comprehensive selection of international footwear.”

WWDMAGIC, meanwhile, “brings you the largest selection of women’s apparel and accessories in the industry,” according to UBM. “The latest women’s and juniors’ trends, the most-wanted brands and the hottest emerging designers — they’re all happening on our vibrant show floor.”

To learn more about what’s new at these must-attend events, Retail Merchandiser interviewed Leslie Gallin, UBM’s president of footwear.

Retail Merchandiser: Leslie, earlier this year you told RM that FN Platform/WWDMAGIC had a “very good show” in February. What do you anticipate for the August show?

Leslie Gallin: A few points to note: After each show, we survey both sides of the aisle on the question of how do you see business in the next six to 12 months. The response was very positive. We are also seeing our preshow registration up.

In our conversations with retailers – predominantly the independents – they tell us how they have adjusted to the new norm and how they are using the internet to drive their brick-and-mortar businesses.

RM: What design/style trends do you expect to see at the show?

LG: On the women’s side we are seeing mules as a trend, and for men more bespoke and dress sneakers. Technology is playing a big part in the construction of footwear. New materials and the way they are used are taking the conversation more towards fashion with comfort.

RM: Will the beauty area GLAM be back at WWDMAGIC?

LG: FN PLATFORM will certainly be bringing back Mobile Beauty, located on the show floor in the Cosmo Lounge.

RM: Is there anything new for attendees at this next FN Platform/WWDMAGIC?

LG: Yes. Lacoste will be bringing miniature golf to the show floor. The Croc will be larger than life. At the opening night party we recognize the need to work and network.

We have taken the party to the show floor. Each of our themed lifestyle lounges will be set up with bars as well as hostesses will be bringing drinks to exhibitor booths in order to enable everyone to keep moving and talking.

RM: What about exhibitors – what can they expect that might be new or different?

LG: Enhanced Retailer Matchmaking – our team will work with brands ahead of the show in order to help forge connections. Our Shop The Floor is a robust virtual showroom vehicle and all exhibitors should ensure they are on this platform.

We will be enhancing things like ensuring food carts are more frequent up and down our aisle. Food trucks have been a hit so we are upping our game here as well.

It is important for all to recognize trade events are not just transactional. Networking, teambuilding and of course business insight are all take-aways from the industry being in the same room twice a year.

RM: How are you getting the word out about FN Platform/WWDMAGIC? Are you doing anything special on social media?

LG: Our teams are finding creative ways to incorporate our retailers into our social conversation. As we know, the consumer is paying attention and it’s part of our job to info and wow them about fashion – head to toe.