Tripp NYC–a favorite brand in youth culture is also a staple in the so-called Edge area of Magic.

Story by Kathleen Gasperini
Photos by Tom Wallace

The tribes from all facets of fashion descended on Las Vegas August 17-19, 2010, at the Mandalay Bay and Las Vegas Convention Center for one of North America’s largest fashion trade shows called MAGIC. While the show encapsules many different areas, including Menswear, Project, Pool, FN Platform for Footwear, Sourcing, WWDMAGIC for women’s contemporary, a Premium men’s section, S.L.A.T.E for street lifestyle brands, and Street Unlimited, for our purposes at Label Networks, covering street lifestyle and global youth culture, we tend to concentrate on covering Street, S.L.A.T.E., and a section of the show that many people still refer to as Edge (Goth, punk, emo).

While many smaller brands have now been lost due to the effects of the economy, the area known as S.L.A.T.E. still maintained its distinctive vibe as a key location for streetwear brands with an urban edge. From 10 Deep front and center, to Crooks & Castles, Akomplice, Frank’s Chop Shop, Flud watches, Obey, Ambiguous Clothing, XLarge, Jedidiah, The Seventh Letter, and many others, the area which hosts smaller booths and larger DJ stages was packed the first two days of the show.

Fubz working it in the Street section with Two in The Shirt. Good location for this brand.

The posturing that usually takes place at MAGIC was less this time around, or had maybe just shifted over into the bigger booth areas of Street with Rocawear and Marc Ecko, but in S.L.A.T.E., similar to Agenda, people had appointments and were doing business. Urban streetwear has gone way more preppy now with button-down shirts with stripes, mixed with strategic plaids (all in one shirt), which is one of the hottest trends for next season. You see such combinations with brands like 10 Deep, always leaders in this movement, and Crooks & Castles. Not to say that cool graphic T-shirts aren’t a major force in this area -they are the staple to be sure, but there’s the vibe that you can no longer just have a rack of T-shirts with a bitchin’ graphic and expect buyers to swarm. Full collections are becoming the norm for this burgeoning section of the industry, including upper urbanwear, denim, and accessories.

Major hype surrounded the fact that Play Clothes was finally on the tradeshow floor. Highly protected, you needed and appointment or a connection to get past the front podium. Luckily, we’d been covering the brand since its inception and were able to talk with the core crew inside. Again, not to blow the whistle, but plaids mixed with a range of different logo-ed T-shirts with the coveted running little kid logo have created this “Lacoste-like” feeling that here comes the new-heritage alligator.

Play Clothes finally debuts on the trade show floor in S.L.A.T.E.

This area captures the heart of many people because most of these smaller brands are created by passionate players in design, music, sports, and street art. Their clothing is often a reflection of their lifestyles. And there’s a sense of danger and fun.

While this time around Street and S.L.A.T.E. didn’t have any cops with dogs, or oversized security in black suits as trade show badge enforcers circa MAGIC’s South Hall in 2006, there were elements of thinking you’d just walked into another world. A circus, if you will. Complete with the Imperium booth breaking out their little white tiger cub and his trainer.

Baby white tiger and his trainer at the Imperium booth. This area was packed.

What were missing again were the women’s streetwear brands. Married to the Mob may have been there, but they were lost to us. Instead now, TokoDoki split in two with their streetwear collection TKDK, including their women’s, was located right next to the DJ station.

Attached to S.L.A.T.E., one rolls into Edge. Tripp NYC rules this area, even though they were unfortunately tucked way over into a corner -next a UFC fighting ring oddly enough. This brand has become an American institution for setting the standard in punk, Goth, and music-inspired styles, not to mention a favorite among youth culture. Buyers were scoping out the scene on latest Tripp trends in skinny denim, Goth looks, punk plaids, military jackets, emo tutus, and chain accessories.

Vision Streetwear is back. Located in S.L.A.T.E. Much potential with the music market.

This is an area where you can also see brands like Lucky 13, Lip Service, many accessory brands, and London-edge footwear brands like T.U.K. Featured this time were new styles in rockabilly-esque pumps with new insoles for a better fit, wooden wedges, and cute details such as charms under the arch.

Street section is now blown-out with the big booths, such as Levi’s camo tent, Rocawear, South Pole, and Marc Ecko. This was also home plate to the growing plethora of MMA-inspired brands: Tap Out actually had 3 different booths, and Skin, with its dancing girls in a clear booth, had people gawking. UFC is hear as well as Affliction, and some other brands that have actually moved away from the S.L.A.T.E.-ness of boutique streetwear into Street such as Zoo York and Two In The Shirt or TiTS -a brand that is actually launching an entire breast cancer awareness campaign and has created some sexy, unique graphic T%u2018s for the purpose. Osiris was also in Street in an amazing location right next to the Street Life lounge, which featured live painting, live tatts, DJ’s, and cocktails. New Era Caps had a massive booth in Street, featuring of course their 59Fifty and MLB caps in a variety of colors, but also their branded apparel.

Go big or go home. Or go to another show…This is Street at Magic.

Towards the end of each day, the crossover between Street, S.L.A.T.E., and the Edge make for excellent people watching. It’s this unique convergence of Goths talking to rappers and muscled MMA guys talking to skaters that make it one place to catch a glimpse at where change is happening in fashion.

New Era showcases not only their 59Fifty lids, but apparel line as well.

New Era%uFFFDs display for caps. From New York Yankees to colors of the rainbow. Not just for the MLB.

Back in S.L.A.T.E., we loved this poster from Shepard Fairey from Obey.

Guys from Play Clothes. Finally on the trade show floor, this was a big deal.

T.U.K. gals showcasing their latest designs from a footwear brand that has become iconic among youth culture, music, punk. They will be at London Edge next.

Ecko Red from Street. Prep elements.

Pre-requisite at cool trade shows now is to have a hair salon and the most appropriate for S.L.A.T.E. is Frank%uFFFDs Chop Shop.

Cool New Era Cap artist doing his street art in neon and tech.

T.U.K. featured many new shoe designs including this from bamboo and a little Goth charm in the heel platform.

Oddly, right next to the Edge area is the MMA inspired section. A growing area of many trade shows, here%uFFFDs the UFC merch booth.

XLarge goes big in S.L.A.T.E.

If you don%uFFFDt know the Jerkin crew from LA, then you%uFFFDre obviously not reading Label Networks as a subscriber.

Lip Service, owners of Kill City, which was over at Project, get major props among youth culture.

In the Street lounge were onsite artists, tatt artists, DJs, and cocktails.

More art but this is from S.L.A.T.E.

Goodbye Magic Street…until 2011.