Cardboard Robot%uFFFDs Authentic American designs in a T-shirt with total attitude

Story by Kathleen Gasperini and Ryley Bane
Photos by Tom Wallace
Video for Label Networks TV by Masaki Miyagawa

Yes, the shows were smaller, as predicted, but we scoured the floors at MAGIC in the heart of innovation, which, sorry North Hall people, has always been in Streetwear, S.L.A.T.E., and now the added MMA-inspired section. And while Pool is considered a separate show and has its own vibe, the fact that you can walk easily from S.L.A.T.E. to Pool makes it feel like Pool is a part of the innovative-posse that composes the freshest designs at MAGIC.

The shows, which took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center from August 31-September 2 (Project and capsule ran Sept. 1-3, which is also owned by the owners of MAGIC, a company called Advanstar), continued with their format of hosting S.L.A.T.E., Street, MMA, and Pool in the Central Hall. The South Hall is dark but rumors have it that Project will be there next time instead of at the Sands Hotel. To get a lay of the land, MAGIC consists of the WWD Women’s side in the North Hall which we rarely tap into, and then Premium (men’s) in the Central Hall, which you have to make your way through to get to the youth culture, street, and upper urban/contemporary areas of the “shows” we’re reviewing. As a note, Christian Augier is back at MAGIC with his own area as he has decided to fold in his own egomaniacal show (“If I Move You Move”) within Magic Premium afterall. But I digress.

Christian”When-I-Leave-You-Leave” Audigier was back at MAGIC in the Premium section. While classified as “LA style” it%uFFFDs so not.

S.L.A.T.E. was still happening from beginning to the end of the second day (third got slower) complete with DJ’s, Amped beverages, bar, Antenna magazine lounge and the pre-requiste Japanese-inspired vending machine filled with charms, puffy dolls, etc., plus lots of street/graffiti artists to combat the vibe of actually being in a convention center under horrid fluorescent lights. Very good magazine area as well, however Pool’s magazine area trumped everyone’s including Project with the diversity of titles available.

Opening of the S.L.A.T.E. section. We don%uFFFDt know why the booth girl appears so short.

Many brands had pulled from previous shows and some explained in phone interviews before we ventured to MAGIC that they had done their business already at Agenda in Huntington Beach. Still, especially for East Coast brands, S.L.A.T.E. and Street made a lot of sense for brands such as 10 Deep, Obey, Akomplice, Married to the Mob (MOB), L-R-G, Stussy, REBEL 8, T.I.T.S, Triple Five Soul, The Originators, Cardboard Robot, Billionaire Mafia, Crooks & Castles, Cardboard Robot, Dim Mak Collection, Rockport, Mighty Healthy, and others.

There was also an entire line of new brands such as LMFAO, the former indie hip-hop duo that’s now gone nu electro with a corresponding neon collection, Apliq -the crafty-inspired brand, bike messenger and fixie inspired brand SAG out of Tokyo, and relative newbies like Black Klown Clothier from San Francisco.

Black Klown Clothier out of San Francisco, among one of Rama Mayo%uFFFDs new lines, includes some amazing bike-messanger inpsired jackets, plus accessories and T-shirts.

The other areas of consistency and growth were in the Streetwear section that includes licensing of various cartoon, band merch, and iconography apparel. Plus brands like Gibson -playing on the strength of their credible guitars–with an entire booth and collection. Staples like Rocawear with their big tour bus booth were also on hand.

It’s the punk area, once known as The Edge, and still referred to that by many, that contains one of the more recession-proof apparel and footwear brands when it comes to youth culture. Legendary brands like Tripp NYC, T.U.K. in terms of footwear, and the punk, Goth areas in general were teaming with buyers. As the founder and owner of Tripp put it, “everyone goes through a punk rock phase” and some always return.

Tripp NYC owner Daang started one of the original punk stores in the USA in NYC which has been busy for the past 36 years. This brands remains one of the true recession-proof icons. More from Label Networks TV on why.

MMA’s giant section included loads of innovative show floor experiences for attendees, which like S.L.A.T.E. and Pool include artist exhibitions and live DJ’s. This area is primed for growth (see Label Networks other stories on the topic).

In 4 days we covered miles of fashion hallways and about every show available. Label Networks also presented to an over-capacity crowd on Global Youth and Street Culture Fashion Trends which has unofficially been recognized now as the largest presentation at MAGIC.

Here’s more on what went down. (Stay tuned for special interviews on Label Networks TV.)

Gym shorts tutu style–expect this at various music tours next summer. Courtesy of Tripp NYC.

Painter, washed denim from Tripp NYC.

One of the biggest hits is the re-intro of grunge and plaids but with a splash of nu rave neon and washed fades such as from Tripp.

Yes, LMFAO, the one hip-hop duo now turned nu electro has their own collection in neon. Way to jump on the wagon. The DJ%uFFFDs at S.L.A.T.E. had their hit in constant rotation.

New styles from T.U.K. included these purple boots–hot for next spring/sumemr 2010.

Other T.U.K. popular kicks inluded these in pink cupcake. It%uFFFDs like punk mixed with anime and Japanese influences.

Apliq is a very cool brand in that they add bits of material, colorful fabrics and textiles to items. They sewed on location.

Apliq also does many collabs. This one was with the Originators.

Apliq hoodie.

New bike messenger inspired brand called SAG from Tokyo. This is the scene–fixies, etc.

Black Klown Clothier%uFFFDs accessories including a cool women%uFFFDs clutch bag that rolls out into a messenger bag.

Cardboard Robot%uFFFDs Norwegian sweater T-shirt look. Sense of humor (and deer) are essential to this brand.

Frank%uFFFDs Chop Shop for on-site haircuts. Project had a similar set-up. Sort a pre-requisite now onsite for trade shows adding excitement and entertainment to the show floor.

Married to the Mob (MOB) main lady. Her brand was the only women%uFFFDs brand in S.L.A.T.E. streetwear that we could find. Market opportunities abound here. Her brand, along with Sessions, is now backed by Samsung. Cell phone companies are getting into street.

MOB%uFFFDs popular disco purple glitter jacket. This was much talked about.

MOB%uFFFDs yellow plaid long shirt/dress (over leggings) is another key item that was popular with retailers.

Our blooper shot–guys from Cardboard Robot continue to have one of the most popular destinations at S.L.A.T.E.