MAGIC Showcases Bold Color Trends

Show Latched Onto Strong Domestic Sentiment With Many Made-In-USA Brands

MAGIC ShowA bombardment of day-glo brights, neons and every possible brilliant shade ensured one clear message at the MAGIC show in Las Vegas: Color in apparel is here to stay. "If you've done a lot of color, don't stop, whatever you do. It's just getting started," said David Wolfe, creative director of The Doneger Group and leading fashion trend-watcher. Wolfe noted he hadn't seen such a massive color influx since the '60s, "and that took a decade before it went away," he said.

Apparel-makers at the MAGIC and Project shows, which ran from Monday through today, have heard the message loud and clear – with an emphasis on the loud. Youthful women's brand Blu Pepper featured unusual spring fare like mesh sweaters in neon yellow and similar blinding colors. Leading fashion line Alternative Apparel (asi/34850) has dived headfirst into color with its spring '13 collection, featuring tanks, maxi dresses and men's tees in shades like tango orange and cabo blue. "We just felt like something was missing," says Erica Fullington, product specialist supervisor for Alternative Apparel, regarding the decision to blow out its color options for the season.

Of course, MAGIC is about more than just products. It also deals with the business of fashion, of which sourcing was a prime concern among attendees at the show. The show latched onto the strong domestic sentiment by showcasing many made-in-USA brands, as well as hosting a seminar that featured opening remarks by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and major players like Brooks Brothers and New Balance. Rob DeMartini, president and CEO of New Balance, cited an in-house survey that found 69% of Americans would be willing to pay extra for made-in-USA goods. "I know their heart's there," said DeMartini. "If we make products good enough at a fair enough price, they will buy them."

Also announced was Tradegood, a B-to-B sourcing community that aims to connect buyers with trusted suppliers in over 100 countries. Designed for apparel and hard goods, among other categories, Tradegood plans to verify suppliers on 50 separate criteria, eliminating the uncertainties that come with dealing with unknown factories, particularly in countries like China. "We see ourselves as a game-changer in the B-to-B sourcing platform," said William Quilindo, president of Tradegood.