Last month, I had the exciting opportunity to attend Magic Market Week in Las Vegas, NV thanks to Indigenous.  Actually comprised of 9 different apparel trade shows spread over two different locations, my day at MAGIC was really exhausting!

     I want to give a big thank you to Indigenous, who I worked with on their #worthwearing styling campaign, for inviting me to attend a panel they were hosting at WWDMagic about eco-branding and for extending a way for me to attend the show.  I learned a lot and had an interesting experience taking part in the panel - a story for another post.

     Each show brought a different focus of the apparel industry to light so I really wanted to hit them all, and glad I was able to spend at least a little time exploring each one.  If I had more notice, I would have taken time off work to experience more.

     WWD Magic was at the heart of the Las Vegas Convention Center and I loved seeing new collections from favorite brands as well as checking out up and coming designers.  The day was filled with panels, fashion shows, and seminars hosted by bloggers and brand representatives as well as trend forecasters and stylists.  

Kiara (Tobruck Ave), Stephanie (Honey & Silk), Tiara (The Dope Girl), and moderator Audrey talking about social media platforms and blogging.

Part of the WWD Magic floor

Super smart idea to have a universal charging station.

    Sourcing at MAGIC was all about the supply chain in the fashion industry.  Really interesting to see all the fabrics and findings behind favorite brands.  The floor was organized by country and there was also a lot of trend forecasting - posters boasting color palettes and inspirations for 2014 were all over the place!

Me at Sourcing...and yes, that is water.

     FN (Footwear News) Platform is a huge shoe show and definitely had me drooling.  There had to have been millions of beautiful shoes!  Expect a lot of beautiful bronze items from Elliott Lucca coming up in the fall - they definitely caught my attention.  Really excited for the fun sandals from dv dolce vita - especially if there's going to be a summer hit like last year's Archer.  

Also really loved the iridescent jewel tones from Rebecca Minkoff!

Kristin Cavallari stopped by to talk about her line with Chinese Laundry.

     The other part of the show was held at the Mandalay Convention Center and included PROJECT, PROJECT Menswear,  PROJECT MVMNT, POOLTRADESHOW, Tents at PROJECT, and ENK Vegas.

     I wish I could have grabbed more photos at PROJECT MVMNT!  The show featured urban culture brands and was really interactive and energetic.  I really appreciated how they incorporated art into fashion and each brand was almost like a lifestyle rather than just a business.  If I get a chance to go again, I'd love to spend more time there.

     Interesting concept I saw at PROJECT - #ekocycle brought together by Will.I.Am and Coca Cola.  #ekocycle is an initiative to use recycled materials in products.  They showed phone cases and snapbacks made from recycled plastics and fibers.  

Phone cases made with recycled material from casemate/#ekocycle

     Didn't see a whole lot of PROJECT Menswear but definitely eye opening to see how many different aspects to the apparel industry are.  A lot of buyers, exhibitors, trend forecasters, consumer behavior analysts, media, marketers, business owners…so many people with different interests and focuses come together to make the fashion industry happen and it is really mind blowing.

   Tents @ PROJECT featured what seemed to me as being higher end independent brands like Ben Minkoff, J Brand, Billy Reid, Edun, and Vince.  ENK Vegas had a lot of popular, youthful brands like Wilfox, Unif, Nicole Miller, Splendid, CC Skye, and Rebecca Minkoff.  

Inside the ENK Vegas tent
     POOLTRADESHOW was really interesting too - a completely different vibe than the rest of the show featuring a lot of trendy boutique brands like Motel and Jeffrey Campbell.  They also had a cash & carry area and I wish I had more time to check out the vendors.  

Trying out sunglasses by Proof Eyewear made from recycled skateboards at POOLTRADESHOW.
     Took time after the show to check out the WWDMagic reception at the Wynn.  The food by Chef James Benson was really good - loved the sweet and spicy goat cheese stuffed peppers and the dessert!  The cheesecake macaroons were way better than any other macaron I've ever had.  

Off to the WWD Magic reception!

     Had a blast at the show and wish I had more time to really take it in.

So many totes!  And a tee by 213 apparel.

Super psyched about these nail polish strips.  Had great wear with the Sally Hansen and OPI ones, hope these are good too!

     I learned a lot about fashion, social media, branding, and have tons of inspiration for upcoming posts, so stay tuned!

Visiting the Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Cactus Garden

     The Ethel M chocolate factory has been located in Henderson, Nevada since the brand's start in 1981.  I remember being in elementary school and taking a field trip to check out their factory tour and bringing home some delicious goodies.  The current factory tour is self guided - giving the opportunity to read information and look inside the factory at a comfortable pace - complete with chocolate tasting at the end.

They even use some of the original equipment!
     The property that houses the factory and retail store also contains a cactus garden and solar power garden.  For the winter season, the cactus garden was decorated with LED holiday lights.  The solar power harvested during the day can support factory production.  

This looks crazier than it was.

     I was able to take the factory tour and visit the holiday cactus garden last month.  I was even able to meet Santa Claus!  

     While not certified Fair Trade, Ethel M chocolates place an importance on fair principles.  Ethel M is owned by Mars Inc. but remains committed to producing in small batches, not using preservatives, and using quality ingredients.  They also place importance on the source of those ingredients: 

     The store also sells "myCocoaPaper" items - paper products made partially from cocoa tree bark.  The myCocoaPaper brand closed it's doors but has been re-branded and can be found at the CocoaVia (also owned by Mars Inc.) website.

     I left with a custom picked box of some of my favorite treats. 

     The holiday light display has ended for the season but the cactus garden and factory tour are available daily.  For more information, check the Ethel M website.

Shopping Local in Las Vegas - Neon Holiday Bazaar

Event flyer

     Just in time for the Black Friday through Cyber Monday shopping weekend, the Las Vegas Neon Holiday Shopping Bazaar set up a one day pop up shop on Saturday, November 24 at the Jackie Gaughan Plaza outside the El Cortez.  The shop featured some popular food trucks and booths featuring vintage boutiques, independent retailers, and designers.
The crowd at Neon

     When I arrived at the event, I was glad to see an old favorite vintage store - Annie Creamcheese.  My songbird friend, Stevie Jewel, introduced me to the Annie Creamcheese store on one of our many shopping expeditions.  I went to their display and loved the funky jewelry at affordable prices.  They had more items in the trailer, including lots of designer shoes and bold dresses.

Annie Creamcheese at the Neon Holiday Bazaar

     I was excited to finally check out Leather Couture by Jessica Galindo.  I've seen photos from Lollieshopping but had never been able to see the merchandise in person.  I am a fan of leather and hardware so Leather Couture's pieces were right up my alley.  I especially liked the rings.
Merchandise from Leather Couture by Jessica Galindo.

     Another booth I was looking forward to was The Jeweler's Daughter by Polly Weinstein.  I love seeing the success of former classmates and I believe Polly was actually my high school student body president at some point.  Her jewelry line shows that you can take the girl out of Vegas (she went on to study at Sarah Lawrence), but you can't take the Vegas out of the girl.  Love the playing card suit inspired rings and earrings, and this beautiful Stardust inspired necklace.
Stardust Necklace by The Jeweler's Daughter.
     I was drawn to the unique displays at the Ruffled Robin Boutique.  There were so many pieces made from recycled and vintage materials.  These necklaces made with tiny perfume bottles were so cool!
Necklaces from Ruffled Robin

I bought this metallic leather and chain bracelet with copper lock and key charms.
     My relatives were in town for the Thanksgiving weekend so I didn't have too much time to shop before dinner but had a great time checking out these boutiques and more.
      I am really pleased to see events like the Neon Holiday Shopping Bazaar succeed among both Las Vegas locals and tourists.  A tourist town known for being a haven for everything in excess hasn't been the easiest place to find interesting shopping and cultural events, but looks like Vegas is stepping up it's game.
     A longstanding local culture event called First Friday was alright when I was in high school, but I really only enjoyed going for the company of my best friends.  Now it is bigger and better - with more artists, food trucks, and even children's activities.  A newer monthly event featuring small businesses, musicians, and food trucks is VegasStreats.  I've only been to one Streats event but hope to catch the next one coming up on December 8.
     The Neon event was so much fun and hope to see more like it in the near future!  For more information, check out their website.

Lollieshopping 5-Year Blog-iversary Winter Style Up at Town Square Las Vegas

         After moving back to Las Vegas, I wanted to find some local bloggers to keep me up to date on cool happenings, food, and shopping in the area.  Some of my favorites so far include homecookingmemories, icanstyleu, and of course, lollieshopping.
         Laura of Lollieshopping just celebrated her 5th year blog anniversary and brand new look for the site which she debuted at her "Winter Style Up" event at Stoney's Rockin Country at Town Square Las Vegas.

         When I left for college, Town Square was still pretty new but I did enjoy shopping there for the year or so I was around and most breaks when I came home to visit.  There have been so many openings and changes to this shopping center so I was glad to go to this event to check out some new stores and meet people who love shopping as much as I do.

         Upon entering, I was given a gift bag with discount card.  There were booths set up from different retailers at Town Square including Tommy Bahama, White House Black Market, La Nora, Sephora, Quiksilver, Patty's Closet, XTC Boutique, and Francesca's Accessories.
Super hot accessories from XTC Boutique 
         I also really loved the centerpieces:
         After a drink and some snacks from Brio, the show was about to begin.  The first featured winter work wear looks. My favorite from this portion was from White House | Black Market.  I never understood why my college roommate loved this store so much but the look they featured was really cute and I could really use some work appropriate threads for my new internship:
         Lucky for me, I won a gift card to help spruce up my closet with:

         Patty from Patty's Closet was invited on stage to discuss dressing appropriately but still looking cute for the holiday season.  She says to never underestimate a little navy dress.
        The next segment featured casual looks.  My favorite was a major surprise!  Who knew Stoney's had such cute clothes available?
        Nathan from the brand new Aveda Experience Center came by to talk about the services they offer.  I am definitely tempted to check them out!
        The final segment featured looks to wear for a night out.  My favorite came from La Nora.
         This store is new to me but looks like a good place to get fun, trendy pieces without breaking the bank.
A rack of fun pieces from La Nora.

         We were then free to shop around with Laura and take advantage of the discounts to retailers like Sephora, Inglot, Steve Madden (who provided all the shoes in the fashion show), and more.
         I met up with an old friend and we definitely took advantage of the Inglot discount.  I am a makeup girl at heart and was thinking all day about the fun colors and magnetic Freedom System palettes at Inglot.  I got two new purple eyeshadows - Pearl 445 and Pearl 446:

         These shadows apply so much more smoothly and evenly than similar colors in my stash.  Eventually I plan to take some comparison shots but trust me!
        Can't wait to use some of the fun offers and samples from the gift bag!
          Also found out that Town Square is now offering a loyalty shopping card called "The Inner Square".  Bring in your receipts and card to the concierge desk and get points to save up toward rewards like gift cards, drinks, movie tickets, and even an Apple TV!  For more information, check out:
         Another exciting announcement from Laura - there will be seasonal style up events at different venues around Town Square so definitely check back on my Twitter or her blog to find out when and where the next one will be!