Apparel Students Attend Las Vegas Trade Show, Use Buyer App for Project

As part of their Las Vegas study tour, 15 apparel students completed a project using the FAVES app to stock a retail store with items from the Magic and Offprice trade shows.
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As part of their Las Vegas study tour, 15 apparel students completed a project using the FAVES app to stock a retail store with items from the Magic and Offprice trade shows.

Fifteen U of A students in apparel merchandising and product development recently completed a study tour in Las Vegas where they attended the Magic and Offprice trade shows and completed a group project.

The trip, in August, gave students in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences a first-hand look at the largest trade show in the apparel-accessories industry.

Magic also includes several educational seminars. Students attended the Trend Alert: What's Hot, What's Happening & What's on Trend; Future-Proofing Your Retail Business; The Circular Fashion Weel; E-Commerce: Creating an Online Experience; and Building for Fashion's Future sessions with industry professionals.

The group, led by associate professor Laurie Apple and instructor Lance Charamie, also attended the Offprice Show, which features a wholesale marketplace for anyone wanting to source products, make valuable connections and write orders to fulfill best offerings in inventory.  

"Students learned the value of in-season closeouts and overproduced, budget goods to help with high margins that maximizes open-to-buy dollars and increase the bottom line of a store," Apple said.

"The Las Vegas study tour was an educational experience that enabled the students to see a major trade show within the apparel industry and make observations pertaining to the interaction of apparel buyers and vendors," Cheramie said. "The students were given an opportunity to explore both the Magic trade show and the Offprice Show. Additionally, they were able to compare and contrast the different venues."

For their project, students were required to use the buyer app Faves. The app is a digital technology platform designed to help fashion, clothing, home furnishings and decor retailers maximize purchasing.

Working with Ulla Hald, founder and CEO of the app, they were placed in four groups representing four different "stores." Each group named their store and was given a $500,000 budget. Using Faves, they had to populate their store with items from Magic and Offprice exhibitors. 

The groups presented their projects, including store items and budgets.

"The students worked as teams and focused on assortment planning, staying on budget and how to fill their stores with a mixture of trend right and budget items," Apple said. "This project also allowed them to work with technology currently available to retail buyers to enhance their efficiency and planning while at market."

"This project helped the students understand the dynamics of an apparel business in terms of buyer and entrepreneur," Cheramie said. "Additionally, the students learned about emerging tools and their applications to optimize business decisions as responsible buyers."

Students who made the trip included Kyrah Bailey, Josie Brown, Ava Graves, Josie Edwards, Exizabeth Bauer, Dawsyn McRae, Natalie Knapp, Calvin Phillips, Alyssa Truong, Ella Paton, Brooke Bugos, Maggie Haas, Mackenzie Knight, Rihana O'Malley and Julia Roller.

Magic is a high-energy  fashion experience and home to the largest selection of trend-driven and young contemporary  apparel, footwear and accessories in the industry.  Fusing  scale with curation to drive commerce, creativity and connections, Magic joins  a global audience of retail buyers — from big-box to boutique — together  with influencers, media and industry thought leaders.

About the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences: Bumpers College provides life-changing opportunities to position and prepare graduates who will be leaders in the businesses associated with foods, family, the environment, agriculture, sustainability and human quality of life; and who will be first-choice candidates of employers looking for leaders, innovators, policy makers and entrepreneurs. The college is named for Dale Bumpers, former Arkansas governor and longtime U.S. senator who made the state prominent in national and international agriculture. For more information about Bumpers College, visit our website, and follow us on Twitter at @BumpersCollege and Instagram at BumpersCollege.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas' economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the top 3% of U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.

Contacts

Robby Edwards, director of communications
Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
479-575-4625, robbye@uark.edu

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