Informa Markets Fashion is going the way of the Edsel.
Starting Thursday, MAGIC’s parent Project, Coterie and Sourcing is rebranding as Mmgnet Group. Pronounced Magnet, the move is intended to support the fashion industry by connecting the brands within their portfolios.
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Kelly Helfman, president of Mmgnet Group, described it as “matchmaking,” where the company “creates a network of connections outside of traditional market cycles.” While Mmgnet will continue its “live events,” or trade shows, it will also work to “support the industry in a way that drives future mutual benefit.”
She added that “this is more than rebranding or launching a new parent brand; this is about addressing how we serve our audience and the industry moving forward — as our business evolves. We’re focused on doing what we do exceptionally well, but better than ever – connecting our customers through our live events – while improving support throughout the year, both online and offline . We are a fashion partner for live discovery and commerce; now with Mmgnet we can be the industry resource for industry connections, insights, business resources and inspiration.”
For the past 90 years, the company’s trade shows have been meeting grounds for retailers and manufacturers. The shows will continue during key market times throughout the year, but the offering will now include exclusive programming and research-based market insights, seasonal trend forecasting and other business resources during the live and online events in during the year.
Teodora Nicolae, Mmgnet’s vice president of marketing, said the company will “continue to lead with our hero brands within the segments and communities they serve. But there are so many untapped opportunities — the MAGIC community, the Project community, the Sourcing community, the Coterie community, they’re not meant to exist in a silo. There are so many opportunities to create more webs.”
So whether it’s connecting a new tech company with a brand looking for some help or helping an emerging brand navigate complex supply chain issues, Mmgnet wants to be the connector.
Nicolae said the rebranding has been in the works for about two years and was “driven by a lot of the market research, a lot of customer feedback, a lot of the conversations across all of our customer segments. That much has changed, not just driven by COVID, but over the last 10 years in general. So our response to that is to move our group to help create this ecosystem. We will be supporting the fashion industry with more than just events in the future.”
Helfman said it’s about “empowerment with information” and “knowledge sharing.”
In a teaser email sent out to the fashion industry on Monday, the company said: “We want to connect with industry stakeholders throughout the year and create more opportunities for ideas to flourish and partnerships to flourish . We want to be a catalyst for collaboration, progress and innovation. Not only to create spaces for the fashion community to learn and share but to encourage conversations, ignite passions and drive change. Because we believe this is not just about business, but also about the community and creativity.”
Mmgnet will also provide new opportunities for more live connections across the fashion calendar, new opportunities for the digital market and a platform to pilot and test new formats that support current and future industry needs.
The first tangible piece of this new initiative is the 20-plus page 2024 US consumer outlook that will be released within the next few weeks. It will provide details about consumer shopping habits, the main reasons for their decision making, and other relevant points.
Nicolae emphasized that Mmgnet will “contextualize” these results to ensure they are “marketable” to the audience. “No one wants more data without context. So the first step is to deliver that information and then make sure it’s actionable so that it can be used by a small shop owner that serves MAGIC or a CEO from a fashion conglomerate.”
Helfman said the insights will now be free to the industry although more “premium products” may be offered in the future.
Informa PLC is the parent of Mmgnet, a publicly listed UK company with hundreds of brands in more than a dozen markets including healthcare, health and nutrition, beauty, construction, aviation and luxury and lifestyle. And while the initial thrust will be in the United States, the team has not ruled out eventually using the global network.
Mmgnet will be divided into four pillars: the first is to host meetings and community events, new live events based on conference and content and facilitate meetings among the various categories at its trade shows.
The second is to invest in market research and data-driven reports to identify changes in the global fashion landscape as well as macro and micro trends, changes in consumer behavior and more.
The third is to deliver seasonal trend forecasting across market segments and categories, and the final pillar is to include sustainability, environmental stewardship, social empowerment and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives for the industry.
Helfman summed it up this way: “At Mmgnet Group we have a big responsibility to really support our customers, guide them and give them information to help them learn and connect. It’s our responsibility and it’s time to invest and really move the industry forward in the ways that need support.”
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