June 20, 2024

Informa Markets Fashion is going the way of the Edsel.

Starting Thursday, the parent of MAGIC, Project, Coterie and Sourcing at MAGIC is rebranding as Mmgnet Group. Pronounced Magnet, the transition is intended to support the fashion industry by connecting the brands within its portfolios.

Kelly Helfman, president of Mmgnet Group, described it as “matchmaking,” where the company creates “a web of connections outside the traditional market cycles.” Although Mmgnet will continue with its “live events,” or trade shows, it will also work to “support the industry in a way that drives mutual benefit moving forward.”

She added that “this is more than a rebranding or launch of a new parent brand; this is about addressing how we serve our audience and the industry moving forward — as an evolution of our business. We’re focused on doing what we do incredibly well, but better than ever — connecting our customers through our live events — while also enhancing support year-round, both on- and offline. We are fashion’s go-to partner for live discovery and commerce; now with Mmgnet we can also be the industry’s resource for industry connection, insights, business resources and inspiration.”

For 90 years, the company’s trade shows have served as meeting grounds for retailers and manufacturers. The shows will continue during key market times throughout the year, but the offering will now include exclusive programs and research-driven market insights, seasonal trend forecasting and other business resources both during the live events and online throughout the year.

Teodora Nicolae, vice president of marketing for Mmgnet, said the company will “continue to lead with our hero brands within the segments and communities they serve. But there’s so much untapped opportunity — the MAGIC community, the Project community, the Sourcing community, the Coterie community, they’re not meant to exist in a silo. There’s so much opportunity to create more of a web.”

So whether it’s connecting a new technology company with a brand searching for some help or helping an emerging brand navigate the 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 the customer feedback, a lot of the conversations across all of our customer segments. So much has changed, not just driven by COVID, but over the last 10 years in general. So our answer to that is to transition our group to help create this ecosystem. We’ll be supporting the fashion industry with more than just events going forward.”

Helfman added that it’s all about “empowering with information” and “knowledge sharing.”

In a teaser email sent out to the fashion industry on Monday, the company said: “We want to connect industry stakeholders year-round and create more opportunities for ideas to flourish and partnerships to blossom. We want to be a catalyst for collaboration, progress and innovation. To not only create the spaces for the fashion community to learn and share but to spark the conversations, ignite passions and propel change. Because we believe this is not just about business, but also about community and creativity.”

Mmgnet will also provide new opportunities for more live connections throughout the fashion calendar, new digital market opportunities and a platform to pilot and test new formats that support current and future industry needs.

The first tangible piece of this new initiative will be a 20-plus page 2024 U.S. consumer outlook that will be released within the next few weeks. It will provide details about consumer shopping habits, the key drivers in their decision making, and other pertinent points.

Nicolae stressed that Mmgnet will “contextualize” these findings to ensure they are “digestible” to its audience. “No one needs more data without context. So the first step is delivering that information and then making sure it’s actionable so a small boutique owner that attends MAGIC can use it or a CEO from a fashion conglomerate.”

Helfman said the insights will be free to the industry now although more “premium products” may be offered in the future.

Mmgnet’s parent is Informa PLC, a publicly held U.K.-based company with hundreds of brands in more than a dozen markets including health care, health and nutrition, beauty, construction, aviation and luxury and lifestyle. And while the initial thrust will be in the U.S., the team did not rule out eventually tapping into the global network.

Mmgnet meetups

Mmgnet will be hosting meetups at key industry events.

courtesy

Mmgnet will be segmented into four pillars: the first is host meetups and community events, new conference and content-driven live events and facilitating meetings among the divergent categories at its trade shows.

The second is to invest in market research and data-driven reports to identify shifts 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 encompass sustainability, environmental stewardship, social empowerment and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives for the industry.

Helfman summed it up this way: “We have a big responsibility at Mmgnet Group to really support our customers, guide them and give them information to help them learn and connect. It’s a responsibility of ours and it’s time to invest and really move the industry along in the ways they need support.”

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