ENKWSA Offers a New 'S'perience in July

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In anticipation of its upcoming footwear trade show at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas on July 27, 28, and 29, ENKWSA is putting the finishing touches on its second consecutive “S” Lounge.

In anticipation of its upcoming footwear trade show at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas on July 27, 28, and 29, ENKWSA is putting the finishing touches on its second consecutive “S” Lounge. Launched in February 2011, “S” is a synthesis of style and entertainment – a 5000-square foot playground where select footwear brands mingle with retailers amidst food, drinks, music, and activities. The space is a showcase for up-and-comers and established brands, with Levi's Footwear, Ben Sherman, Nautica, Sebago, True Religion, Tsubo, Gourmet, Vlado, American Needle, Shulong, and Zig Zag, among other prominent brands, all slated to participate in July’s “S” Lounge. On the retail side, Zappos, SneakerVilla, The Tannery, Journey's, and Sportie LA are among those planning to attend.

“We designed ’S’ as a hub for fun and forecasting, a step forward, a look at trends as well as great new styles and products,” said ENKWSA President David Kahan. “Our ‘S’ Lounge in February was just the beginning, and July will represent another evolution.” In addition to the mingling, and entertainment, “S” events will include trend discussions, special appearances by one or two brands that are exhibiting in the main show, and some fun surprises.

"I've been attending trade shows for over 15 years and I haven't been this excited about a show in a long time,” said Derek Grauer who handles Western US Sales for Ben Sherman and True Religion footwear. “The team behind the “S” Lounge has done a really great job in creating this exciting, exclusive 'family' like atmosphere. The quality of retailers and vendors attending are second to none.. something about this just feels really special and different."

“We opened our biggest account – Shoebacca – at ‘S’ in February,” said Gourmet’s Jon Buscemi, who returns with his brand this July. “We really enjoyed it...and I think every season will get better.”

Following the inaugural “S” Lounge at the February show, ENKWSA launched http://www.WSAgeneration.com, a website dedicated to the show’s newest addition. WSAgeneration.com brings “S” to the web. “With the new website, participating brands have a chance to expand the on-site experience into an online experience leading up to and after the show,” said Kahan.

Indeed, http://www.WSAgeneration.com features landing pages for each “S” brand, complete with virtual booths containing photos and video from the show, brand bios, and links to their corporate sites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds. The magazine also features photo albums from “S” and ENKWSA events. Articles about the shoe biz and a feed aggregating hot Tweets from across the industry round out the mag.

ENKWSA also hosted its first “Dirty Dozen Suits and Sneakers Dinner” on June 1, as a means of sharing ideas among past and future “S” Loungers between its February and July shows.

“‘S’ underscores ENKWSA’s role as a year-round hub of trends and influence,” said Kahan. “We live and breathe this business, it’s an ongoing conversation for us. Between the experience on the ground and on the Web, we are able to maintain a connection with our colleagues.”

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Hesh Rephun

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