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Fashion spotlight shines on Las Vegas

MAGIC fashion trade show kicks off, bringing designers, celebrities and parties to city

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Melissa Arseniuk

Fashion buyers browse the selection of designer duds at the twice-annual MAGIC fashion industry convention at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009 | 1:05 p.m.

Forget London, Milan, Paris and New York: Las Vegas is the epicenter of the fashion world this week.

The twice-yearly MAGIC fashion industry trade show got under way this morning and while the show’s swag, celebrities and soirées may be somewhat scaled back due to the nasty global recession thing that’s going around, the event is still packing both star power and post-show fun.

Among the MAGIC buyers, designers and other industry insiders today was hip hop pioneer and Def Jam Records icon Russell Simmons; actor Charlie Sheen; and actor-comedian Chris Tucker.

Simmons put in an appearance on behalf of Argyle Culture, which is one of his fashion labels. (He is also the driving force behind Phat Farm urban wear.)

Sheen stopped by the Defiance mega booth from 1 until 3 p.m., while Tucker strode out on his own and checked out the new styles on display on the trade show floor.

In addition to today’s star sightings, actor-rapper Common will put in some face time at the convention tomorrow morning. The Grammy Award winner is expected to pop by the Microsoft booth on Wednesday at around 10 a.m.

The three-day fashion industry event is being held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. It is reserved for fashion designers, buyers and suppliers only; the event is closed to the public.

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The first installment of 2009's twice-annual fashion industry convention, MAGIC, took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Feb. 17 - 19.

The parties, however, are open for everyone. Here’s the rundown:

The post-show fun will get underway tonight at Rain, where Common will headline the convention’s official kick-off party.

Slick Rick, Doug E. Fresh and Biz Markie will also perform at the event, which is being sponsored by S.L.A.T.E, Street, Microsoft and K-Swiss.

Also going on at the Palms tonight is the first of two Tankfarm parties, which will go down at Moon and feature DJ Ruckus.

The other Tankfarm bash will be at Beauty Bar – and will feature a much-appreciated (and much-needed?) open bar until 1 a.m. Get there early to snag one of the limited number of gift bag giveaways.

Pure will host a fashionable party of its own this evening, with a “Famous Stars and Straps” event featuring Kid Cudi and Asher Roth at 10 p.m.

The fashion-forward set will also invade the Hard Rock tonight, as Tribal, along with the skin fashion experts at Hart and Huntington, throw a MAGIC kick-off party at Wasted Space featuring DJs Slunkee and Fingahs.

Hawaiian Tropic Zone will throw yet another fashion-forward party this evening featuring the latest styles from Rocawear, Christian Audigier and others. The guest list is also said to include a handful of TV personalities and fashion industry movers, shakers and posers.

Rounding out the evening, Tao is hosting an officially-sanctioned, French Connection-sponsored MAGIC soirée tonight. Steve Aoki will provide the soundtrack for the event, which local lads and ladies can attend for free. Akoi will also play at Tao’s little sister club next door, Lavo, on Wednesday night for the kick-off party for MAGIC’s sister spin-off, PROJECT.

Over a dozen labels, including Junkfood, Scoop, Rock Revival and Billionaire Mafia, will come together at Tao on Wednesday to host a fashion week party of their own. New York-based mix master, DJ Kiss, will supply the sounds for the “So Haute Right Now” fashion week fest.

Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx will take a break from the band’s current tour to put in a midweek appearance, along with Kelly Gray, at Blush. The event will promote Sixx and Gray’s latest foray into fashion, Royal Underground, and yes, there will be giveaways to be had.

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Mannequins showcase up-and-coming fashion trends and designs at the annual MAGIC convention.

Further south on the Strip, True Religion will throw a party at LAX that promises “goodies” of some sort. Whether said “goodies” are jean giveaways or the name of True Religion’s newest style of designer jeans is unknown – but as an added goody, Ludacris will perform later that night, either way. Yet another added bonus: Locals get in free.

Playboy model Vanessa Raia will host Loaded’s “Casa de Loaded” model search and MAGIC VIP party Wesdnesday night at Tabu. Promotional materials state “style” is “encouraged” and doors open at 10 p.m.

As all things MAGIC come to a close on Thursday, actress and Born Unicorn designer Taryn Manning, along with partner Tara Jane, will host Tao’s midweek party staple, worship Thursdays. The event will feature a catwalk fashion show showcasing of the duo’s designs, while resident soundman DJ Five will take his usual spot at the turntables. And as always, local ladies will get in free.

And in a curious twist, Ed Hardy by Christian Audigier will throw their end-of-convention party at LAX instead of the designer's namesake nighspot at Treasure Island. The event will feature product giveaways and will start at 10 p.m.

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