Friday, July 26, 2013

Agenda Trade Show Spring/Summer 14 - July 25-26, 2013

Agenda continues to grow in size and diversity. It was pumping yesterday on the first day of the two-day trade show at the Long Beach Agenda - paul brindley consultsConvention Center.

The street and action sports origins of Agenda are still well represented but the show now offers so much more - the men's and women's contemporary Ready To Wear, fashion accessories and footwear and swim categories are growing every show.

The energy and foot traffic on Day 1 were strong.

The usual industry leading brands were in attendance.  Agenda has had great success over the years in making sure the high profile, buyer-drawing labels are exhibiting show to show.  Adidas, Billabong, Body Glove, Element, G-Shock, Hurley, just to name a few.

Some of the brands that stood out for me were:

American Needle was showing an eye-catching range of snapback and strapback caps
American Needle - paul brindley consults

Psyberia winter active wear.
psyberia - paul brindley consults

The artist and brand collaboration stylings of Secret Artist.
Street Artist - paul brindley consults

The "Anxiety" cap in Sanskrit text and Dali tee of the incongruously named The Teenage Girls (check there website for video and graphics).
The Teenage Girls - paul brindley consults

Ben De Luca of Christy's Hats was back at Agenda after skipping the show for a few years.  Ben tells me wider brims for men and women in Rancher Hats are the go with lots of color and novelty in hats and caps.  Their new Brooklyn Hat Co. cap range has just dropped and is selling strongly.
Christy's Hats - paul brindley consults

The Australian lifestyle brand, teeink's cool, island themed styles at great prices. teeink is represented in LA by Eme Mizioch of Joken Style Showroom.
teeink - paul brindley consults

Day 1 of Agenda was big success.  The activity bodes well for the upcoming round of Spring/Summer 2014 trade shows that started this week with Project NY and rolls out big-time in Las Vegas in mid-August.

I'll be blogging from Vegas so stay tuned.

Paul Brindley

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Venue Trade Show, June 28 2013 - A New Marketplace for Streetwear and Lifestyle Brands

"Not another trade show?", I can hear you say.

Yes, the fashion industry calendar is blessed with an abundance of opportunities for buyers and sellers to interact. Many people think that this familiarity breeds, well not contempt, but let's say confusion - especially if you are new to the game.

Which show should I do?

When should I do them?

Will the right buyers for my styling be there?

Will there be any buyers at all?

Which location suits my brand?

Can afford it?

Are there more important priorities to be spending my money on?

How will I sell my brand if I don't do trade shows?

Venue Trade Show logo - paul brindley consults
All these questions and many more need to be considered before plunging on a trade show booth.  As I have said many times before deciding on a new or different trade show to attend can be like reading tea leaves ... you see what you want to see.

So I was very interested to attend the one-day brand new streetwear and lifestyle trade show, Venue Trade Show, at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Friday, June 28.

With Spring/Summer 14 breaking in Las Vegas in mid-August, it seemed way too early for Spring/Summer selling and a little late for Fall/Winter.

I was pleasantly surprised.

I met the President of Venue Trade Show and the show creator and director, the very youthful looking Miles Canares, in the registration area.  Miles came to the fashion business through his photography and entertainment company, Mirror Images Entertainment which does photos shoots for many independent brands.  His relationship with these independent brands was the genesis of Venue.

main floor @ venue
Miles took me on a tour of the 40 booth show located in a conference hall in the West Hall of the LA Convention Center. 

I immediately thought of a proto-Agenda Show with streetwear/liefstyle staples such as logo caps and tees, hoodies, jackets, and bags dominating the show.

Miles is a passionate advocate for young and start-up brands.  He wants Venue to be "a new dynamic marketplace and hub for new things".  He stated that he is creating "an environment for independent brands to grow ... a space that caters specifically for the young brands to showcase themselves in a comfortable and affordable environment where they can network and create relationships, and most importantly, conduct business."

Conducting business = attracting the right buyers.  Miles had great success in getting the these retailers to the show, including:
  • Attic (Buena Park)
  • The Hangout Boutique (Glendale)
  • Fresh and Nameless (Online)
  • Krewshal Xposure (Rancho Cucamonga)
  • BGSK (LA)
  • Icons of Surf (San Clemente)
  • Legends Boardshop (Whittier)
  • Crown Roots(Pasadena),
  • Drip Hollywood, (Hollywood)
The brands were selling their Spring 14 collections and immediate goods.

The stand-out collections for me were:

Equilibrium USG (Urban Survival Gear)

Build Your Own Bag! Equilibrium USG designs, manufactures, and sells modular gear and accessories, primarily bags and backpacks.  It's like Legos for bags.  Each piece can be used independently and interchangeably.  Configure your bag to conform to your lifestyle.

The modular P.A.C. (Portable All-Purpose Containment) System consists of the following: Harness, Payload, and Skyn. equilibrium usg @ venue - paul brindley consults Choose from several different base harness sizes and types, muliple styles and sizes of payloads or messenger bags, and a smorgasbord of skyns.  You can even customize your skyn for a more personable look or use it to advertise your company or product.  Build your bag out with our wide selection of accessories.

This is one of the more exciting new ideas that I have seen in a while.  Keep an eye out for this brand.  Some lucky licensees, distributors or sales agents are going to make a lot of money selling this brand into the worldwide market.

Woodruff Apparel

Woodruff Apparel is a cool, clean collection of black and white cotton basics for men and women. Manufactured in Peru exclusively using beautiful Peruvian PIMA cotton, this brand does not have US distribution as yet.
The tees, tanks, tops and dresses have clean contemporary lines and fits as excellent price prices.  I can definitely see this brand being available at your local boutique or department store in the near future.

Be Inhabited

Edgy and wearable, Be Inhabited logo tees, hoodies, beanies and snap-back caps are worth checking out.  The range needs expanding before it makes a name for itself.  Owner/designer, Caitlin Berger tells me that they are growing steadily and will be growing the brand organically.


Women designing mens streetwear ... I love it.

The Marillest website says it best: Marillest has embedded itself into a male dominant industry as one of the few mens' street lifestyle brands to design, run and be operated by women. Marillest self taught themselves every aspect of the industry from making patterns, marketing, product placement, photography, videography, html coding and merchandising by challenging their skills to a level of their competitors.

"There is so much to do, but so little time. Not one day can go by without making something happen." - Marillest
Marillest is a Los Angeles based mens'  street lifestyle apparel brand inspired by art, culture and every day life of Southern California. Designs are inspired from the creative adventures of the three founders, Mari Nazaryan, Arpa Sarian, Piruz Dedeyan, who started the brand in 2009.

Venue also put on 2 panels during the day. The morning session was "Marketing Your Brand".  The afternoon was "Building Your Brand".  Both were well attended and very useful to the brands.

I was impressed by the day.  The activity and energy were sustained throughout.  The feedback from the exhibitors was overwhelming positive.

I'll leave it to Miles' own words to sum up: "I was really happy with the outcome of our show. This was our first go at it, and we had a really strong response coming from our exhibitors, guests, and attending retailers. I feel that we really made some noise within this industry, which was exactly what we wanted to do for our brands. We opened the door for our brands with this show, and now we feel that we can be taken more seriously the next time around."

I agree with you, Miles.  Good luck for the future.  I'll be following Venue closely.  See you next time.

Paul Brindley