It was all systems go at the unofficial launch of the Spring 2017 season round of apparel trade shows last Wednesday and Thursday with Agenda Long Beach at the Long Beach Convention Center.
The busiest period of the fashion week and trade show year will continue through the end of October with major stops in Miami, Las Vegas, New York and Los Angeles.
The original street, skate and surf focus of Agenda has expanded and diversified steadily over the past 5 years to include contemporary and progressive men’s and women’s brands in Agenda WMNS and The Woods sections, personalized accessories in Pin & Patch, grooming and personal items in The Essentials, and industry service providers in Agenda Resource. Read more about each section here.
The broadening mix of brands at Agenda brings together industry veterans, today’s apparel movers and shakers, buyers of all stripes, sales agents from across the spectrum, millennials chugging beers at 10AM, and kids on skateboards. It is a fascinating cross section of the industry. There are bodies in constant motion in every direction to the accompaniment of chatter and laughter, DJ-ed beats, and the clatter and scrape of skateboards. The bars and food trucks inside are never short of customers.
The sights and sounds create a frenetic energy that gives Agenda Long Beach a party feel. But there is still plenty of business done. Most of the brands and sales agents that I spoke to were very happy with the amount and quality of the buyers seen.
Some eyecatchers for me were:
Kennington has been doing it right for 60 years. They sport their famous prints and colors in a contemporary, slim fit body for their younger customer and their time tested regular fit in long and short sleeves. I particularly like the Flume Short in three colors and the jackets in three bodies – Bomber, Garage and Safari – that they are doing for Spring 2017.
Eme Mizioch of Joken Style Showroom was super excited by the response to Gypsies & Debutantes‘ bags. The bags are beautifully constructed with paneling made from re-purposed traditional women’s blouses from South America. They had seen buyers from Diane’s Beachwear, Fab Fit Fun and Crossroads.
The soft leather, metal and electro-plated crystal adjustable bracelets and necklaces from Giving Bracelets are unisex, comfortable and empowering to wear (I haven’t taken mine off). 10% of the proceeds go to support Giving Bracelets benefits Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children. Wholesale prices start at $13.50 with no minimums.
I was impressed by the new Wayward Collection from JanSport. JanSport has captured a natural eco-look with subtle colors and prints to appeal to the higher end of the market.
They were two very strong days at Agenda. The activity bodes well for the upcoming wholesale selling season. I am looking forward to the reports from shows in New York and Miami in July. I will be blogging from Las Vegas in August. I am expecting Vegas to be the strongest show since the 2008 financial crisis.
paul brindley consults