Action Sports Retailer Trade Show Joins Forces with Class for First-of-a-Kind Trade Show, Class @ ASR

In a new licensing deal between Action Sports Retailer (ASR) and Class trade show, the two have come together to create a new type of show debuting September 10-12 in San Diego called Class @ ASR. For those of you have never been to Class, it was started by Jason Bates, who’s known in LA fashion circles for his excellent showroom of brands at the Cooper building and his entrepreneurial spirit for creating a trade show just for Los Angeles called Class (search Class trade show on Label Networks for a full review).

Class attracts brands such as WESC, Modern Amusement, Evisu, Timberland, Penguin, and a variety of core upper street fashion brands, including a nice handful of eco-brands and denim -somewhat like a smaller Project.

In the announcement released Thursday, January 22, Class @ ASR will feature a juried selection of 100 emerging and core brands including, Alphanumeric, Cpt, Design by Humans, Fiberops, Howe, Insight, Lucre Eyewear, Modern Amusement, Original Penguin, O’Quinn, Smooth Co., True Love False Idols, and WeSC. The new event’s independent setting focuses on design and experience during the trade show, versus mass-market appeal.

“The partnership between ASR and CLASS Events creates a totally new business tool that is more than the sum of our parts,” says Andy Tompkins, ASR Group Show Director. “ASR exhibitors will benefit from an influx of boutique retail buyers that CLASS Events attracts and action sport buyers looking for new labels can bring in more variety from one stop.”

The show is hoping to attract a different segment of buyer to ASR, along with retailers that previously have supported CLASS by providing a crossover opportunity for surf, skate and street designers to interact directly with premium, upscale fashion and resort boutiques.

“This is an exciting time as this takes the strengths from both CLASS Events and ASR and creates a powerful hybrid that is going to better serve the fashion apparel and action sports industries at the same time, vastly expanding our outreach, influence and vision of how business should be done,” explains Jason Bates, CEO of CLASS.

Similar to what Class has provided in the past, the show will provide organic local food, recycled products, and spa treatments.

In many ways, this collaboration is a very smart idea and the way business is going to have to be done in the future for the sake of survival. What’s interesting is that action sports brands have been crossing over into street fashion for some time and vice versa. Now there’s a platform that may be THE place to showcase because it will attract a cross-section of boutique buyers from stores such as The Closet, to action sports retailers looking to expand their merchandise for a savvier marketplace.