10 Deep booth at Agenda NYC was packed throughout the show.

Story and Photos by Kathleen Gasperini and Tom Wallace

Agenda Fashion Trade Show July 18-19, 2011 at the Chelsea Art Museum in NYC proved to be an incredibly vibrant scene as buyers ordered up the latest for 2012 from the leaders in streetwear, urbanwear, and action sports-inspired apparel, footwear, and accessory brands. Located right next to Capsule, it was an ideal location for a show of this kind and the streets outside were packed with those who reflect the lifestyles of this scene.

Doing business at Agenda NYC.

Sneaktip performers danced impromptu moves, while others used the sidewalks as spaces to finish up business and network. Inside, the 3 floors couldn’t have been more packed. Most of the mainstays in this genre such as Mishka NYC, 10 Deep, Huf, LRG, Obey, Crooks & Castles, The Hundreds, Supra, Matix, Artful Dodger, Analog, Two in the Shirt, Etnies, Famous Stars and Straps, and Mighty Healthy among others, had 3-4 buyers in a booth, writing orders and checking out the latest collections.

The show also provided the best opportunity to see some relatively new brands in the scene or brands that don’t always come to the Agenda in Huntington Beach. With a show in the heart of the location of streetwear for one of the world’s largest markets, this show has a different vibe than the West Coast version. Relatively new brands such as Black Apple, House of Marley, Play Cloths, Superbrand Apparel, The NTWRK Agency, Publish, Waters & Army, and Triple Fat Goose were on hand mixing in with others.

Mishka NYC is a staple to this genre and their booth once again showed a healthy supply of buyers.

Staples such as T-shirts, hoodies, and fitted caps were everywhere, but there continues to be a move towards more tailored and upscale streetwear designs. Plaid button-down shirts for example, which are a huge part of this subculture, are more intricately designed or have a slimmer silhouette, or something relatively unqiue like the addition of a badge/patch. Polo shirts with stripes and even a tennis-vibe are becoming more common. Still on point also are the tribute designs to East Coast Ivy League with various insignia%uFFFDs, varsity jackets, and cardigans.

Camo is still popular, especially in long shorts and jackets, and denim, particularly dark denim and “double-denim” styles which round-out some of the latest trends. Brands such as Publish, Brixton, and 10 Deep are on the tip of many fresh new styles in this regard.

This show takes a strong cue from skateboarding with many skate brands attending including Es, Etnies, Osiris, Gravis, iPath, and Circa. Sneakers, especially skate-inspired sneaks remain an important asset to youth culture footwear trends and based on the energy and amount of attendees, it looks to be healthy so far despite a troubling economy.

Here is also where moto-inspired influences are making important statements in apparel. Leaders in this scene include Alpinestars, which actually showcased some interesting new board shorts designs. Famous Stars & Straps also crosses over from moto to street as various action sports move into producing some of the top new trends in streetwear apparel.

Scene outside Agenda NYC last week.

What’s interesting is when large brands also showcase at Agenda, knowing all too well that this is where leading-edge buyers are going to show up. For example, Nike, Fila, Converse, and soon-to-IPO headphone designers SkullCandy (who are now doing apparel, backpacks, and hats) all stake their claim with select presentations of latest collaborations or appropriate new designs that fit streetwear lifestyles. Interestingly brands such as Hurley and Vans were not present at the Agenda NYC, but again, they’ll probably be seen at the upcoming Huntington Beach show August 3-4.

Overall, Agenda NYC captured much of the essence of streetwear and action sports influences, especially those on the East Coast, proving to be the crossover platform in many ways, not only in apparel, but accessories and footwear designs.

Excellent style by 10 Deep combining fresh ideas with camo, plaid, cardigan, doubled-denim jacket, and fitted cap. They are also doing some interesting backpacks.

Mighty Healthy had graphic T%uFFFDs that streetwear buyers were interested in.

FlexFit collaboration display.

The Matix booth had it going on also.

The long-sleeved shirts and jackets from Obey were popular.

SuperBrand Apparel had shirts with a military vibe included studded shoulders, as seen here in various colors.

SkullCandy has rolled out far more than designer headphones, now including backpacks, T-shirts, and hoodies.

Royal Elastics ankle-high footwear moves in the new direction of cleaner designs and crossovers between boots and sneakers.

Triple Fat Goose was another interesting booth with a broad collection for men%uFFFDs streetwear.