Story and Photos by Tom Wallace and Kathleen Gasperini
One of the strongest shows coming out of the Vegas fashion trade shows earlier this month was Agenda, which returned to Vegas for the second time February 17-19, 2014, as part of Modern Assembly (including Liberty Fairs and (capsule)), and challenging the status quo of MAGIC’s traditional shows. Here, streetwear, action sports, and music-inspired apparel, footwear, and accessories brought fresh takes within the most inspiring aspects of the industry today.
“Last year’s inaugural launch surpassed our expectations. We came back to bring the AGENDA experience to Vegas for a second year, and couldn’t be more excited about it,” explains Aaron Levant, AGENDA founder. “Many of the brands were unsatisfied with the existing Vegas show format. After entering Vegas last August, we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from both retailers and brands. Returning to Las Vegas was a no brainer.”
First, Agenda reported a 22% growth since its introduction last year, breaking out of its roots in Long Beach, CA, and NYC. It also brought with it to Vegas the Agenda WMN’s platform with brands like Married to the Mob, Love + Made, and HLZ BLZ in an expanded section compared with their flagship show in Long Beach, featuring the fact that women’s streetwear is a growing movement.
The Reebok Retro Barbershop went off throughout the show. Featuring talent ranging from Grammy Award-winning hip hop artist and producer, Swizz Beats, along with DJ Drama, Rick Ross, Cam’ron, French Montana, Travi$ Scott, Kid Ink and others, it had attendees pulling out their cell phone cameras as the next pop-up act took to the stage or stopped into the Reebok Retro Barbershop to get a fresh cut.
Other cool areas included G Pen and their mini golf course, 7th Letter’s artistic showcase and revised cop car, and a massive Flexfit exhibition featuring the signature Agenda hat collaborations over the years. In keeping with the vibe of street and skate cultures, there were a variety of on-site artists, creative booth concepts, and curated magazine selections for attendees.
Streetwear has grown-up as indicated at Agenda Vegas with new patterns in camo in tailored silhouettes, a larger selection of repeat patterns in button-downs, and dark indigos in denim with many offering a 90’s aesthetic. Black capri-capped pants for guys like a modern version of Hammer-pants from brands like Publish paired with hightops is the new norm. Scholastic influences and team sport motifs from brands like Mitchell & Ness are also going strong from varsity lettermen jacket inspirations to basketball influenced shorts and numbered variations on jerseys.
Some cool surprises included Akomplice’s booth and change-up of patterns, brighter colors, and an original light show with a model dressed in white showing the impact of different prints on fabrics. Diamond Supply Co. kept it tight as the brand to watch and a serious leader within youth culture today, while 10 Deep, another classic in streetwear had a one-of-a-kind camo-map button-down shirt that had people stopping in their tracks. There were several references throughout the show to the importance of travel for inspiration and lifestyle choices. Play Cloths and their iconic little guy in a cap running continues to expand as a brand and attract core retail buyers.
Camping and the outdoors, but with an urban vibe is clearly moving forward at Agenda Vegas, as seen with camping supplies such as tents, backpacks, accessories, and sleeping bags from Poler Stuff and others. The Outdoor industry should take note because outdoor apparel and accessories including boots just got a huge injection of new-school credibility from Agenda Vegas.
Caps, backpacks, messenger bags, and designer headphones are clearly important aspects of the Agenda Vegas scene. Combined with a fresh selection of eyewear and watch brands, the show illustrates trends in wearable technologies mixed with a street-wise and contemporary feel.