Designers & Agents is a show that takes place in what’s called Fashion Corner in downtown Los Angeles between 9th Street and South Los Angeles St. at the intersection of several buildings including the New Mart”, Cooper Building, Lady Liberty, and California Mart–all filled with designer showrooms and contemporary brands ranging from top denim labels, to eco-friendly fashion, footwear, and accessories. Each season, Designers & Agents show takes over the 8th floor of the Cooper Building with a clean and inspiring presentation of select brands from nearby showrooms that come to showcase their collections that has over the years, attracted buyers from around the world.
With the plethora of trade shows going on, including the newest one called Class, some people who showed at D&A believe that this is the show that could become the new “Project” or LA show of the West Coast, whereas others believe there’s still room for another trade in the burgeoning marketplace of LA fashion and the growing number of independent retailers.
“I’m not sure we need another trade show,” said a representative of EDUN apparel at D&A. “But this show has become one of the leading shows for the West Coast and is a nice place to attract various retailers interested in the latest collections, particularly from Los Angeles.” EDUN, which is actually based in New York, is among many brands that make their way to D&A each season to be a part of the growing retailer scene in LA.
Other brands such as Denim Design Lab, Maxime Cossoguy, tokidoki, PRPS, Harajuku Lovers, Hazel Brown, and James Jeans were among brands showcasing on the 8th floor. However since the show is located in the Cooper Building, which is known to host some of the top multi-label showrooms in the world, the entire building becomes a “show” in that attendees are free to check out the various floors and wander into other locations. We were able to check out BPMW’s showroom, including their street fashion and footwear collections from Clae, Claw Money, and Penfeld; the Namaste Showroom featuring eco-friendly brands such as Loomstate; Natural High featuring Livity and other eco-friendly labels; The Gallery LA featuring Vintage China, Turk & Taylor, Lady, Muse, and Rene Geneva Designs; The News showroom featuring Cheap Monday, Jovovich Hawk, Superfine, and Alexander Wang; Station showroom and their Ben Sherman collections; and Lily Kate Showroom featuring 18th Amendment denim and Young Fabulous and Broke. 7 for All Mankind can also be found in the Cooper Building with a beautiful, open showroom space, as well as the Copenhagen label Mads Norgaarde, and Triple 5 Soul.
D&A as a show is well-edited and easy to walk through, featuring shoulder-high white-walled booths, colorful lounges with various fashion magazines, a food station with fresh chocolate chip cookies, water and natural sodas, and of course, the breathtaking views of downtown Los Angeles.