Ever since ASR ended and more street and skate-inspired brands jumped to Agenda (which is partly why ASR folded), many brands, especially ones that were more surf-oriented, have been wondering where to go. Surf Expo on the East Coast didn’t necessarily capture the attention of West Coast brands and retailers, and the big brands like Quiksilver and Reef started popping up at Outdoor Retailer.
Now, Providence Equity Partners, which bought GLM events in September, which includes Surf Expo and the Gift Show among many others, decided to launch Launch -a juried surf show whereby brands are chosen by industry elite including Michael Tomson founder of Gotcha, Josh Rosen, Jeff Yokoyama from Modern Amusement, and a handful of others including the buyers from the cool NYC store Saturday’s Surf. The show will debut July 25-26 at the Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport -home of a number of leading-edge shows and music videos.
According to an interview in Transworld Business with Josh Hunter, who is the marketing and sales manager for the new show, the idea was sparked about a year ago. The show is scheduled to feature leading men’s and women’s contemporary collections, swim, lifestyle action sports brands, especially surf, accessories, and footwear.
While Hunter admits that juried shows are nothing new, he does say that Launch will be different in terms of how the brands apply and are accepted, the set-up at Barker Hangar (which fortunately is a non-union space meaning no exorbitant labor costs), and the general vibe of the show towards attracting key media, buyers, and industry experts.
We’ll definitely be covering the show next summer, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, here’s the LaunchShow intro clip: