Flud watches were a big hit at Agenda. Recent collab with Rocksmith is popular.

Story by Kathleen Gasperini
Photos by Tom Wallace

As a continuation to Part 1 in our Label Networks’ Agenda review, we wanted to showcase additonal images and get into more about the trends we saw at the show. First, as many brands were showcasing their Fall/Holiday line, it’s looking like wools, flannel, plaids are still going strong. The difference is the mix of materials, such as what Grn Apple Tree is doing using raw Japanese denim and jersey materials together, and the introduction of more neon within Fall’s usually more somber shades.

For example, Mishka is still going with its eye-popping logos and colors ranging from turquoise, yellow, pink, purples mixed with some excellent wool jackets. We also loved the retro sweaters and stripes they’re bringing back which are reminiscent of the old ski days circa the ’70’s and the era of CB jackets. Peaks at their Spring/2010 collection include a lot of animated monster graphics in brighter colors on darker T-shirts, plus more with accessories -backpacks, bags, and of course their signature caps.

Sunglass brands such as Anon and Mosley Tribes also have bright shades in eyewear in some styles, especially their Ray-Ban styles, but the brands are completely different with for example, Mosley Tribes offering more aviator and wire-frames, their flip-up shades, and Anon going more sports-related. Arbor, the brand known for making many items from bamboo also showcased amazing graphics in T-shirts and snowboards. Jedidiah, known for very soft fabrics in T-shirts was one of the few brands showcasing women’s apparel as well as men’s.

If there was one huge whole in the show it was the lack of women’s brands. But street/contemporary women’s brands such as Hellz will be at Project, WESC, which offers women’s also will be at Project, and Married to the Mob will be at S.L.A.T.E. Leaving Nikita, which we were sad to say was not there, however they may be at ASR/Class in September. Given as much, it’s clear that there’s still room in the street-inspired marketplace for more women’s brands.

Mason from Cardboard Robot has invented “Clocky”–a cardboard clock that give you the gift of insight by very untraditional methods. Clocky comes with 333 cardboard parts and only 333 are made. They will be distributed soon for a cost of $66 per Clocky. It also comes with a %uFFFDzine, a handbook with instructions, multi-sided dice, and explanations of the symbolism. Totally genius.

Signature strong brands such as LRG, Mighty Healthy, Stussy, Zoo York, and Obey continued their streaks of making orders at this show, indicating that while many brands are saying they’re not opening up new store accounts, there seems to be a strong demand for more established brands that do well.

On the flipside was a newbie called WeMoto out of Germany. While it’s new to the USA, supposedly it’s big in Europe and did well at Bright, the skate-inspired show in Germany, and it%uFFFDs already distributed across Canada.

Palladium’s sneaker-boots with thick soles were a hot item, but interesting so was Punk Rose right next door. The two brands couldn’t be more diverse, which indicates the niche directions of street fashion and footwear in general. Creative Recreation announced they’re coming out with some 30 additional styles soon which is amazing. We also liked their catalogue which once again is a collector’s item, this time with a memorable photo shoot in Egypt (thanks to styling by marketing manager Josh Willis).

Hot Air from downtown LA and others in this grouping were hopping locations for buyers.

Unfortunately I didn’t get much of a chance to check out RVCA, mainly because their booth was always packed, which is a good sign, but I did sort of push my way into Rocksmith. Snce they’re based in New York and I don%uFFFDt always get to see their collections live, I had to make my way in. We had an excellent conversation about how brighter colors are now OK for young males to wear and how yellow, pink, and purple are slipping into new, more fitted silhouettes, which Rocksmith was offering.

Famous Stars and Straps didn’t have a big car in front of it so I practically walked right by them, but it’s good that the moto, and music-inspired brands, are a big part of the mix at Agenda. The same with DCMA, Mishka, Hit and Run, and SkullCandy.

Like we mentioned in Part 1, there were many action sports brands showcasing at Agenda this time around, which added to the mix, and a healthy dose of footwear which is one segment of the marketplace that hasn’t taken as great of a hit. In addition, much could be said about the people walking the show but not presenting including people from Nixon, WESC, Livity, and many others. Agenda has raised the curiosity level and as the first show of the season on the West Coast, it now marks an indicator of what’s to come.

Sponsors and magazines: The main sponsor of Agenda was Amp and Complex Magazine. Brands doing additional exhibitions, paintings, displays which made the venue very cool came from Hurley, Hit and Run, 686 X Levi Strauss collaboration, Grenade, and Alpinestars’ Apex exhibition of old-school motobikes and leathers. Magazines on the racks included many of the top action sports titles, plus Juxtapoz, Complex, Antenna, Vapors, and Foam. Featured artist was OG Abel. Agenda party was sponsored by Amp, Lovemade, Complex, Jansport and the band was Steel Panther.

Brandy from Hit and Run doing live silk-screening with original graphics and multi-colors at Agenda.

Arbor, the natural apparel company is also well known for bamboo belt buckles, snowboards with insane graphics, and skateboard decks out of bamboo. They were one of a couple of companies showcasing snowboard gear and boards. Things could move in this direction whereby more snowboarding brands are at Agenda just as more are creeping back into ASR.

Arbor bamboo T-shirts are super soft. Graphics are always intriguing and usually nature-inspired. Planet Earth and Jedidiah also have artistic graphics on soft fabric T-shirts.

Crooks and Castles are the kingpins of streetwear and urbanwear in downtown Los Angeles. At the show they announced the launch of their new store opening at 8750 Sunset Blvd. This will be their second.

DC Life had a nice collection of their artistic sneaker collabs, plus their P.T. Ripper bike which Keith was showing us. It%uFFFDa cross between fixed gear/track and a BMX ride. Comes out next month.

Grenade of Grenade Gloves was there and all badass as usual with the brand%uFFFDs founder, Olympic silver medalist Danny Kass and his posse roaming the halls.

WeMoto is a new streetwear brand introduced to the USA. Already big in Germany and across Canada, this was the brand%uFFFDs debut to the U.S. market.

New Balance X 686 collab with a nice-looking snowboard boot on display.

Obey%uFFFDs presense at Agenda is always a hotspot location. About 5 minutes after I took this, the booth was suddenly packed.

686 and the Levi Strauss technical snowboarding outerwear collab continues with some interesting new designs. Their exhibition was well-done, especially usage of the Levi%uFFFDs old images coat patterns mixed into the wall graphics. However we really like the denim snowboard outerwear here.

Adidas had an interesting booth set-up and display. They have often showcased at Agenda and are sticking with this trade show for obvious reasons.