In the historic Cooper Building, a landmark in the Fashion District of Los Angeles’ network of offices and showrooms, business cards were traded, advice was given, and money was made.
On July 8th and 9th, Venue Tradeshow made its way back into Los Angeles for it’s third semi-annual iteration. Venue is a showcase of independent clothing brands, with a large focus on streetwear, where ambitious labels can network with, and hopefully sell their wares to, retail outlets ranging from local boutiques to major department stores. Exhibitors from throughout North America such as United Schemers (Los Angeles), Freelance (Hawaii), and Casablank (Montreal), made their best pitch to buyers, with hopes of finding their way into retail outlets across the map.
Along with the chance to impress retailers into picking up their new collections for the coming season, brands were also able to pick up important industry knowledge from top professionals in the tradeshow’s design and sales panels, featuring the likes of Bana Bongolan (Designer; Crooks & Castles, Young & Reckless, BE//INHABITED), Chris Ngo (Owner; Leverage Sales Agency), and host Jon Phenom (Designer; Orisue). The panels provided advice for label owners at every level, from basic tips for beginners, to management advice used in multi-national companies.
Before the panels, though, all of the business was present on the show floor. Booths for each brand were lined with pieces from current and upcoming collections, meant to show prospective retailers what might be the next big thing in streetwear. Show guests might have caught on to a few recurring themes, such as athletic jersey-inspired tops, extra long t-shirt silhouettes, and 90’s throwback styles. Along with their designs, many creative brands such as Breezy Excursion, Others, and Versalution customized the layout of the booths themselves, opting to bring their own set-ups to express their aesthetics.
Show guests were also treated with the opportunity to visit a live t-shirt printing station, the product of a unique collaboration between Venue and Dopamine36. Patrons who braved the long and ever-present line were served hot-off-the-press t-shirts featuring the photography of esteemed artists Marilyn Tang, Gregorio Campos, and Andre Sandoval. The spoils were worth the wait, though, with the tees proving to be quite high quality.
Exhibitors, retailers, and show guests alike could be spotted doing business over the course of both of Venue’s days in the Cooper Building, making connections in the time leading into Long Beach’s massive industry event, The Agenda Show, the Fall/Winter season in fashion, and ultimately into their respective futures in the streetwear industry.
Photo Source: Michael Pineda of Collective Lifestyle
Video Source: JK Media of Collective Lifestyle