Agenda New York July 2014
The Javits Center North is the new home for Agenda New York, and a packed crowd of buyers were walking the aisles Monday as day one of the show started to pick up mid-morning. By noon, the show’s traffic was busy, with a crossover from other shows such as Project, MRket, and Capsule that were happening simultaneously as part of New York Men’s Fashion Week.
Having outgrown its former space at 82 Mercer Street, Agenda NY nearly doubled its floorspace at Javits in one large, easily navigable show floor, which has lots of windows and natural light, and is somewhat reminiscent of an airport hangar. Food trucks were manned and cranking away at lunchtime directly outside the front entrance, and showgoers had access to some of the other shows under Javits Center’s roof. Overall, brands and retailers said they were stoked on the change in venue.
Most brands had their regional, East Coast sales team on the floor, and some brands like Burton, RVCA, Mighty Healthy, Grenade, Brixton, and Roark had their founders and CEOs on hand to meet and catch up with current and prospective accounts.
Agenda NY has always had a heavy streetwear and skate influence, and that vibe has expanded as the show grows. Menswear was a big focus, and many of the apparel brands were placing emphasis on growing their denim and bottoms collections. For Spring 2015, Brixton has relaunched its men’s chino collection with updated fits,while Roark was touting a newly updated chino. Mighty Healthy has also expanded its denim collection in time for the brand’s 10th anniversary. Short sleeve woven oxfords in unusual prints will be big for many of the brands, and walkshorts are becoming more sophisticated, like Burton’s Hybrid Collection, which includes an attached sealable waterproof pouch.
On the women’s side, swimwear continues to be a growing market. RVCA Women’s Marketing Manager Andrea Hellebuyck says the brand had grown its overall women’s swimwear sales by 76% since last year, and are leading next Spring’s collection with a muted, “Midnight Aloha” print colorway for swim, as well as apparel collaborations with well-known personalities such as model Ashley Smith and Michelle Blade. Over at Brixton, the brand has recognized the ever-growing women’s market and expanded some of its unisex hat offerings to include women-specific colorways.
Everyone was back at it on Tuesday. Some of the busiest booths included brands like Diamond, Reef, LRG, Vans, Supra, HUF,and KR3W, and much of the rush was due to some significant walk-up foot traffic that happened during mid-day. Many buyers from Project were spotted walking the show floor throughout the day as well.
Several smaller brands like LIRA and Krochet Kids are expanding their apparel collections across both men’s and women’s categories. LIRA National Sales Manager Brian Barlow says the brand has been establishing retail relationships with retailers like HSS and Surfside, as well as the bigger chain retailers, and that momentum has been building due to its ability to produce below average pricepoint pieces in a more nimble fashion than some of the larger players in the market.
Many brands are expanding into accessory categories like Komono, which is launching an Italian acetate eyewear collection, and Herschel, with the unveiling of its headwear line. Hats and bags remain a strong focus, and a demand still seems to exist for boardshorts, hybrid walkshorts, and joggers judging from what brand’s have put together for Spring 15.
For women’s, mesh and sheer fabrics seem to be on point across the board. Some examples that stood out were Stussy Women’s mesh-knit jersey, crochet bralette tops from Krochet Kids, and LIRA’s barely-there Vienna suits from its expanding swimwear collection.