Still emerging in its own right, LA Men’s Market was founded several years ago and continues to grow season over season, as it takes over an increasingly large footprint in the California Market Center in downtown Los Angeles.
The unique timing of the show allows buyers – both local and international – a chance to see summer and holiday collections outside of the normal Spring/Fall drops. With new brands and retailers in rotation this time around, the show is ramping up for its October show with a couple new elements to be revealed as the show kicks off.
We caught up with Men’s Market Show Director Sannia Shahid to hear what’s new, and how the show is positioning itself for future growth.
Interview edited for length and clarity.
What are some of the new brands this season that you are most excited about?
We are thrilled to welcome brands such as Dickies, Topo Designs, PsychoBunny, Nautica, Kappa, WVS Brigade, Secrid and many more leading brands in different categories to LA Men's Market this season. It is difficult to pick since they all have their own strengths and add value to the show.
We're most excited about our returning partners – like Stumptown Coffee, Saint Archer, Modernica, and the Standard and Line hotels. — since it demonstrates the strength of the show and the lasting relationships we have built.
How have you seen the show grow and evolve since it was launched four years ago?
We started on the 4th floor of the California Market Center hosting men's market in the open showroom spaces with 15 – 20 brands. We now take over the entire space on the 10th floor and each season is sold out because we literally cannot fit any more booths.
Our retailer attendance grows consistently each season due to the great brand mix we have along with the intimate experience we create.
What is the direction for LA Men’s Market? How are you trying to set yourselves apart from other shows?
We are not focused on what other shows are doing; we are only focused on catering to our customers. We want LA Men's Market to be the prime tradeshow for brands and retailers where they want to get business done. We hope to have the best accounts for our brand offering. LA Men's Market speaks for itself, as do other shows that set all of us apart.
Talk about the scope of retailers who are going to be in attendance? What do you think this offers brands at the show in terms of diversity and opportunity?
The diversity & caliber of retailers in attendance is a testament to the strength not only of our internal team (in reaching out, offering travel & accommodating the needs of our retailers) but also of our brands that create the draw for the top retailers from each space to attend. We have Mr. Porter, Extra Butter, Need Supply, Machus, Ubiq, Wish, Rei, Evo, T&C, Aezela, Zappos, Thalia, Jacks, Active and many more attending.
Showing at LA Men's Market allows the brands to do business with the best retailers in an intimate and personal environment.
What are some of the main goals you have for the show this time around?
We want brands to see the return on their investment. We want to create an environment where it is easy for the retailers to get business done, meet with their exiting brands along with discover new brands.
We don't want to just sell another tradeshow booth to brands or invite the retailers to come to one more tradeshow; our goal is to build lasting relationships.
What are you most excited about with the upcoming show, whether new or otherwise?
Walking onto the show floor the first day and seeing it all come to life. Retailers checking in at registration, brands having back-to-back appointments, the coffee beans being roasted, and the smell of fresh BBQ for lunch are the most exciting aspects of our show.
We also have some of the best sponsors this year. We are hosting our opening night event with OUE Skyspace, the tallest building in Los Angeles; we are thrilled to be able to share the true beauty of Los Angeles with our attendees.
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