We caught up with Agenda President Aaron Levant at the show in Long Beach January 4-5, to get some answers about the show’s past ten years in the business, in what areas the show has grown, and what he foresees as the future of Agenda, including expanding into the Southeast with another show in the coming months and a new international partnership with Reed Exhibitions. Here’s the interview a wrap up of the Long Beach show issued today by Agenda:
Video filmed by Chris Kimball. Edited by Andrew Hartsock
LONG BEACH, CALIF (JANUARY 2013) - The Agenda Trade Show successfully launched its 10-year anniversary last week with the first show of 2013, presenting action sports, street wear, fashion lifestyle, sneaker culture, and now an ever-growing women's and accessories presence. With a 15% increase in attendance, the Long Beach Convention Center was buzzing with buyers, retailers and press checking out the almost 600 brands showing their Fall 2013 lines, with more than 30 key women's and accessory showing.
“The women’s, lifestyle and accessories sections have seen the most growth with new collections including Nudie, Lucy Love, Apolis, Motel, Mutta Footwear, Komono, Sun Pocket, Schwood, and Topo Designs joining returning Agenda brands, Volcom and Nike,” said Agenda founder Aaron Levant.
With the recent news of Agenda joining Reed Exhibitions, Levant has plans in place to accelerate the Agenda Show's growth, both nationally and globally. Agenda will continue to focus on bringing together the fashion lifestyle, action sports and street culture industries in a setting that provides an equal footing for all brands to see the most influential buyers across every retail segment.
"As a former men's apparel buyer who's now a women's apparel and accessories buyer, I have been attending the Agenda Trade Show for almost seven years now and this is by far one of the best shows for my specific demographic and brand assortment," said Jen Rhee, women's buyer for Miss KL and Karmaloop. "Not only has Agenda populated some of the best street and surf brands, but they have expanded the genres by including more selection for both genders as well. I've noticed that the traffic attendance of the shows has grown immensely, probably due to this, and I have no doubt in mind that this show will continue to be on every buyer's radar."
Among the business on the floor, the show played host to the Transworld Business Industry+Retailer Awards, the Action Sports and Culture Conference, and the Malakye ShmoozaPalooza. After Friday's show there were two different Agenda 10-year celebrations, with one hosted by Famous, Skull Candy and performances by Travis Barker, Yelawolf and Mix Master Mike and the other featured The Game and DJ Skee with hosts Stevie Williams, Supra, and DGK.
Agenda now prepares for the more intimate Agenda New York Show, which returns to 82 Mercer on January 23rd and 24th, with almost 200 brands on display.
"I love the direction that the Agenda Show is heading," said Silke Labson, owner of Shown To Scale. "The lines between street, blog, street style and high-end fashion are just blurring together and I love what’s happening. I’m glad Shown To Scale is one of many women’s lines infiltrating the boys club at Agenda, as well as the first women’s non-surf or skate lines to test the waters and let me tell you - come on in, the water’s fine!”
The AGENDA trade show, in partnership with Reed Exhibitions, is the forum for the most inspired in the street wear and action sports industries to unite. Lines speak for themselves and buyers are not intimidated by the usual overwhelming tradeshow experience. From the garage-run lines on the verge of emersion to the well-established elite, AGENDA caters to the needs of buyers and brands that exist on a higher level of design and aesthetic. With a strong emphasis in style, art, music and culture, the AGENDA experience is as much a lesson as it is a tool. www.agendashow.com.
About Reed Exhibitions:
Reed Exhibitions is the world's leading events organizer, with over 460 events in 36 countries. In 2011 Reed brought together over six million active event participants from around the world, generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, and are organized by 34 fully staffed offices. Reed organizes a wide range of events, including trade and consumer exhibitions, conferences and meetings. Its portfolio of over 460 events serves 44 industry sectors.