NEW YORK — A new trade show targeting designer, contemporary and premium denim brands and buyers is slated to debut in Los Angeles next spring. Called Class, the dual-gender show will be staged at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium—once home to the Academy Awards—from March 1–3.
Class is being organized by Jason Bates, owner of the L.A.-based showroom Derelicte, and Keith Cokes, a sales veteran of Ted Baker. The duo also have two unnamed, silent partners who are providing financial backing for the venture.
“We think there is a demand for a well-orchestrated trade show in Los Angeles, with the right level of sophistication for designer brands and trendy streetwear labels,” said Bates. “There hasn’t been a trade show like this in L.A. since MAGIC left years ago. Going to Las Vegas is a huge expense for a lot of people, so we want to create something local—right here in Santa Monica, which is the birthplace of the surging contemporary designer fashion movement.”
The Class debut comes as the West Coast Exclusive, also staged in L.A., is in flux, following its purchase by Business Journals Inc. That company has not decided whether or not to continue with the L.A. edition or focus its resources on the much larger Exclusive show in Las Vegas, according to Larry Hymes, sales director for both shows.
Bates is aiming for 200 to 300 brands for Class, and he pledges to never go over that number. “We want to curate a high-end show with integrity,” he explained, rattling off a list of vendors that have expressed at least preliminary interest in participating in the first show. These include John Varvatos, Corpus, Bureau, Generra, Fred Perry, Ever, Original Penguin, William Rast, Hudson Clothing, Avalon Group, Namaste Showroom, Atlas Group and MK Sportswear.
Building a successful trade show from scratch is a tall order, but Bates and Cokes have extensive contacts in the industry. Also, Bates already runs a small existing trade show, called Coconuts and Bananas, in Honolulu that targets Hawaiian retailers. That show, which debuted in 2004, will next be held Nov. 15–16, with about 30 brands, including Triple Five Soul, WeSC, Fred Perry, Goorin headwear and Ambiguous Clothing.
Prior to opening Derelicte—which reps Bread Denim, Orthodox, WeSC, Initium Eyewear, J. Fold wallets, Revolve T-shirts, and True Love and False Idols—Bates worked for a party planning and event production company that organized movie premieres for blockbusters like The English Patient. “Event planning is in my blood,” he noted.
An eight-by-10-foot booth at Class will cost $4,000 for the first show next spring, and Bates expects to raise prices by $500 each successive season.
In order to help drum up buyers for the debut, Class will cover the travel expenses of 100 top retailers—who will be chosen in consultation with the show’s vendors.
While Class is likely to attract a fair number of California brands, Bates and Cokes are aiming to make the show as international in scope as possible, and are flying to Scandinavia, Brazil, Japan and Australia to personally recruit participants.
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye