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LAS VEGAS — The Pool show, held off the strip at the nondescript Alexis Park Hotel, is the cool new kid on the block.
This story first appeared in the September 5, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
From the rolling racks (no fancy megabooths here) to the post-Modern furniture and shag rug seating areas and the ambient music-spinning DJ, the show evoked a downtown clubby vibe.
The curated show, the brainchild of Los Angeles independent rep Ronda Walker and friends, featured 75 vendors selling directional T-shirts for men and women, accessories and contemporary women’s clothing.
Women’s lines such as Elena La Bua, Buddhist Punk, Leroy’s Girl, Vitamin T and even established brand Adidas got plenty of attention from buyers.
“There were all these cool vendors showing out of hotel rooms during MAGIC, and I thought, ‘Why not pool our efforts and create a place where we can all show together?’” said Walker, explaining the show’s title. She noted that Pool’s debut in February featured 25 vendors. The waiting list for the next show has already grown to 100 vendors.
The show attracted about 100 buyers from trend-setting stores such as Fred Segal in Los Angeles, Rolo in San Francisco, Canal Jean Co. in New York, as well as Bloomingdale’s. About 150 Japanese buyers also turned out.
“There’s no comparison between this show and the others,” said Tonya Borisov, a buyer for Edin, an edgy urban boutique in Houston. “You find funkier stuff and new ideas, but it’s very young. It’s not for everybody,”
Pool will reconvene at the Downtown Standard Hotel in Los Angeles next February. It will return to Las Vegas the following August to coincide with WWDMAGIC. Walker said she plans to cap the exhibitor list at 100. “It’s all about being small and exclusive.”