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Agenda Matures

Agenda, regarded as the edgier, younger streetwear sibling to the ASR trade show a few blocks away, appears to be growing up.

SAN DIEGO — Agenda, regarded as the edgier, younger streetwear sibling to the ASR trade show a few blocks away, appears to be growing up.

This story first appeared in the January 30, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The three-day show featured a blend of Mod-inspired sophistication, with clean-looking knits, jackets and dresses leading the way.

British lines like Fenchurch and Boxfresh showed refined streetwear with jackets, knit tops and dresses, in reds, grays and blues, as well as some with metallic threading.

“A lot of what we’re doing is grown-up stuff, clean lines and more elegant knits but without sacrificing roots,” said Paul Gately, who heads Fenchurch’s U.S. operations.

Founded in 2003, the show focuses on largely independent urban lines, though mainstream brands like American Apparel, Converse and Fresh Jive have turned out in increasing numbers. About 100 vendors were represented at this month’s show in the San Diego Concourse.

Worries about the economy had buyers keeping an eye on the bottom line.

“We’re being careful about what price points we buy,” said Gracie Hickey, who was buying for her boutique in Folsom, Calif., at wholesale price points in the $10 to $30 range. “Because we’re trying to keep inventory steady, we want things that are affordable but still want the higher-end looks.”

Top sellers at trendier lines like WeAretheSuperlativeConspiracy were a soft chestnut-colored leather jacket and a quilted black nylon handbag with gold. BB Dakota did well with items suited for warmer weather, like high-waisted shorts, a canary yellow tank and a silk Zebra print dress with turquoise trim.

Some lines had a distinctly feminine appeal: Bali-based Fairground used vintage fabric for a limited edition line of light, patterned dresses, highlighted by a plaid strapless dress with metallic-hued satin trim.