SAN DIEGO - Fallout from the economy was apparent at last week's Agenda trade show here.
The biannual, streetwear-oriented show, now five years old, saw slightly slower foot traffic and buyers were conservative. Agenda had about 110 exhibitors, compared with roughly 140 in January.
"The show in January was busier. I wrote more orders then, though I think there are some really quality buyers this time," said Kylee Fauss, founder of Miss Wax jewelry line. "There's a lot of standing around, though, and not much business being done - even the bigger brands."
Agenda remains largely populated by men's wear, though emerging women's lines such as Married to the Mob, UNIF and Nikita continue to turn out. The three-day show also featured almost double the footwear of the last show, including skateboarding brands Etnies and Supra.
Lanie Alabanza-Barcena, founder of Hellz Bellz clothing, said the flagging U.S. economy presented opportunity for the women's wear brand.
"With the dollar so weak, this is the good time to make our international push," she said, citing plans to expand her three-year-old line into overseas markets. "It's a tough time for business, but you have to take the chance."
Agenda co-founder Aaron Levant said there was a strong turnout of Asian buyers.
"The show has really evolved into the lifestyle sector. The 60 or 70 percent of the people at ASR who are actually interested in new things and streetwear will come here," Levant said. "We like to keep things fresh and a tight group of exhibitors, so we drop about the bottom 20 percent of the brands each year."
Some established labels, such as Sweden's WeAretheSuperlativeConspiracy and Culver City, Calif.-based Tokidoki, said they fared well despite the gloomy economic climate.
"This is a show that will only get stronger as the brands continue to develop. We're relatively young as a brand and we will only go up," said Ivan Arnold, co-owner of Tokidoki with Italian designer Simone Legno. "We did the show in 2005, took a hiatus and have had a great response now that we're back."
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast