Charles Garone is taking a fresh approach to trade shows. Garone, who was director of The Collective at ENK and started the Vanguard contemporary component of the MRket show, will next month launch a traveling men’s contemporary show called Aquilon.
The debut edition will be held April 11 to 12 at the Georgetown Ballroom in Seattle, followed by another show April 14 to 15 at the Blue Sky Studios in downtown San Francisco.
“The request came directly from the contemporary industry,” Garone said. “We asked what the actual needs were, studied them and developed a creative and cost-effective option.”
He said budget constraints and the inability of many specialty stores to be out of their stores for days at a time was another driving factor in Aquilon’s creation. The show will feature around 25 to 30 brands including CPT by Cockpit USA, Charles G. Bailey, Jared Lang and Artful Dodger.
Garone said he is “reaching out to stores within a 20-mile radius” of the cities in which he is setting up shop to invite them to the show. And while the large fall market events have already been held, Garone believes there’s still orders to be booked. “Business doesn’t stop in between the major markets,” he said.
Aquilon, which means “kite” in Italian, is being self-funded by Garone. “I felt so strongly that there was a need for this, that I left my job and am funding it myself,” he said.
Garone expects to bring Aquilon to other U.S. cities later in the year, but said no dates and locations have been finalized at this point.