Derek Sciacqua of Gecko Hawaii

Derek Sciacqua of Gecko Hawaii


Pooltradeshow Makes Room For Debuts & Trend Forecasting

Pooltradeshow was initially produced as a forum for new and emerging brands. At its Aug. 12–14 run at the Las Vegas Convention Center, it not only provided a forum for new brands but also a testing ground for established labels.

Next Level Apparel, headquartered in Gardena, Calif., is a veteran of the show. Amanda Mitzman, Next Level’s marketing director, said Pool is a good place to work with the companies who work with her business-to-business brand. Since Next Level is preparing a launch of a consumer channel to sell its basics to the public by the end of the year, she wanted more market intelligence to see what fashions are trending.

“It’s a good place to trend forecast and get inspiration on new styles that might develop,” Mitzman said of Pool.

MacKenzie Ellis, Dolls Kill’s assistant buyer for bottoms, was looking for new brands and styles, including oversize clothes and silhouettes. “We’re seeing a lot of ’90s, a lot of vintage florals and animal prints,” Ellis said.

Pool served as the trade-show debut of The Aloha Boys, a Newport Beach, Calif., brand that makes graphic T-shirts for the surfing, skating and fishing crowd.

Pool also served as a place to make a comeback for Gecko Hawaii. The brand had not exhibited at a trade show for a decade. Popular in the 1980s and 1990s, the brand made a full collection to show at Pool, said Derek Sciacqua, a Gecko Hawaii partner and president of the brand.

“What I like is being out there again,” Sciacqua said of the return to the trade-show circuit. Part of what he wanted to do was to put the brand on retailers’ radars. “My expectation was to deal with more stores, and that was what happened,” he said.