Meeting at LAMM’s Dark Seas booth
As of Thursday, March 28, 2019
The March 26–27 edition of LA Men’s Market, which was founded in 2013 with a focus on men’s streetwear, opened on the 10th floor of the California Market Center with yellow tape and work barricades set up to emphasize the trade show’s theme of “Under Construction.”
The theme was a comment on the current state of the trade-show business, said LAMM director Sannia Shahid. “Trade shows are changing. They are in a gray area. They’re under construction,” she said. “But we want to take up fresh, new ideas. You don’t want to get stuck in the past. You have to keep growing.”
This season’s show grew 10 percent, to 123 booths, over last year and focused on Holiday 2019 styles. Vendors said they were at the show for various reasons. “For us, it’s good face-to-face time,” said Nico Reyes, national sales manager for the New York–based Staple brand. “For me, coming from out of town, it’s easier than going to every separate store. You get a lot of work done here.”
Vendors said that show traffic was busy. Shane Wallace of the Reyn Spooner brand said that the show felt busier than the March 2018 show. “The energy was stronger. The show is gaining more momentum,” he said.
Thulani Ngazimbi of The Rad Black Kids brand agreed that show traffic was good. But he also said that many new brands complained that a lot of retailers were playing it safe and not taking chances by ordering new brands.
Rebecca Hansel, West Coast sales representative for Mercy & Loyal, said that new brands must go through a long slog to get noticed. “Trade shows are essential to get exposure,” she said. “People need to hear your name over and over again.”
Buyers for department stores such as Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s were seen at the show. Also spotted were buyers for specialty chains such as Sun Diego, prominent boutiques such as Bodega and RSVP Gallery, as well as the e-commerce emporium Moose LTD.
Rock City Kicks, a retailer headquartered in Little Rock, Ark., and with three locations, shopped the show. Founder Corey Bacon said that camouflage prints remain important, and fashions inspired by 1990s looks remain popular. But he also saw new trends such as oversize silhouettes and a lot of tie-dye.
Established brands exhibiting at the show included Obey Clothing, The Hundreds and Herschel Supply Co., which is popular for its accessories. The Herschel booth also showed a display of knits, including crew-neck sweaters and sweats, both introduced last year.
Show staff from the prominent streetwear and fashion brand Carrots by Anwar Carrots sported special hoodies and sweatpants.
Several new and emerging brands included Australian brand Common Dust and Los Angeles labels Darthcarve, Mansfield Outpost, Kawai, Tribe Kelley and Guillermo, a shirting brand designed by prominent architect Mark Rios from the Rios Clementi Hale Studios in Los Angeles.
The show also set aside floor space for various specialized exhibitors, including skin-care brands Salt & Stone and Lucky Bastard Co.; Jason Markk and Crep, who make sneaker-care kits; and Indvlst, which makes kits for screen-printing T-shirts at home.