Agenda Show is a popular street-style clothing trade show founded by Aaron Levant where buyers, exhibiting brands and journalists gather to peruse the upcoming fashion releases for Spring and Fall 2016.
On Monday, the Agenda team brought the show to the Magic City for the first two-day display in Miami. About 200 brands set up booths at the Mana Wynwood Convention Center with hundreds of people in attendance.
“I love this city. I hadn’t been here in like 25 years, and then I ended up coming back here recently, and just the energy, the feel, the vibe, especially here in the Wynwood district — the art the culture are pretty much aligned with what Agenda is all about,” Levant said. “I’m also a big believer that when you’re doing anything if you keep it, stagnant people get bored of it. People want new, fresh and exciting.”
Levant hosted the first Agenda Show 13 years ago at a Thai restaurant in California and has now expanded it to cities including Long Beach, Las Vegas and New York with up to 700 exhibitors. Although Miami is the smallest show AGENDA has curated, it will be back in the summer for another run in hopes of doubling its size.
“Miami is a very fashionable place, I think. You have all the elements that Agenda caters to. Those are all well-represented here, whether it’s sneaker culture, men’s contemporary or street or skate or whatever that is, it all fits in very well with Miami and I think Miami is a fashion-forward city. There’s a lot of great retail here. Everything about it was a great match.”
Another addition to the show has been the presence of women in the male-dominated industry. AGENDA WMNS launched in 2013 and was a creative initiative to add a women’s-focused section to the Agenda Brand.
“When we started the show, it was definitely very male-centric, and it still is, and women’s is something we want to incorporate more and more as a growing category for us. I have an amazing team, with people like Vanessa [Chiu], who run our women’s team, who lead the charge on that front to make sure we have the right women’s brands and are working to promote the women’s collections we have.”
Miami designer Crystal Ram, 31, said Agenda approached her because “they loved the woman’s stuff.”
“I don’t see myself as a women’s-only brand though, so I don’t find a limitation at these events,” said Ram, who founded an up-and-coming active-wear brand called Habit Activ. “I’m not intimidated because I just see it as a line that’s dope for guys too. I mean the girls’ stuff is great, but I’m really proud of the guys’ stuff. I’m ready to stand in that space.”
The show is not open to the public, and Levant doesn’t have any plans for making it a consumer show. For him, it’s about creating a platform for the industry as a hub for movers-and-shakers in the fashion world to get together, network and conduct business.
Popular brands such as Reebok, Champion, Herschel and Adidas set up booths next to up-and-coming brands including LYFE Brand or Habit Active, both Miami companies.
“The biggest metric of growth for me is the brands that have come out of the show,” Levant. “There’s brands that have started at Agenda whether it be Herschel Supply Company backpacks or brands like The Hundreds, or all these cool brands that no one even knew, they came to Agenda and, because of the success they received there and because of their momentum, are now huge household, multimillion dollar companies and names. That’s a really metric of success for me, more so than our own growth is what we’ve helped other people achieve with our platform.”
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