Sep 12, 2010 - 7:46 PM
At what other tradeshow can you find indoor skate ramps, an ongoing mini rave, and dozens of bikini-clad women than the 2010 ASR Marketplace?
People from all over the globe showed up at the San Diego Convention Center the weekend of Aug. 13-15 for the most on-point tradeshow of its kind. Focusing on the skate, surf, swim, fashion, lifestyle and street industries, the Action Sports Retailers Marketplace featured four different areas – ASR, Class@ASR, Crossroads and Sacred Craft.
ASR and the companies present certainly knew how to mix business with pleasure. Tradeshow goers experienced many complimentary services, including plush lounges that provided booze, a salon and barber shop for a quick stop and chop and a self-serve coffee and candy bar. Alongside the “energy” bars, a playground area with billiards, foosball and air hockey were available for friendly matches. I was lucky enough to pick up a caramel-frosted brownie – aka crack brownie – from one of the few carts with snacks and beverages pushed by a lovely lady. Lastly, free pedicab – bicycle taxi – rides transported attendees to and from Crossroads, the essential skate show. Other attractions included lip-busting roller derby, skateboard exhibitions and trick contests, and swimsuit fashion shows.
Aside from the amenities provided and events showcased by ASR Marketplace, businesses put their own spin on capturing the crowd. Volcom attracted attendees with their bass-pumping techno music and its entourage of wig-wearing ravers. And if that didn’t get your attention, they were giving away trucker hats donned with customizable stickers. While other booths also used music and giveaways to bait the crowd, many companies had a fly PYT in a bikini standing in front. Reef had exotic models autographing free calendars featuring their, uh, assets. Roxy had arts and crafts and Vans had hella snacks, including tasty waffles on sticks.
Upon passing the fun on the frontlines, business was waiting within. All companies showcased their newest fashion and product lines. As an Oh Dang! ambassador, I did my best in scoping out the latest fashions, accessories and products at ASR that you readers need to keep on the radar.
Many brands were fairly new, but established names also made an appearance during Class@ASR. As Working Media and not a Buyer, I wasn’t able to preview the newest lines of LRG and Stussy, nor did they give me any keywords to be excited about. On the flip side, many emerging brands were stoked on showcasing their stuff. Most lines will be released for the spring/summer season of 2011, unless noted otherwise. Let’s start from the bottom up – footwear.
Step Yo' Game Up!
After visiting several shoe companies, I spotted a trend on what’s hot right now: lifestyle-focused, low cut and vulcanized rubber. Every company has its own version of these features. But just as well, each has a variety of trendy styles from high-tops to futuristic designs and a wide range of different materials.
Radii Footwear (radiifootwear.com)
For being in the shoe game for only two years, Radii Footwear, an Orange County company, already has accounts overseas and can also be found at your local Sheikh and, for SF heads, True Sole. Part of the Black Book collection, the cork-patterned Hamptons are sure to make some eyes pop. Look out for the wood-grained Hamptons; you’d swear they were clogs’ cooler cousin. According to owner Casey Arisohn, kicks for kids will be available for the holidays.
DVS / Lakai (dvsshoes.com / lakai.com)
Under the umbrella of Podium Distribution, both companies offer shoes for the average action sports guy. Keep in mind that Lakai is strictly skate – the same company that last year collaborated with Spike Jonze, director/writer of Where the Wild Things Are. International Sales Manager Justin Reyes explains that Diamond Supply Co. has licensed DVS to design, produce and sell a new shoe line. These brands can be found at FTC and Villains.
Creative Recreation (cr8rec.com)
Known for its upscale footwear, Creative Recreation has added a new style to its prestigious name. The Essentials line, CR’s version of the low cut, vulcanized shoe can be found in stores next year. The line has a nautical feel with grommets and laces on the outer edge of the shoe. The already released Capri high-top can be transformed into a low cut by unzipping the upper part. This brand can be found at True Sole, Macy’s, Nordstrom and Barneys.
One of the few companies representing the skate scene from the Bay, Huf brings its own version of what’s hot right now, showcasing its new line of low-top kicks. One style to look out for has the Huf logo repetitively emblazoned on the shoe, like a designer handbag. This and other new styles will be released for spring 2011. Huf hats will be available during the same time. And if you don’t already know, stop by Huf on Sutter to cop this exclusive gear.
So Fresh and So Clean
For a skate show, I managed to find the hottest up-and-coming urban lines. Peeped a line from the East Coast, serving up a fresh feel. West Coast represented with two brands from SoCal, each with a edgy feel. They all brought something to the table: style, art and attitude.
This lifestyle clothing brand hails from the Big Apple, fusing hip-hop and skate cultures. Entrée believes that “originality stands alone,” bringing to the table a style that serves the New York underground cultures. With its crossforked logo and play on pop culture, it is one brand sure to be on menus, err, racks in a street wear store near you. It has a yellow shirt with a thick, solo zig-zag stripe, instead of going all the away across, plummets downward like a stock market drop in a design called Charlie Down. In San Francisco, hit up Mack or Status to get a taste of what Entrée has to offer.
Revolutionary Me (revolutionaryme.com)
Meaningful art on a shirt is basically the premise of Revolutionary Me. By no means are they simple art nor shallow messages. The SoCal company has commissioned an artist from UCLA who draws on canvas and the final product is put on shirts. Each thought-out design has its own special meaning and value, like Earth Elements which fuses the basic earth elements (fire, water, air and earth) with the hip-hop essentials (DJing, emceeing, graffiti and music). Revolutionary Me has already reached the hands of some hip-hop notables, including several members of the Wu-Tang Clan, the Dogg Pound, Immortal Technique and more. Visit the Web-site to become a fashion game soldier.
True Love & False Idols (tlfi.com)
This LA clothing company has ties to the Bay Area by way of Black Claw tattoo artist and painter, Henry Lewis. True Love & False Idols’ Hollyhood series by Lewis gives the most famous celebrities, like Julia Roberts, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna and Kim Kardashian, a gangsta makeover. Other artists are commissioned by TLFI, each with their own bold artwork. The logo itself, uzi-wielding Reggie the koala, gives this brand a classy, yet cut-throat appeal. Next spring, look out for the brand’s first hat line and inphonics, ear buds built in the hood drawstrings. This is a brand that is surely to make a statement – “in love with a lifestyle I can’t afford.” Visit the Web-site for more details.
On the Side
Like a side of fries complements a burger, accessories go well with fashion. I really didn’t think to run into accessory brands at a skate show, but I’ve never been so now that I know, it only makes sense to list a few. Although it ain’t really focused on skaters and whatever, this could be for anyone. Here are a few companies that you may find useful.
Did you ever fumble around figuring out how to tie a scarf perfectly? Turtlescarf scarves make it easy. It is essentially a scarf attached to a turtleneck. This fashion accessory is not only stylish, but practical and warm for all of you who know how drastically the weather can change in San Francisco. They range in different colors and styles, including ones with pockets, two tails and hoods. Kids sizes are available. Visit the Web-site for an innovative way to keep your neck warm.
Another Bay Area company represents at ASR, showcasing its line of products, including laptop cases, sleeves and bags. Since the recent release of the iPhone 4 in late June, the slider cases have been flying off shelves. For next spring, keep an eye out for a collaboration with a well-known celebrity.
Beats by Dr. Dre (beatsbydre.com)
Mr. Chronic himself, Dr. Dre, was intimately involved in the engineering of these headphones. Backed by Monster, Beats by Dr. Dre are a line of high-quality headphones. They range from headphones that are especially made for the high-definition sounds of the studio to on-the-go all-around in-ear headphones. Diddy and Lady Gaga sponsored their own headphones through this brand – Diddy Beats and Heart Beats, respectively. This is sound quality you have to hear to believe - if HDTV is for your eyes, Beats by Dr. Dre are for the ears. Pick up a pair at your local Best Buy.
Ryan Baladad is a freelance contributor to Oh Dang!