The Pool show, created by Los Angeles-based Republica showroom owner Ronda Walker in 2002 as an alternative venue to MAGIC, matured this season with more lines than ever before. Held at the Alexis Park resort in Las Vegas August 25-27, show has grown rapidly, having almost doubled in size since it began last year. In fact, Walker was forced to place dozens of brands hoping to exhibit on a waiting list.
New this season was a shoe show, featuring 50 international directional footwear ranges for men and women including PF Flyers, Wilson and Irregular Choice. Heritage sport brands dominated this section, while bright, colorful, whimsical styles for women added a bit of excitement.
While Pool is known for its large selection of graphic tees, the show included more sportswear lines from companies such as Triko and Cover. Women’s lines such as Leroy’s Girl and newcomer Belka also had more company this season as women’s collections were increased. Over 1,000 people attended the show, 70% of which were buyers.
Key trends included the Natural Look using earthy materials such as hemp and burlap with nature-oriented graphics. Color was important for both men and women as bright neons and bold primary colors were staple palettes, rather than accents, throughout the show.
Women’s lines focused on feminine inspirations ranging from Jackie O. and Marilyn Monroe inspired styles, to more ’80s street looks in bright colors.
Graphic tees from a wide range of artists were still the main offering. LA-based Leche stood out with its pink South American inspired poncho with bright colored graffiti inspired felt patches.
Walker expects Pool to grow even more next year so the venue will be expanded to accommodate more designers. The next Pool will be held in February 2004 in Las Vegas. (Edina Sultanik, New York Bureau Chief)