Can I just be a bit biased for a second? I love Agenda. I really do. I’ve watched them grow from humble beginnings to become this streetwear industry juggernaut that holds their flagship show in my hometown of Long Beach, California. I’ve also been a bit worried about them lately. When Aaron Levant bid adieu, I wondered about the show’s fate. But let me assure you, readers, Agenda is just fine. Dare I say, this season’s Long Beach show was the most vibrant and fun in their history. And I mean it.
Agenda was the first to see the genius in including direct to consumer aspects and their other show, ComplexCon takes that to even greater levels. Agenda also has a third festival day that is open to the public and full of exclusive shopping and performances by the likes of Lil Yachty, Brockhampton and Blondie Beach. This season also saw a fitting co-event with the Dew pro skate tour. But, fortunately, never forgetting their roots, Agenda still gives the first two days over to their bread and butter, the streetwear trade and its retailers, buyers, sales teams and media outlets.
This season was less about individual, segregated apparel and footwear booths, though, of course, those were still well represented. For the most part, this Agenda show was more about a sort of community with interactive collaborations, art installations, delicious treats and customizable experiences. FlexFit was there with blank caps. Just tag them on Insta, grab a cap and use their giant art table to make it unique. The brand was then posting photos of the finished products on a giant grid. Champions offered on site embroidery just down the way as well.
Chinatown Market aimed to get creative with tons of Dickies blank sweatshirts and shirts that could be airbrushed, screen printed, etc. Dickies worked with a lot of folks at Agenda this season, decorating their own booth with a collection of vintage Harley motorcycles. And Chinatown Market extended its range by taking on a little collab with Never Made, mixing a cool New York Jewish Hebrew style lettering with Never Made’s cholo Old English font vibe. Oy, such a mix, vato!
Rip ‘n Dip offered free ice cream treats from its giant, pink truck, their signature kitty perched atop, adorably flipping off the sugar-loving crowd. There was also a few indoor skate ramps, open to attendees, and a large arcade area with games such as Pac Man, The Simpsons, California Speed, Fighter, all the favorites. The Berrics skate deck area was as much of a party as usual, crowded with buyers but also old-home-week catch ups.
New Agenda section, Vinyl was an interesting addition, showcasing small record labels and distributors such as Long Beach’s own Porch Party, which supports local bands of any genre and helps them reach a greater audience. Orange Crush Vintage is another new face at Agenda. But Jess Tart, who owns a warehouse full of cool finds in Seattle, is not new to the trade scene. He ran a cash and carry shop at Capsule for ten years before moving over to Agenda where eager shoppers could pile through exceptional patches, badges, jackets and treasures of all kinds. Another new face at Agenda, Uzumaki, made a bold entrance with a huge furry art installation that the female textile artist of the same name is up for hire to install at your next event.
As I said, I love Agenda. And what’s not to love?