The 14th edition of Liberty Fairs New York that ran at Pier 94 from January 20-22, 2020 appeared to be significantly scaled down from prior editions. The show featured 85 fashion brands showing in proper booths plus a smattering of others in the special sections The Grove (wellness with a focus on CBD), Stocked Shop (15 emerging streetwear names), The General Store (homewares, apothecary, small batch goods and niche clothing) and ATL –Above Tree Line (outdoor collections).
And while Liberty may have been smaller, at least one exhibitor, Brandon Svarc of Naked & Famous Denim, said he did big business over the three days. “I can’t complain,” he said, and he and his sales team noted that they “picked up a bunch of new accounts.” That may have been due to the fact that–as usual–the Canadian brand is serving up several very unique pieces for the f/w 2020-21 including jeans made from the cotton used to make Japanese tatami mats and a “Takushima Jean” that uses hand-dyed indigo grown in Japan. The process is so special and painstaking that this very limited pant will come in special packaging and retail for a cool $880.
Other denim highlights included the core offerings from Krammer & Stoudt (a chore coat, vest and joggers, among others) that are cut and sewn in the USA with US fabrics and available for order in different denims, twills and waxed cottons. In addition, LA-based Kato returned to the show and pushed its four-way stretch denims, four-way stretch denim-look knits, gauze shirts and pieces that employ recycled cotton.
Two bigger denim brands, Prps and Robin’s Jean, also returned to Liberty but were still showing summer 2020 and/or immediates. Jerred Ciresi of Prps said it was “a little too soon” to reveal fall and that new collection would debut at Liberty Las Vegas next month. He teased that one major silhouette will be a drop skinny.
Overall, Liberty featured lots of plaid shirts, Western inspiration and rugged heritage-look boots such as those by White’s Boots, a footwear manufacturer from Spokane, Washington that was established in 1853. Western and outdoor themes were also prominent at Mister Bandana, a one-year-old bandana brand that was part of The General Store section and that retails between $25 and $45.
Knits and outwear will also be important men’s pieces come autumn. Gilbert Chen of Barque offered Fair Isle sweaters and a knit varsity-inspired cardigan plus a long sleeve striped polo with vertical stripes. And Schott NYC wowed with painted leather jackets, ’90s-style sheepskin bombers in bright, solid colors and a black-and-white houndstooth overcoat inspired by a design from its archives. Schott’s PR director, Jennifer Goldszer, aptly described it as “very Original Gangster and kind of modern punk.”
Finally, Canadian brand Kuwalla also went retro. It key pieces were hoodies screenprinted with colorful hand-drawn words and doodles that evoke old school graffiti.
The next edition of Liberty Fairs will take place at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas on February 4-6.