Liberty returned to its home at Pier 94 last week with a nice mix of new and established brands. Exhibitors were mostly upbeat on the final day of its three-day run. The main complaint was about the heat. On Monday, an arctic-like day weatherwise, inside the pier was apparently frigid but by the following day the heat had been restored.
Here are our top picks from the show…
Best new denim brand: Trinidad 3
Launched by Trinidad Garcia iii, a former US Marine who served for eight years and then attending design school, he started selling this California-based premium line a few years ago out of a traveling Airstream and reaching end customers directly. This is his first season wholesaling. With their red waistbands and side stripes, the jeans are based off a Marine’s dress uniform and have very unique washes. He also offers a magnificent denim jacket that is based off an old WWII model. Most importantly, though, he gives back to his fellow veterans by hiring them and featuring them as models in brand promotions.
Most unique denim brand: Naked & Famous
Brandon Svarc continues to create some of the coolest jeans at Naked & Famous, which now opens a standalone store in downtown Manhattan. Among his treats for fall 2019 are The Lord of Nep pant in a super nappy fabric and a 23 oz jean called the Emperor of Slub. Also on tap is a new anime collaboration with the famous Japanese series Dragon Ball Z.
Best Australian export: Neuw
A longtime favorite from Down Under now, Neuw continues to innovate with its Zero sustainable collection and another that reinterprets workwear, including a boiled wool white worker’s jacket.
Blingiest brand: Robin’s Jean
Designer Rob Chretien knows his customer likes to make a bold statement and he again provides in spades this season with limited edition pieces such as a jean jacket with an animal print back, jeans with colorful printed silk insets, bleaching details and all kinds of studs and stones.
Best twills: Kato
For fall this pants-maker offers a series of French terry twills with four-way stretch that look good and are super comfortable.
Best new performancewear-meets-street: Elbowgrease Athletics
This NYC-based brand uses performance fabrics – and made several orders at Liberty – for its streety looks that often hookup with bright colors, designs and graphics. And it’s very affordable: Track jackets wholesale in the $20 range.
Best athletic-meets-denim: Prps
With a new designer at the helm, Prps is blending active/workout details with its famous denim. It’s vintage-inspired varsity jacket is a total winner and the jean jacket with track jacket-like sleeves is also super cool.
Nicest vests: Ocean Surplus
The French brand’s use of dressy fabrics contrasted with baseball team patches made for some very fun yet elegant pieces.
Best bucket hat: WeSC
The bucket hat headwear trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and WeSC’s interpretation of it with a REBELLIOUS YOUTH model was one of the best we saw all season.
Best classic outerwear: Cockpit USA
This classic B-6 shearling model has been updated to be in contrasting black and white, making it look modern and not so military.