The gang was all here for the Fall 2020 edition of LA Market Week. And, among those avoiding, or being barred from, international travel, the only thing contagious was the atmosphere (too soon?).
The California Market Center is celebrating a fairly high tech remodel with the first of three buildings finished. This is where they housed the Label Array showrooms, spread over a few floors with extra cool, seemingly intuitive elevators. Here, women’s, children’s, accessories, home goods and men’s showed the latest styles along with seminars on buying, merchandizing, appealing to Gen Z, sales strategies and other engaging, important industry topics.
Meanwhile, the last hurrah of the adjacent CMC buildings made a nice little welcome to debut show O2. This premium lifestyle tradeshow offers a curated mix of ethically-made and designer brands from around the globe. With plans to grow on an integrated platform of online resources, scheduled events and technological know how, O2 is building a community of like-minded people, retailers and brands who demand sustainable and ethical production.
The gathering was diverse and friendly, showing all things from beauty products to men’s and women’s wear. Los Poblanos sat near the front, displaying their essential oils. The namesake Los Poblanos is a 25-acre historic property in Albuquerque, New Mexico with a 50-guest hotel and, it just so happens, a lovely organic lavender farm. The owners began harvesting and using the lavender in essential oil products to complement the hotel guest experience but it’s grown into a business with over 150 US retailers, including Whole Foods.
Clarke & Barba, a husband and wife accessories team, makes small batch leather bags and belts out of their home workshop in Culver City, California. They began making for themselves, to satisfy their own creative whims, but, not surprisingly, their friends wanted some too and it’s grown from there. Nearby, Dynamikos sunglasses set up a charming display of socially conscious sunglasses, made in Japan with the utmost of care and coming with, wait for it, a lifetime guarantee.
Tact & Stone is a newcomer to the scene, weaving recycled cotton into handsome menswear button down shirts and tees. The principle of the brand is based around some seriously eco-conscious research and development by the brand’s owner, Landon Nash. After reading an article spotlighting the wastefulness of the fashion industry, Nash was compelled to leave his job as a San Francisco real estate agent, heeding the call and searching out the right partners, the right supply chain and the right sourcing to create some of the world’s first truly sustainable menswear.
Right Brain was on the O2 scene, with their murals and custom art collabs including bamboo custom skateboards and a custom bamboo bicycle. And Dollhouse Boutique owner Natalie Karyl lit up the room with not just her smile, but also her brightly colored, super fun array of dresses, skirts and tops.
Meanwhile, Designers & Agents was a hit, yet again, with their style of amity, in a setting where, rather than hiding out alone in their booths, instead, brands sit and visit with each other, chat about lunch and welcome buyers with warm smiles. Let’s start off with something enviable by Caddis, a company helmed by veterans of both Arnette and Oakley who found, as they got a tad older, that they needed readers and blue light protection, too. And readers weren’t cool. Until now. Caddis makes needing and wearing readers feel somehow trendy and it seems like they have quite the hit on their hand. Wardrobe of readers, anyone?
Plant Lore Agency sat across the aisle with their plant-based beauty and health products. The only agency of its kind, Plant Lore started out showcasing CBD offerings and now has sprouted to include organics, plants and botanicals that lift moods, relieve stress, suppress anxiety and basically reboot the system. This includes, beauty lovers, a CBD foundation that doesn’t just cover up skin imbalances but, instead, fixes them.
Enrica is a sustainable brand from Tokyo, which shared knits, this season, taken by shaving the animal and not killing it. Down the next aisle sat Epice and their high end scarves and accessories made with natural fibers in Denmark. MJ Watson is fine, sumptuous Italian knitwear and H+ Hannoh Wessel is Italian and German design that works with world famous Scottish Harris Tweed. Rounding off that particular aisle was Evam Eva from Japan. They are a brand all about the colors that reflect the mountainous area in which the clothing is produced. It’s a reflection of the environment in soft silhouettes.
And that was just the start of the exciting and interesting brands on hand for Fall 2020. See you in June, LA!