All Big Things Have Small Beginnings - King Apparel International Tour
The start of July saw me pack my bags up, make my bed for the last time in a while and prepare for the non-stop international trade show circuit that would see us take in Berlin fashion week, The New York Modern Assembly week of shows and finally Magic week of trade in Las Vegas.
First stop was Berlin. There are a bunch of shows to do in Berlin fashion week and actually we could fit in to at least 3-4 of them quite easily. However, this season we plumped again for Bright and it was a good call, 'cos we didn't stop. The busiest European show we’ve done as a brand since the heady days of the BBB madness in Barcelona (that was when banks made up that everyone was rich and people pissed money up the wall).
The SS15 line drew the stores we wanted and some other heavyweights, which was a nice surprise, plus we nailed down one of the biggest distribution deals we’ve done in Europe at the same time. Mission accomplished.
Business aside, we drank German beers, met Swizz Beatz and hung out, watched Germany literally annihilate the nation of Brazil and any footballing pride it held at the time (still more than England’s) and still got home in time for a cup of tea and chocolate digestive biscuit. This in spite of nearly getting tag teamed by Uber and the magical cabby whose prices went up every ten miles. He drove off with a massive knob drawn on his back window (no picture unfortunately).
Literally off the plane and onto another one. This one bound for New York. We went out early to this show as we had to tie up business with our new East coast agents. Top boys in the game, if anyone is going to cement the bastions of British streetwear in the US it’s these guys. After protracted discussions and strategising we left the showroom in uptown Manhattan with new partners on board and spent the rest of the weekend trying to find a rooftop bar to quietly toast the occasion. This didn’t really go to plan because most rooftop bars in Manhattan are populated by zero personality, whiny, clichéd jocks and city bankers in oversized shirts and pleated trousers that made me want to top myself on a recurring basis. It might have had something to do with the fact that we were in New York’s equivalent of Made in Chelsea?!
Traumatized, we went back to our apartment in the actual Chelsea (got propositioned by the ‘locals’ about a million times) and then set up our booth at the show. Agenda moved to a new location. It sucks. If you like hanging out in a massive, cold hanger where everyone looks like they could be selling insurance or maybe lawnmowers (the product isn’t important) then you should go there. They should move back to Mercer. Show was good though so can’t complain aye…
I had a good time in New York. I ate Mexican three times in a row, I went to a rooftop party and nearly saw someone fall off the roof, drank G and T’s at midnight atop the Sixty Hotel and nearly missed my plane by literally 1 minute coming home – thanks to the cabby who definitely broke the law getting to the airport. All in a weeks work.
Last up on the roster was Vegas. Anyone who knows me will know I’m not a fan of Vegas. When you look beyond the massive plastic hotel facades you realize quite quickly that the strip is one big fucking toilet.
Anyway, I always look for the up side in everything, so I proceeded to drink gin at the bar in the Wynn, win money on Roulette even though I haven’t got a fucking clue what I’m doing, get a tan in the Palazzo pool and then go and build a booth in record time all on my own. Even got the floor sticker down straight and everything.
The Agenda show in Vegas is the best one. Packed out for at least two of the three days, I secured the agents for the rest of the USA, wrote up a bunch of orders, cemented our exclusive deal with Lids and successfully managed to avoid going to any industry parties without anyone noticing. I had to be in the Wynn with the team you see, roulette, booze and all that.
As with all shows, not everything goes to plan. The show organisers managed to fuck up the last day by losing all the luggage and then not give a shit that we had no bags to put the samples in. Good old American customer service. Well done you. Insurance claim going in with those douchebags in the next week, once I’ve got over the jetlag and caught up with over 1000 emails still sitting in my inbox. If I haven’t replied yet…i've been watching this multiple times -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syRQ7iShpzY ...oh and I’ve got jet lag remember…