The Top Emerging Trends Seen at day one of Agenda Long Beach January 2016
Reporting by Rhea Cortado, Hayley Helms, Kelsey Smith
As Agenda Long Beach got started, we set out to track down the most prominent overarching trends seen at the show.
The crossover element of brands dipping their toes into new, ancillary markets, and expanding into new categories was strong. Overall, brands are revealing technical stories that, for some of the older brands, pay homage to their heritage, while newer brands are vocalizing the relevance and need for technical features to become more relevant.
Innovative tech stories were also a major buzz amongst many at the show, becoming almost a staple component of many shoe-wear brands’s stories. Tavik rolled out its new Interface Apparel Integration Technology for its men’s collection, featuring on-the-go iPhone charging, and a 'FORM' Backup Battery pocket with hidden and convenient media routing. Salty Crew was on hand showing off its new Virtual Reality console, which allows you to take a trip to Tahiti alongside CJ Hobgood and company, while never actually leaving the comforts of the tradeshow floor, and TOMS, Adidas and Native were showcasing their 3-D technology for Fall 2016.
On the women’s side, many brands were making a push toward more weather-resistant outerwear pieces, such as Element Eden, Poler, Volcom, and Vans.
While these jackets aren't aiming to compete against The North Face, Patagonia, or Arc'teryx in technical features, brands are adding DWR water-resistant coatings, tougher exterior fabrics, and heavier linings. Element Eden added heavier weight quilted linings, full faux Sherpa linings, and 1000MM P/U coatings. They also introduced a weather resistant Rain Collection, including a raincoat and accessories.
Poler's apparel collection has been unisex, but they started adding women specific cuts. For Fall, the brand reinforced its outerwear collection, including a down jacket, down vest, and waterproof jackets.
Several brands were leaning toward elevated basics, such as RVCA, which was introducing drapey, soft cotton and poly fabric tees at a slightly higher price point ($35-$45). Volcom also had basic T-shirt silhouettes in novelty washes. Tavik's "Dirt Shirts" also fall into this elevated basics category.
RVCA's "Selects” introduced elevated tees in a drapey, soft cotton/poly fabric with finer details and higher price point of $35-$45 retail, compared to printables price point of $25 tees.
A potential “new frontier” for women’s is the loungewear category, with RVCA‘s Sunday Collection coming back strong and adding winter weight sweaters for Fall. Volcom introduced a small lounge pants grouping, and Ethika debuted its women's collection at the show.
Overall, women’s brands seemed to be slowing down from fashion trends and getting back into classic army and athletic men’s silhouettes, sized for women. Vans showed bomber jackets, coach's jackets, and military parkas with men's-inspired styling, cut for women. Tomboy style, although not new to the space, also seemed to be an ongoing theme for women’s endemic brands, with jackets and flannels.