Axis Show 2015
The debut of Axis, a new fashion lifestyle trade event for the next generation of trend-focused women, kicked off Sunday, February 22 at Pier 94 in NYC. The show has an interesting mix of brands from several major categories, including active lifestyle & swimwear, fashion lifestyle, beauty and home, and intimates. One major point of difference was the carefully thought-out food selection. Ellary’s Greens were on hand dishing up Kale salads, lentil soup, and fresh juices, and there were also gluten-free tacos, sushi, and other farm-to-table style offerings—the perfect selection for the show’s target demographic. Carlsbad, Calif.-based Mamma Chia was also on the scene, serving up healthy drinks.
Take a look through our updated photo gallery to get a look at what TW Business saw at the show:
For a breakdown of exactly what the show is about, read our exclusive interview with Show Director Vanessa Chiu.
Monday at the show we checked in with several brands from our world like RVCA, Herschel, Insight, Tavik, and Stance. Stance, which was exhibiting just across the aisle at Capsule, was showing a premium offering of its women’s socks, and seemed to be getting some good foot traffic from the combination of buyers at both shows. On the product launch side, Herschel was another brand unveiling new product at Axis. The Liberty London collaboration bag, which hits retail exclusively with Liberty London in March and then will be stateside after that, was a big highlight for the brand. Herschel was also introducing a women’s Fall 15 collection of bags for the first time ever, according to Communications Manager Allison Butula.
RVCA was rolling out some key pieces for the Holiday 15 update to its new loungewear collection, which was launched at Agenda Long Beach. RVCA Women’s National Sales Manager Lauren Holtz says the brand will continue to zero in on loungewear as opposed to activewear because it’s more aligned with the brand’s true target demographic. RVCA was seeing a variety of buyers at the show, and had a good appointment with buyers from Urban Outfitters, according to Holtz.
Tavik was also having a strong show, and had met with buyers from Planet Blue, Asos, Urban Outfitters, several Miami and local NY boutique buyers, and even a few international accounts from Japan and Israel, according to Women’s Sales Manager Jenny Moreno.
Knot Sisters, a brand founded by former industry veterans Jamie Reese and Cheryl Brubaker, was showing at Axis and seemed to be getting some solid foot traffic during both Sunday and Monday’s show. Co-founder Reese was at the booth Monday and said the three-year-old brand is gaining traction in several crossover accounts like Swell.com, but their main focus is on boutique specialty retailers. Rees and Brubaker both come from surf apparel backgrounds, having met while working at Roxy. A big story at the show for Knot Sisters was the introduction of its bag collection, a small offering that will debut for Fall 15.
On the product side, swimwear brands had a dominant presence, and many of them were rethinking their distribution strategy to include a mid-summer injection delivery between resort roll outs in March and mid-year August deliveries. L*Space and Beach Riot were both rolling out brand new collections that will deliver June 1, 2015, and are meant to freshen up the retail floor and react to the current consumer landscape. Beach Riot was also using the show as a platform to roll out its new apparel collection, which has been styled with a close eye to detail by Founder and Designer Nicole Hanriot.
Stone Fox Swim was launching a new line of activewear at the show, which will hit retail in May. The collection will be multi-seasonal rolling out for Fall/Winter and again for Spring/Summer, according to Founder Chelsea Bell. Seea was also debuting its new high-end collection, LEI by SEEA, which is Owner and Designer Amanda Chinchelli’s spin on a more sophisticated, resort wear look. The line features a sleek black material that’s midway between Lycra and neoprene, accented with a muted tropical print that Seea originally created as part of a collaboration with Vans footwear. The brand is also doing an exclusive one and two-piece collaboration with the Ace Hotel, after its Capitola suit was the number one best selling item for the hotel retailer last season.
Professional Surfer and artist/photographer Kassia Meador was debuting her new line of wetsuits at the show. Kassia’s design aesthetic features minimal branding, and fun colorways with a variety of tie-dye blocks on her full and half suits. One exciting project that was turning heads is Meador’s collaboration with AllSwell, EIR and Summer Bummer on The Kit, which is a perfectly packaged assortment of everything one might need to hit the beach. The Kit includes Meador’s signature surf wax, EIR’s Surf Mud sunscreen (an all-natural concoction of Zinc and chocolate—which deepens hydration, increases blood flow to the skin, and contains free radical-fighting antioxidants, not to mention smells amazing), and an AllSwell notebook for doodling and daydreaming, all bundled into a Summer Bummer neoprene bag, which is made in Los Angeles.
Several brands from our space, like Otis, RVCA, Obey and Stussy were also showing, and getting a chance to get in front of a different type of buyer.
And the show, although mainly geared toward women, really did have something for everyone. A couple of brands were showing unisex collections. Electric & Rose, based in Venice Beach, Calif., was showing their women’s activewear and apparel collections, as well as its men’s Venice Beach Pant, a 4-way stretch, gusseted pant that can be worn to surf, hike, or even to a yoga class. Electric & Rose Co-founder Eric Balfour said the idea for the pant was born out of necessity on a surf trip, when he was looking for something to paddle out in that would give him the freedom of movement and would not chafe. He had a “Eureka moment” when he realized that no other brands were making this type of product, he says. The Venice Beach Pant retails for $149.
On the tech side, Olloclip was rolling out its brand new 4-in-1 lens for the iPhone 6, which has been completely redesigned to incorporate a front lens for the #selfie generation and a wearable pendant system that makes the lens system easily accessible. The brand also has big plans to launch its new iPhone case in March, which has been updated to a sleek cold-molded hardshell and allows the Olloclip to fit over the case without having to remove it. The case will be at specialty retailers as well as Apple stores and will retail for $30, according to Director of Marketing Tim DeBrincat.