In a world of “fast fashion” celebrating limited releases of simple box logo printed tees (not to name any names), it’s relieving to see up and coming brands with unbelievable craftsmanship and originality.
Agenda is a very unique place that gives life to the storefront, rather than the online shopping world. It’s important to keep these shops alive, along with the brands inside of them. Speaking to each creator or sales rep was just as exciting as viewing the actual product – there’s something special about being able to hear from the designers themselves about what makes the piece stand out. Here are some of my 5 favorite installments from this season.
A men’s and women’s design company out of Los Angeles, California, Marna Ro has created a unique aesthetic for its clients. They had a collection under the Lush Network exhibit along with other brands from the network such as Represent and Casbia shoes. The first thing that caught my eye from the rack was the beautiful paneling in a pair of seemingly ordinary pair of olive cargo pants. Once you got closer, you could see the amount of work went into each piece of material sewn together to make the contrasting black pockets, seams down the front of the leg, and the waistband was even layered to make a statement. Their other pieces feature beautifully destroyed denim and jackets with entirely embroidered floral sleeves. Well-crafted, classic, feminine, but rough.
As a well known and consistently noteworthy brand, I expected great things from Mr. Completely’s booth in Las Vegas. They came with the classic silhouettes from the brand. Large industrial zippers for the side pocket of their jeans, big rings for the zipper itself and simple dark to light contrast in their collection were all prominent in the designs. This time they came with a new addition: metallic paint. Rough brush strokes and random splashes of silver and gold brought another dimension to their original, well loved jeans. It wasn’t overpowering, however, because at certain angles the paint blended colorlessly into the wash of the denim. In their outerwear, they take their standard large zippers down the back for detail. Some hoodies featured an industrial style safety pin in the neckline for added savagery. Very high quality products with unique industrial add ons. Mr. Completely never disappoints.
The rack was seemingly plain, with mostly white and ice blue pieces. What wasn’t plain was the originality of the pieces. Hailing from Korea, Drink Beer Save Water features an exceptional use of patchwork. Although they were established in 2008, they called upon the inspiration of the 90’s for this collection. Raw denim and linen were used to make some of the coolest jeans I’ve seen to date. Loosely stitched and hanging, the white and blue made a really great contrast. My favorite pieces were two jackets with detachable sleeves. One was secured by zippers, using cut and sew denim of different colors. The other was a beautiful pale blue denim wash that was attached at the sleeves by just a few buttons. This brand could easily appeal to those of all styles. It could be dressed down as a grungy piece or worn simply as a dress or with a clean fit for a sharper look. High quality. Incredible originality. This is a statement brand for sure.
Bright colors and bold prints were all over this exhibit. Ragged Priest, out of the U.K., is known for pieces with a lot of pop and they didn’t disappoint the Agenda crowd. A bright blue fur jacket with a few patches scattered throughout was at the front of the exhibit. It led to red and green plaid pants that would have horrified the average person, but the design was actually very flattering for the pattern and colors. Chunky metal rings, rhinestones and mesh were all through the collection and it added a rough but feminine touch to the pieces. Their use of checkerboard print was wild but understated in their sport influenced designs. Very unique brand. Bold as hell.
An up and coming brand out of Las Vegas, Operation Rally is refreshingly dark. What really caught a lot of attention was the booth itself. With the look of a post apocalyptic feel of the designs, the booth had a creepy figure wrapped in a green tarp, roped down as if it was being restrained. It got so much hype it was featured on the Agenda Instagram and in many other’s Instagrams as well. As far as the tees go, they were also drawing a bit of attention for a freshly started brand. All black, with bold white and green distressed images was the majority of the collection. My personal favorite piece was one depicting a large Rally logo that was being held up and dragged down on one side by the hands of a skeleton. Green jewels and velvet prints are included in some other solid designs. I’m looking forward to seeing this brand grow.
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