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Radcollector.com: Columns | Laura Austin | 2014 | October

Laura Austin

LA Men’s Market: Rejuvenating Downtown LA

13 October 2014, 22.51 | Posted in Event, Fashion, Interview | No comments »

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Walking around most parts of downtown Los Angeles 5 years ago wouldn’t have been a pretty sight. Bums owned the streets, the smell of urine filled the air, and storefronts were either vacant or not worth going into. Walk to some of those same areas today and something different fills the air, a renewed energy to bring those streets back to life. More and more respected restaurants, hotels and brands are setting up shop, making downtown a much more appealing place to eat, shop, and live. The LA Men’s Market is apart of that movement as they focus on building the menswear landscape in the area. With the start of their second event on October 13, 2014, we reached out to the founder of LA Men’s Market, Kellen Roland, to learn at little more about this relatively new tradeshow and what is happening in downtown Los Angeles…

First of all… give us a brief overview of what LA Men’s Market is:

LA Men’s Market is a curated & intimate collection of the top menswear brands coming together in Downtown Los Angeles to showcase their latest wares to industry leading buyers on a local, national & international level. There is a key focus on building the menswear market in Los Angeles and Downtown specifically as the cities evolves.

Has the event grown much from where it started in October 2013?

Yes.  We have grown and evolved.  This show we have industry leading brands from lifestyle, contemporary, action sports, street wear and the sneaker market.  Buyers are in for a treat.  Additionally, The presentation of the show has been ramped up significantly.  When you arrive to DTLA you will feel the presence of LAMM.

The event has grown in many different ways since its inception. The quality and attention to detail has really been elevated and all brands and buyers who are present next week will see incredible signage in and around the building bringing attention to the fact those in attendance truly make-up the majority of all business done in the top retailers across the US. Downtown LA has also grown in terms of its offerings for food, shopping & general cultural experiences making for an exceptional landscape within which to do business.

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There seems to be a lot changing in Los Angeles, particularly downtown. What do you think is changing and how do you feel these changes are affecting the menswear market in LA?

Downtown Los Angeles is growing and maturing at an exponential rate. Four our five years ago, walking around outside of our building would have been a terrible experience. In just the past year we’ve seen the best of the best from the restaurant, retail & hotel spaces open up shop right downtown. Industry leaders including Acne, Ace Hotel, APC, Tanner Goods, Urban Outfitters, Juice Served Here, Stumptown and a slew of others are planting their flags. These and future developments, including a relocation of Tom Ford’s Fall 2015 runway show from London to Los Angeles, are a direct reflection of the evolution of DTLA and proof that it is America’s next great city.

Being someone who works with, and sees a lot of brands on a daily basis… are there any trends you think brands are gravitating towards right now or is everyone kind of doing their own thing?

Trends are a funny thing with a somewhat negative connotation, as they tend to come and go with brands jumping on and off the bandwagon. Rather than speaking on trends, I am happy to see a renewed focus on quality products made from the best materials available.  Sportswear and functionality has also become a staple within the realm of men’s fashion with the consumer looking for something that not only looks good but also maintains a purpose within their life. When all is said and done, once the public has a desired look in mind it becomes the job of the retailer to offer those garments while staying true to their personal DNA.

What makes LA Men’s Market different from other trade shows like Agenda and Capsule?

First and foremost Agenda & Capsule are beyond important to our industry and have been the vehicle for success for a plethora of the great brands we see in the market today. We are the only show to call downtown Los Angeles home and maintain a specific focus on the stereotypically “smaller” seasons being Summer & Holiday. We offer an opportunity for the best retailers, brands & media in Southern California and beyond to get together and do business in an intimate and inspiring setting.

Do you have plans or expectations of what you would like to this event become?

The expectation is quite simply to create the best environment for business to be accomplished in an enjoyable and efficient manner. The brands, showrooms & retailers already exist; we are just connecting the dots and bringing everyone together in our backyard.

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