Recap of VENUE L.A.

The VENUE Tradeshow made their re-introduction into the world a couple weeks ago at The Reef in D.T.L.A., and their efforts were quite impressive. Receiving RSVP's from most of the industry's biggest brands and names, Venue took their previous roster of brands on it's coattails to a very intimate, special show filled with some of the most exciting, quickly emerging independent brands as well as the industry's leading labels. During the show though, I decided to take a walk around to meet with a lot of the booths at the show to have a chat and to get to know the individuals behind the brand. It's really something to see passion at it's highest level within someone or a group of people pushing and working together for a common goal, and it really is encouraging to be around it regardless of what the brand is or about.
The best show staffers that always came with a smile and endless supply of Boxed Water. 
Here's a wall banner we had done with Seaside Visuals. We had it made for a photo booth backdrop for anyone that wanted their pic taken, but really my intentions was to invite all of the other brand pushers in the building to take a pic. We have a few interviews that we got through the show with a few of the brands owners there (which will be up in the blog shortly along with the photo booth pics) the backdrop will make more sense then...not that it shouldn't any less now
Isaiah either playing Call of Duty or looking at porn at the booth, along with Anf who handles all of your online if you got any issues, look for him.
Isaiah handles all of our Westcoast Retailers and he's pretty much an All-Star within our company. They say a company is as good as the people behind it, and Kennedy has been blessed to have a full roster of All-Stars that support and push the brand. Underdogs by birth, definitely winners by decision.  
The homies Mateo and Weezy with DYNT is bringing the heat with their vintage distressed tees and denim jackets. Keep a look out for them.
Diamond Supply Co. in attendance, all they would let us snap a photo of was this sign and that baseball bat. Thanks.
Breezy Excursion with their fully functioning electric chair. Don't forget to wet the sponge.
A few years ago when I was just a teenager I remember meeting and talking with some of the guys at a show down in San Diego, and I met a guy starting out with his brand and I'll never forget it to this day. He was there with his business partner and they were building the booth with their own hands out of lumber bought from Home Depot that very morning. He told me his name was Jonas, and I'll never forget seeing the amount of heart and passion he had for his brand. I saw him humbly sweeping and picking up trash around his booth, engaging with anyone willing to listen to what he had to say about what his brand meant to him. I still carry that memory with me today, and seeing the journey that LRG has taken doesn't surprise me one bit. Underground Inventive, Overground Effective - R.I.P. Jonas Bevacqua
K-WAY, represented by The Flagship Agency, is most recognized by their iconic Windbreaker Jacket. Checking out the line though it seems like they've expanded their collection into luggage, other options for outerwear and hats. One of my favorite brands, they're also a frequent collaborator with J.Crew.
HOWE, represented by The Park Showroom, is one of the veterans of the show for sure. 
Matiere (which means Material in Latin) is also represented by The Park Showroom, and they use some fabrics that I've never even seen or heard of. That sweater and bottom piece is made of a material called Alpaca which is sourced from an animal with the same name. Feels like sheep's wool but warmer and softer. Need to find out where to find that fabric so I can make some rugs.
One of the obvious hottest brands on the market today, Primitive was also in attendance at the show. Peep the cheech and chong decks. 
Making it's brand debut, EVERYDAY VICTORY probably had one of the dopest booth set-ups I've seen in a long time. Spoke to the homie Zach and had a little Q&A regarding the background of the brand and I'm already a fan. Keep a look out for the brand soon!
New comer on the scene, Doni started "Fortune" brand only 10 months ago. Hailing from Santa Barbara where his whole collection is developed and manufactured.
Big ups to him and his new venture - The things we build, end up building us. 
PSC - Pocket Square Clothing was started in 2011 by Rodolfo and Andrew equipped with nothing but an architectural and business degree. Checking out their stuff firsthand, it doesn't surprise me that it's all made here in Los Angeles. If you're looking to dapper up your closets peep their website: 
Above Royalty Clothing is a Venue show native. Ramsin's been in the game longer than most out there which means he's figured out how to pay his bills and carry on. That takes some good discipline and dedications for sure, he's here by himself too. Reminds me of my first year walking into shops by myself sometimes with nothing but a briefcase of samples. Big ups to AR - keep grinding
My first time seeing and meeting the boys behind Dime a Dozen Clothing Co. and I'm surprised I haven't seen them before. Must mean I need to stick my head out of my desk more, but they have one of the most solid collections around. Run by four friends, seeing the push and passion behind the label I can't see how they can't get to where they're going. Peep the "Blue Dream" Tee - good seeing you dudes, stay humble, but stay hungry fam
Stoked to see and meet the guys behind REASON finally, I remember them from like 10 years ago. Had some of the best tee shirt designs around, they've obviously long graduated and move on to a full line of goods. Much you can learn from these veterans in the game, been grinding since 2004. 
DOPE. Snuck in to this booth to snap some pics when no one was around up until dude (Great Scott!) popped up in my ear and made me dookie in pants. Streetwear has definitely upped the game as a whole from just tees and hats, and DOPE is definitely a brand that has the brand power to go way beyond that. Super solid collection, keep a look out for it soon or hit up the shop on Fairfax. 
The homies from ROSEWOOD Cutters on the scene hooking it up as always. Congratulations on their new location in L.A. on La Cienega. Hit up my guy Jon for a quick fade, dude is on point -
The homie LUMBO on business as usual holding down the 40's & Shorties and V/SUAL booth. About 50% of my sock drawer is 40's & Shorties (can we make it 100%, where you at?) they continually bring out the sickest prints and the quality is for real legit. Good to see them here killing it as always.
VENUE INSIGHT is a very up close and personal panel led by some of the industry's veterans and leaders.
Dennis Calvero - Founder of Crooks & Castles,
Lanie Albania - Founder/Creative Director of HELLZ BELLZ,
Stephon Malbon - Co-Founder of Frank 151,
James Bond - Co-Founder of Undefeated spoke on the first day.
Second day's roster was equally as stacked with
Andy Nguyen - Co-Founder of Afters Ice Cream,
Rob Heppler - Co Founder/VP of Buscemi,
Will Nichols - Social Media Manager of Highsnobiety,
and Ibn Jasper - Creative Director of Cordova for Diamond Supply Co.
Truly insightful and eye-opening especially for those of you looking to jump in to this industry. A time for any of you to ask some of those un-answered questions with people that will not only give you an answer, but offer good guidance on what they did, what they would've done, and what they're looking to do. Again, if you're thinking of starting your own brand you better have had the initiative to have attended or are planning on to for the next one...if not, don't quit your day job.
 A solid show, expecting great things from the VENUE show. Shout out to Miles, Robbie and the whole staff at VENUE for taking care of us. Definitely urge any and all of you ready to step in to the industry to make it out this October for the next show. Until then, keep building.
*Special Thanks to Seaside Visual for collaborating with us on the visuals. If you're in need of stickers, banners, POP's, or seriously pretty much anything...hit up my man Brandon at Seaside. 

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