Once a year, AGENDA Show comes to the Long Beach Convention Center, touting itself as the most diverse fashion and lifestyle expo in the world. (Unfortunately, it's not open to the public.) Last week, it returned; its glitzy welcome sign resembling a prop from a Broadway show and attracting record numbers of hot girls. But AGENDA's vibe is contradictory to what you'd expect from a fashion convention; it's all about down-to-earth, affordable apparel for consumers. Menswear designers actually outweighed those for women, and because of the “lifestyle” segment, skateboards, surfboards and sports gear brought in a hands-on element. While it did seem as though streetwear exhibitors made up 75 percent of the show, we managed to find a few brands with eclectic, innovative style—the exact genius you go to trade shows to find.
Freenote Cloth is the beautiful creation of two brothers from San Juan Capistrano—and it makes some of the most attractive, tailored menswear we've ever seen. Its line is polished but rugged. And while on the pricier end, each piece is built with impeccable quality. The jeans, jackets, button-downs and even slacks are so flattering we should all let Freenote dress our boyfriends. freenotecloth.com.
Vanishing Elephant hails from Australia and creates dry goods for men and women. It's all clean lines and classic cuts, but it feels almost like cool, grandparent clothes—by which we mean high-waisted, tailored shorts; culottes; baggy trousers; and Hawaiian shirts. vanishingelephant.com.
Jonathan Adler looks and sounds like a housewares brand from Target (it is!), but it is so wacky and fun at the same time. We love the cups with 3-D lips and the ice-cream-cone-holding hand sculpture that's really a vase. jonathanadler.com.