It’s fascinating descending upon Las Vegas every six months to look at upcoming apparel. I’m always intrigued by who works the shows, who designs the outfits, and who wears the clothes. It’s definitely not always the same people across categories. Though I spent most of my time on the urban, hip-hop, skate, MMA, and generally testosterone-friendly floors of STREET and S.L.A.T.E., I ran into a number of females in the industry who are shaking things up. Here are just a few of ’em.
This little thing, the one in pink leggings who barely comes up to Julie’s shoulders while teetering on her deck, is Annika Vrklan, the Flying Bunny! She’s seven years old, which makes me twenty years’ unaccomplished. A part of the All Girls Skate Jam, her and a small army of amazing American and Brazilian girls did some really impressive stuff on a sub-optimal (Read: No traction.) skate floor. AGSJ also includes 15-year old Allysha Bergado, who forgot her skate shoes but still managed to get in some practice runs:
Oh, how these figurines bring me back! I’ve seen more and more woodcrafted products in mainstream trade shows these days, and while I think the movement speaks to this decidedly analog aesthetic, I don’t think anyone’s doing it up as well as Good Wood. The brand is the baby of Kerri O’Connell, and she’s got such a great mind for product. The line appeals to both genders, works for all generations, picks up on the right bits of pop culture, and pretty much goes with everything. When you wake up in the morning and can’t muster the brainpower to put together an imaginative outfit, throw on some Good Wood to throw things off of Plain Jane Normal.
(Jughead > Archie, but you already knew that.)
Of sound footing and mind.
Cece Chin of 80%20 Shoes on the left, Jasmine Takanikos of Jasmine Consulting on the right. It just so happens I wore a pair of 80%20 Heides the day before I ran into Cece at POOL, and Jasmine? We’re another story that goes way back on Twitter – Which is to say we’d never met before but thanks to the magic of MAGIC got to connect in real life and actually converse with our voices.
I’ve had a recent influx of wedges in my wardrobe, and two-thirds of that movement is 80%20. Cece knows her wedges, which is a blessing for the weight distribution of my feet. Other fun fact: Cece grew up in Michigan, which amuses me personally because my mother grew up in Michigan. Chinese Americans in Michigan, right? Who knew!?
Jasmine represents an industry saturated with ambition that outweighs ability – but she in particular is equipped with both. At POOL, Jasmine was providing the expertise, identifying trends bubbling up at the trade show. A brand and creative strategist, she works with clients that I’d be happy to have overhaul my closet: Bliss Lau (Body jewelry! More!), Palladium (For the aspiring men’s stylist in me.), and 80%20 (of course).
Julie was the first to spot Tami Zold’s amazing tattoos at POOL, and having been a fan of Chanel’s dreamy tattoos from 2009, I had to ask her where this incarnation came from. Turns out, she’s not only the founder, she’s also a client of Skyn Couture.
What I like about Skyn Couture is how they’re laid out on the sheet. The temporary tattoos are arranged so you can mix and match the pieces: so that the pearls look like they’re dangling from the chain or so that the bow will bring just the right amount of attention to your shoulder – just as Tami has it above. I’m saving these for the perfect occasion. Or perfect solo dress-up party.
Check out Tami’s angel wings! Looks hot in that racerback.
Riding in cars with strangers.
MAGIC’s multiple trade shows are hosted in two separate sites along the strip: Mandalay Bay and Las Vegas Convention Center. Getting back and forth between the two is about $15 by taxi one-way, or if you value your time and money, it’s a free trip in MAGIC’s well-planned limo shuttle service.
On the first day, I found myself in a limo with Wendy Red – with fittingly awesome hair. Turns out her husband is the consulting mastermind behind a number of urban labels like The Hundreds and LRG. I was more intrigued by Wendy’s business, though: Once a school teacher, she came home one day and told her husband she wanted to do fashion. She assisted in buying for his Up Against the Wall stores, and now she runs two resale boutiques that I wish were in the Bay. Dealing in Chanel, Marc Jacobs, and high end designer goods, if you live anywhere near Maryland, you’ve got no excuse not to check out Reddz Trading. (If you’re hard up on cash, Reddz pays you for your consignments on the spot. How appealing is that?)
Of course there are more women throughout the industry (in fact: many), but I think what gets lost in trade show recaps is how many different areas women are dominating. From design to distribution, marketing to making – We don’t just do concept, we don’t just do construction. We do it all. Go, girls.