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Inside The Agenda Long Beach Trade Show

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to head to Downtown Long Beach to attend the Agenda Show, a venue where brands display their upcoming collections to prospective buyers and press.

While Agenda primarily caters to brands in the surf and skate industry, there was a special section–a sort of show-within-a-show–entitled “The Woods” for heritage brands and those that cater to an outdoors aesthetic. This is where I spent most of my time, though there were a few relevant brands in the show at large.

Roland Sands Design

rsd tag

Roland Sands Design creates riding gear for motorcycles, and they have a full line of apparel. Most of their jackets are leather, but they feature a few pieces in raw denim.

The Fubar is a jacket made from 12.5 ounce yarn-dyed raw denim, equipped with armor-ready pockets in the shoulders and elbows. The hand is smooth; the jacket would look great on the bike, but it’s not too heavy to wear as part of a regular ensemble (sans armor, unless you’re looking for trouble).

rsd fubar final

They also have some smart waxed cotton and duck canvas options.


obey desk

While Obey began as a study in image-saturation with Andre the Giant and his posse, they have expanded into a full-blown apparel giant. They have released raw options in the past, and they had a couple of selvedge pieces on display at the show.

Though the details were relatively sparse, I was able to take a close look at both a pair of jeans and a jacket.

obey jeans final

The jeans were a fairly standard selvedge offering, with a smooth hand and a regular fit: nothing crazy or spectacular.

obey jacket 3

Their variation on the denim jacket was definitely more eye-catching than the jeans. It features clean nickel hardware, classic contrast stitching, and an arm patch with the above-mentioned iconic Andre face which made Shep Fairey (in)famous. It looks to be the same denim used for the jeans.

obey jacket side by

Kennedy Denim

kennedy sign

Relative newcomers to the denim scene, Kennedy Denim Co., established in 2012, is made in Los Angeles and aims to provide price-point denim and apparel. They had a number of raw pieces on display, and the price is really pretty nuts.

Their raw jeans retail at 40 dollars. Yes, you read that correctly; no, I didn’t leave a 1 off the front. It’s not selvedge, but for 40 bucks, they would be a great option for someone looking to get into raws without breaking the bank.

kennedy rack

They had some interesting fabrics: one with a good deal of nep utilized for a jean, and another lined, slubby fabric used for a shirt.

kennedy side by

Iron and Resin

iron letters

I can’t hide my excitement when it comes to these guys from Ventura. Iron and Resin combines an affinity for two of my great loves, motorcycles (iron) and surfing (resin) to create a brand which appeals to the wanderer/adventurer in all of us.

The guys in the booth were super friendly and indulged me in a long discussion of both riding and surfing. From speaking with the guys, as well as cofounder Thom Hill, it is clear that the brand is genuinely dedicated to creating unique and lasting pieces, in line with the one-off culture pervading heritage menswear at the moment.

Check out their custom backgammon set:

iron backg final

They displayed a number of shirts in simple but attractive fabrics.

iron shirts

A real delight was the custom chain-stitching of bandannas on a classic Singer machine. It’s the dream of every serious denimhead (or maybe just me) to see the machines in action, and I sat transfixed for about ten minutes watching Tommy stitch people’s names onto bandannas.

iron chain final

Keep your eyes peeled for a closer look at the brand in the future.

Freenote Cloth

freenote opener

The highlight of the show for me was stopping by to meet the guys and gals from Freenote Cloth. We introduced them a few months ago, and the brothers Matt and Andrew Brodrick have been busy building their collection with curated pieces that speak to their dedication to using the finest fabrics they can find.

The whole team at the booth is fully invested in creating something lasting, and they were genuinely excited to share their work with me. Their collection ranges from the traditional to the completely unique (like the jeans and Modern Perfecto jacket pictured above).

freenote pants 2

freenote jeans inside

These cinch-back jeans feature a broken-twill fabric from Kuroki Mills, a blend of the old-school aesthetic and modern sensibility. Matt says, “We want guys to look cool, not like they just stepped out of the Civil War.” The burnt sienna herringbone pocket bags add a unique touch and are featured in a number of their jeans.

As mentioned in our intro to the brand, fabrics are sourced from Cone Mills and a number of well-known Japanese mills.

freenote rack

In addition to a solid line-up of jeans, they feature a number of jackets in different fabrics. All jackets include a leather patch along with zig-zag stitching on the pocket.

freenote jacket 1 final

My personal favorite was this beautifully-lined piece. The vertical stripes give it a distinctive look, and the lining softens the sometimes uncomfortable rigidity of a raw jacket.

freenote lined jacket

Another personal favorite of mine was this denim with dark warp and weft with rainbow-colored nep, which is subtle on the outside and flashy on the inside.

freenote rainbow final

They displayed a number of shirting options in gingham, western prints, and chambray. This piece is selvedge chambray from Japan.

freenote selvedge cham final

All in all, I had a great time checking out a number of brands. The Spring/Summer ’15 collections offer up some really interesting pieces in all sorts of cool fabrics. Look for some upcoming features on some of the brands seen here.

We’ll also be bringing you coverage of Agenda New York soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

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