Trading Up - Liberty Fairs Las Vegas
August saw King Apparel make the 10hr flight over to Las Vegas for the week of tradeshows that represents anyone that has anything to do with fashion in the US market. After a free upgrade on the flight (thanks to one of Virgin’s planes fucking up – bonus) we settled into the hotel then went and sunk some ginger ales with a slice of orange with a few US locals.
King recently upscaled to LibertyFairs, sitting alongside the likes of McQ by Alexander McQueen, Poggys World, CP Company and Members Only. The set up was slick, with industrial booths, aisle carpets and clean furniture – this let the product do the talking, which too often in shows is overshadowed by the size and grandeur of big box brands. Despite the fact that UPS forgot how to run a courier company and left our customised hangers sweating in a box somewhere in California (we replaced them with 51 of the best Palazzo hotel hangers and a little back hander to the bell boy) the booth set up was a breeze and we were ready to roll.
Bringing UK sensibilities to the US market
The presence for King in the US is literally growing daily. With a network of top agencies now representing the brand in all four territories of the continent, the store base and more importantly the quality of stores representing the UK outfit is starting to take shape. From Tradition in LA, to Collective Status in Austin Texas to Shoe Gallery Miami and High Volume in New York, the demand for top scale European fashion is gaining momentum with King one of the brands at its forefront.
LibertyFairs represents the pinnacle of all the shows that descend on Las Vegas for the fashion week and it was no coincidence that it was the best and busiest show we have attended to date. A slew of new stores in the US picked up the label or visited to book their new season orders, whilst top drawer accounts from Australia, Dubai and Japan also made their way through for the new SS16 line.
Rushed off our feet from 9am to 6pm each day took its toll so what better to do once the show was over than to soak up the heat around the pool and eat three varieties of eggs benedict (i didn’t even know there were three varieties before last week?!) washed down with a pot of the finest earl grey tea (they didn’t have PG Tips).
All in all the trip was a great success. I won 3o0 bucks on roulette – i lost 200 -, saw Pusha T perform one of the worst sets i’ve seen in my life, spend time with my homeboys from Criminal Damage and meet a whole bunch of great new people along the way. British streetwear in the US market is not something the industry is used to, but times are changing. You only get out what you put in and we will continue to work quietly on our moves over there until it cannot be ignored.