It’s a new year, and with that comes the introduction of lots of new product.
This week at Agenda Long Beach, the show was as busy as ever, despite a marked absence of some of the larger surf companies that are typically in attendance.
Some of the trends spotted on the floor for Fall 2018 were darker, more subdued tones, and retro florals and camo were still present in a big way. Brands seem to be expanding upon unisex product across multiple categories, and the general mantra moving into the year was “less is more” when it comes to product offering.
A few of the heritage brands at the show were celebrating major milestones, and also looking at ways to strike a balance between evolving their product and paying homage to their past. This year also marked 15 years for Agenda Show, a huge accomplishment in today’s rapidly changing business climate.
We checked in with the following brands to get a feel for what to expect for next season, as we all charge into 2018.
It’s always educational to take a walk through Vans’ entire collection for next season. The company has managed to sit authentically in many different market segments and categories, and the Fall 2018 offering is no exception.
Trends spotted throughout the line included, not surprisingly, a nod to Vans’ heritage with several key pieces, including Ray Barbee’s signature color ways and styles for Fall, pictured above.
Vans was also showcasing a key collab with sister brand Wrangler as a nod to the workwear market, and a way to speak to a broader audience that transcends Vans’ typical skate, surf, snow culture.
Otis just completed a big move, transitioning its existing warehouse in Oceanside to a larger space in Carlsbad. The move will position the brand for more growth, according to Eddie Doyle, national sales manager for Creatures of Leisure.
For Fall, a big focus for Otis is evolving its mineral glass by incorporating the L.I.T., or Light Improvement Technology, lenses. The L.I.T. lenses lift primary colors while blocking out inter-primary shades, with a goal of making vision more vivid and precise.
Otis was one of the only eyewear brands in the surf space present at the show this time around, and noted that their business in key categories such as women’s is still on an upswing.
Slowtide has seen an incredible amount of growth since it launched nearly a year ago. At this show, they picked up Tilly’s and will be rolled out in 80 accounts with the retailer. Last season, the brand also caught the eye of major retailer REI.
Building on the success of its initial poncho offering, Slowtide will roll out a Turkish poncho for Fall, which is light-weight and could serve as both a changing robe as well as just a beach cover-up for lounging around.
The brand is also expanding its category offerings, and has successfully incorporated gym towels into the mix, comments Co-founder Wylie Von Tempsky. For next season, the company has brought in some products that are made in the USA, as well as expanded out into bath towels that can be refreshed throughout the year, in seasons when beach towels depart from most people’s focus.
Listening to its retail and consumer base, Corkcicle decided to expand its canteen collection for Fall to include a sports-specific model. The sports canteen features a more easily accessible lid, that pops on and off as opposed to traditional lids. The offering is geared toward an active outdoor audience, who takes their water bottles everywhere from a spin class to a weekend hiking adventure.
Also an area of excitement and a brand new category for Corkcicle: cooler bags. The offering, which features water-resistant interiors with welded seams, will roll out in a series of silhouettes including a duffel and easy-to-carry backpack. The options are aesthetically minimal and geared toward a more fashion-forward audience, explains Corkcicle Brand Manager Dylon York.
Sector 9 was founded in 1993 in a backyard in La Jolla, California, and today the brand carries the same vibes as it did back then. To mark its silver anniversary this year, the company will extend the warranty on its decks to 25 years — a “25 for 25,” says Bob Tanner, director of global marketing.
The brand will unveil a few more special announcements around the anniversary that throughout the year, Tanner adds. At the show, they were highlighting a few of the Sector’s best-selling categories, which include an expanding line of cruiser boards, bamboo boards, and the Sidewinder collection.
2018 also marks a year of new beginnings for the company, as they settle into a new office space in San Diego, and continue to update backend operations under parent company Bravo Sports, which acquired Sector 9 from Billabong in 2016.
Gabe Clement, Matix marketing manager, says the brand is concentrated on a more curated approach to its collection for 2018, which marks 20 years for Matix.
Clement, who has been with the company since 1998 as Matix’s first sales rep, says he thinks bringing back some of the original logos and denim cuts from the ’90s has been a nostalgic experience for fans of the brand.
At the same time, they are looking to stay progressive and relevant to today’s youth audience. Clement noted Vans as a key heritage brand in the space that has been successful in finding this balance, and a great example to those companies now moving into this territory.