This time last year, I was throwing parties for Quicksilver and Redbull at my old job... this year I was in the throws of the threads. Saturday, 9/12, I attended the ASR Tradeshow at the Convention Center downtown as a buyer for Tobi Blatt clothing stores. The tradeshow was reminiscent of POOL in Las Vegas with the variety of booths... small booth after small booth, and then a huge elaborately decorated room, and repeat. In between all the hustle and bustle were a few landmarks... the Monster Lounge with free energy drinks and posh seating with flat screens and ambient tunes... the vintage motorcycle display, complete with a fully restored old Shelby mustang... the riot that was the Volcom booth, next to the homemade halfpipe, with a fully stocked bar and blaring Jimmy Buffet. All this was what I nearly expected, until I made my way to the new Class@ASR.
Class@ASR is like the honor roll of the tradeshow. "Embracing the CLASS@ASR concept are boutique labels that have potential to crossover into core action sports accounts, brands with surf, skate or snow roots designed for fashion forward consumers and higher end, limited edition lines from established action sports brands" says Surfshot.com. All the newest, freshest, most hyped brands in the biz all in one large mysterious conference hall. Each booth is shorter, smaller, and more uniform of those in the ASR hall, but the mood lighting, trance music, beer garden, sexy bar/lounge, and premiere selection made this the place to see, and be seen. Notable booths were WeSC, Lightning Bolt, Raen Optics, and a slew of Australian fashion labels with that signature funky style typical of the Gold Coast.
Although I didn't get to spend as much time at the show as I would have liked, I got to experience the downtown night life outside of work on Friday night, and boy was it fun!! Bondi threw a huge party, as did Hard Rock and a few other places. I went to new downtown hipster fave Voyeur for some electro beats and sweet drinks, and as usual had an amazing time. It was not as crazy as the scene at Anthology last year, but that could be a good thing...
Some trends spotted at the ASR & Class@ASR shows were: corduroy, flannel (yes, still), stylish headphones (sorry Skull Candy, your old news... try AiAiAi, they were the cat's meow this year), distressed denim, motorcycle pants, teeny bikini's, and COLOR!