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The 305 (and Lil Wayne) turned up for Agenda, a street, skate, and surf lifestyle trade show that brought around 200 brands to Mana Wynwood this week. While generally the show takes place in New York at this time every year, they asked hundreds of buyers, exhibiting brands, media, and influencers to swap their winter coats for bikinis by bringing it to Miami for the first time. It was a hard sell.
Agenda was started by Aaron Levant. He had a sales showroom and was frustrated by the stuffy trade show environment, and so at 19 years old he set out to launch the very first Agenda show inside a Thai restaurant in California. There were 19 brands, all streetwear. 13 and a half years later, Agenda has grown to become one of the biggest, if not the biggest, skate, street, and surf lifestyle tradeshow. There are several shows per year, its biggest being Longbeach (there are 750 exhibitors), then Las Vegas, and finally Miami.
"It's considered a youth lifestyle show," explains Vanessa Chiu, Axis Show Director and Director of Agenda WMNS. "There's streetwear, which is what it's founded on. There's skate, surf culture, contemporary. In this show there's not Apothecary but there's some womenswear... I'd say it's 75 percent mens and 25 percent womens."
Perhaps what's more fascinating about Agenda, though, is its appeal to fashion enthusiasts who aren't in the industry.
"Based on social media connectivity, because it is a youth lifestyle market, we actually have the largest connection of all the shows combined," says Chiu, referring to Agenda's sister shows. On Instagram alone, Agenda has 109,000 followers, compared to Liberty Fashion and Lifestyle Fair, which has 46,200 followers, Capsule which has 45,000, Project, which has 36,000.
The show itself was divided into sections, with surf and skate taking up one half of Mana Wynwood, woodsy brands taking up another, and streetwear taking up the final (and pretty large) stretch. PBR beers were handed out freely (in awesome koozies that mimicked paper bags), Coyo Tacos provided bites (although there were food trucks outside), and local Snapchat celeb YesJulz set up a fun exhibit with the help of D'ana Nuñez that transported attendees to the club with a silent disco.
Local brands represented include Habitactive, a palm-inspired fitness brand based here in Miami, as well as Indie Swim, a Boynton Beach-based brand that manufactures here in Miami.
"I think what I loved about it, because we are a Miami brand, it's important for us to be at a Miami [show]," says Rosanna Bermudez, Co-Founder of Indie Swim. "And it's such a cool mix of brands. We went to Longbeach Agenda just to check it out. We loved the vibe of it, the mix of brands, the curation of the show, and types of people. It's energetic. People are excited to be here."
Also on the scene was local influencer Derek G., known best for his photos of amazing derrières and clothing line, I Am Expensive. He created the focal point of the exhibit: a beach scene with a souped up convertible, camouflage-sprayed lawn flamingos, surfboards, a sandcastle, and a token rooster. The essence of Miami.
"It went really well. I went to New York. I went to Vegas to do my homework and research, see what people do," says Michael Guerrero, co-founder of Lyfe Brand. "The great thing was hearing people say 'I wanted to check out your brand– I've heard about it.' To be two years old and hear that a couple times? It felt really good."
Agenda gave him the opportunity to reach out to buyers in other states like New York and California. He even had some interest from shops in Ohio and Indiana.
So here's the kicker: will Agenda be returning next year to the Magic City? According to the Miami Herald, Agenda Miami plans to return this summer, bigger and better, and we have our fingers crossed that Agenda WMNS, its women's based-line, will be making the move (eventually) too.