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ASR got underway Thursday with several new features including a morning press conference with five top industry executives and the debut of Class, a show within a show for fashion brands, many of whom do not typically show at ASR.Billabong Americas President Paul Naude
At the press conference in the main lobby of the San Diego Convention Center, industry executives discussed what separates the surf and skate industry from the larger youth fashion world, namely authenticy, a unique lifestlye and activities that kids actually participate in.
The International Association of Skateboarding Companies held an early morning retail roundtable that was well attended by more than 60 people who discussed starting a core retailer appreciation day, the need for manufacturers suggested prices on hardgoods, and the fragmented trade show environment.Steve Murray, president of VF Corp.'s action sports group
The main floor of ASR was noticeably smaller than previous shows, but key buyers attended including D. Nachnani from Coastal Edge, Bruce Cromartie from B.C. Surf & Sport, Dave Nash from Sun Diego and buying teams from West 49, PacSun, Macy's and Tilly's.
Class brought an updated vibe to the overall show with its plush carpet, mood lighting, white leather seating areas, martini bar, DJ and hair salon.
Mark D'Emilia of Coast to Coast in New York usually comes to ASR and also took time to check out Class. He said he had just planned to walk the floor at Class, but ended up sitting down at the RVCA booth and writing a bunch of orders.
"I was very impressed," he said about RVCA. "They will in (our store) for spring."
Here are some photos from the day:
The Reef Girls return