- Buyer's Guide
A week in carry
The start of March was a pretty crazy week for me, with loads of great experiences and inspiration. I figured there might be a few bits of random interest in there, so here’s some industry and carry thoughts emerging from it…
Break bread with crew
The week kicked off at the Buffet streetwear tradeshow in Melbourne, loaded with apparel, bag and accessory brands. While Melbourne getting a tradeshow like this was pretty special in itself, the forums that went down during it were even more so.
Guys like Jeff Staple, Sneaker Freaker’s Woody, and the amazing Kiwi retailer Frank Liew shared loads of insights. One of my favorites was that for all the big business getting done, relationships were what catalyzed it all. Each of them described ‘breaking bread with crew’ as the way that many of their best opportunities had started. And of all the meals, Jeff thinks breakfast is where the biggest decisions get made.
(Note: if you’re playing in the surf industry, just substitute ‘breaking bread’ for ‘getting smashed or shacked’).
Australia gets Incase
Exhibiting at Buffet was Flipside Distribution. Why is this a good thing? Well it means that Australia is finally getting proper Incase distribution, and from one of Australia’s best streetwear distributors. So Rushfaster and Apple stores look set to be joined by an army of additional retailers stocking Incase carry gear.
Skateboards don’t work in Glasgow
Next stop was Glasgow for some presentations and workshops I was running. If you ever need to get around Glasgow, don’t rely on a skatie. You end up carrying it instead. My latest realization is that for cities to work well, they need both good bike paths and smooth footpaths.
NikeTown Oxford Circus is AMAZING
I remember hearing figures that NikeTown were paying £6 million in rent for their corner location on Oxford Circus (back in 2004), and yet they still make a profit (one of the few NikeTown’s that does). If you’re lucky enough to be near, check it out for one of the most amazingly well merchandized stores in the world. The NikeID displays are epic, as is the soccer section, and the running, and…
Bikes rock in big cities
London’s fixie scene is still growing, and it’s being fed by some epic stores. There are bike shops that are more gallery than commerce, feeding a customer that wants ever more uniqueness.
If you try and Tube or Drive between them, you’ll give up in frustration. Instead, find a mate, and some big locks (Euan’s seem custom fitted), and do it on two wheels.
Personality doesn’t have to cost
The final realization comes after as I sit on my next plane, heading over to Margaret River for some family time. While airlines around the world scrimp and compromise to save coin, Virgin goes on delighting me every time they carry me somewhere. Prams and baby gear? Yeah, free, we don’t charge for that. Big surfboard bags? Yeah, no charge. A free seat next to you guys for your grommet? Yeah, even though the plane is full, we’ll keep those for you. Cute hosts that help the whole flight through? Yeah, and your fare will cost half of what Qantas does.