Inspiration 2012: Setting Up at the Queen Mary
We finished our day of journeying to Huntington Library and the Griffith Observatory. If you are going to embark on a life changing adventure in Los Angeles, you must visit the observatory to see the city and really get the big picture so you don’t lose yourself in L.A. We headed back to the hotel and after a lovely night of sleep at the Beverly Laurel, we got up at the crack of dawn. I was on a mission to visit every store in Los Angeles that was hip, high end and heritage. This meant a journey to Unionmade in Santa Monica. So on goes the GPS and we hit the highways of Los Angeles. I have to say that driving in Los Angeles is a dream compared to Toronto. Traffic flows smoothly in L.A. and the drivers are super courteous compared to the constant traffic jams of my hometown and the constant assault of maniac drivers. Well Unionmade is right on the way to the beach so first we stopped in for some pictures and a hello and then off to Pallisades Park! Its so cool to visit iconic locations that previously only resonated in the cultural objets d’art of my youth. I was super surprised to see a Canuck flag floating over a tent right on the beach and Nancy guessed that Cirque de Soliel had set up there. As usual she was right! Needless to say we decided to walk the beach which was several kilometers long, and this left us a long way from the car.Â Then the phone rings and my good friend and booth co-occcupant Eric Schrader of Junkyardjeans gave me an earfull! They were setting up on the Queen Mary and where were we?Â So bamn, 5 km from the car we scramble off the pier and somehow instantly find a cab and head to the car, get on the highway and race to the ship.Â The stress was building as we got closer.Â I always get freaked out at these public events because they are big deals. Its kinda like the first day of school each time.Â By the time we got to the parking lot of the ship and I parked beside Jeff Decker’s van I started to relax. We hauled ass into the boat and it was hello’s all around. Every L.A. vintage dealer I knew was there and this year everybody was super friendly. Rin was not at the front entrance but his number two and one of my oldest friends in the business Nao Akimoto was there saying hey! We got down to the booth only to realize Eric had set up for us and went back to his hotel. So now it was fun time. I got my camera out so I could take some pictures of everyone setting up and watch the most important people in the vintage business pre-negotiate deals on the very very expensive stuff before the show opened the next day. It is an amazing thing to see the top historical clothing experts haggling over 20 thousand dollar jeans and 3 thousand dollar leather jackets.Â Â My good Canadian friend Brett Viberg of Viberg Boots rang me up and he, Nancy and me spent a couple of hours chatting, shaking hands and right over to the samples of the Clutch Magazine promotional issue.Â No one had seen it and since both Brett and I were in it Nancy wanted to see it immediately! Ok…long long day and we delivered our jackets and decided to head out to the Inspiration opening party.Â Super cool…the party was in a vintage mall in Long Beach. Oh man, magazine writers, photographers, vintage guys and everybody wanted to say hello and introduce themselves it was a great vibe. After the inspiration party we decided to head out for dinner at a great resto near our hotel and then head over to a “happening” hosted by Davide Berutto at Shelter Half! I wanted to introduce myself to him and chat about his business. Wicked party and beautiful young L.A. hipsters tired us out so back to the hotel to get up early for the first day of Inspiration.