Inspiration Vol #3: 2012 The First Day.
So we got up bright and early. First day of Inspiration and as I said, I got coughed on flying into L.A. and yet again spent my first 3 days in sun, heat and snot. I hoped it would be gone by the time the first day of the show came and of course there was no chance of that happening. I was puffy and bloated and completely unready to shake hands. Part of my lessons from the last two Inspirations taught me that I need to set goals for the show. My primary goal was to find a store to carry Himel Brothers Leather in Los Angeles. Since Craft Workwear expired, I have been missing my L.A. customers. My second goal was to meet, grill to grill, all the store owners, designers and customers that have been emailing me and reading my blogs, generally being so supportive of my project. So I vowed not to get too distracted by the high school exuberance of hanging out with all my west coast vintage buddies that I never get to see because I live in Toronto.
So we primed the booth and made sure it looked good. Me, Eric and Caleb spent most of the morning poking fun at each other. First thing when I walked into the show Larry Heller was right there, so was Greg Wallraven and my other best vintage friend Rob Medellin. If you look in Rin Tanaka’s book on motorcycle jackets, Rob is Robvintage. These guys were my men back in the day when the internet was brand new. They used to buy my best motorcycle jackets. Needless to say the best brands and vintage guys in the world were at this show. Potential customers bounded through the door to get to the best vintage first. It was Rosebowl weekend so Inspiration is kind of like a Rosebowl warmup with fashion heritage brands thrown into the mix.Â What is most interesting about the show is that it is a mix of big hitting vintage dealers and super authentic small designers and then the biggest players in the fashion business. Top guysÂ from LVC, Ralph Lauren RRL, Goldschmied, John Chapman and just about anybody else that designs from the underground upwards to the biggest high end brands on the planet. Basically Inspiration is like the first few games of the World Series of cool menswear…you go from here to the Rosebowl and from there to Project Las Vegas. This was my first big step into that light. I will say sick or not, it was a killer day. I hung out with Mike Hodis, and Brett Viberg came down so we could talk boots. The guys from Free and Easy magazine said hello and we went out for dinner. Eric informed me that we were going to Project and we were going to have a booth in the central isle of the show decorated with Jeff Deckers motorcycle cuts and one of his rare motorcycles. Jess Carson owner of Reveille came by to try on one of my jackets. He will be showing Himel jackets in Portland. But the best best best part was that I was being featured in Lightning Magazine’s newest venture Clutch.
Atsushi Matsushima came to visit me in Toronto. I spent several days with him and his team. They were awesome. I showed them every detail of my leather jacket company and I was very honoured to be featured in his new magazine Clutch. The day could not have gone any better so we all celebrated by going out for new age sushi in Long Beach. What a day!