This year my trip was a marathon of sleeplessness Los Angeles is truly one of the great cultural cities on the planet. The vibe is completely different then my east coast existence. People seem to have more room to create and more facilities to do it in. Inspiration and the RRL party were incredible but after a week of flu and 3 to 5 hours of sleep a night, I needed one night of catchup. Sunday Rose Bowl flea market is really a 5 am gig so technically I missed all the really good fun. That being said, it was time to put Nancy back on a plane to her other job in Toronto so we needed a good breakfast and some check out time. After a day at the bowl and a sad goodbye it was time to pack up and head down the road for Project Las Vegas. I had never attended a trade show of this scale and had no idea what to expect. Caleb (Enemy to Fashion) and Eric (Junkyardjeans) called me for the emergency pack out. Apparently we had to get from Pasadena to Las Vegas by 6 pm in order to set up for the show. We had three hours to do it in.
The pack up at the Rose Bowl was insane. Between Eric’s stuff from Idaho, Caleb’s from North Carolina and mine from Toronto, all the display stuff and various sundries the van was starting to dangerously overflow. We filled and filled and filled and at some point Eric stopped and pointed out we had to meet up with Jeff Decker, famous motorcycle expert and bronze sculptor, and fit his motorcycle cuts in the back. Well in some sort of unbelievable puzzle like solution every single inch of the V-10 Econoline was filled. There was barely enough room to squeeze our asses into the seats between the sewing machines and gear to the ceiling. It was a miracle. So was the journey completed in 2 hours 47 minutes.
Pulling up to Mandalay Bay at 5:57 PM was exhausting. We arrived happy to make the deadline and feeling overwhelmed by the task ahead of unloading the madly overloaded van and creating a world class booth from scratch. We waited for the union boys to truck the gear into the building and I walked into my first ever Big League trade show. It was incredible. The scale was hard to imagine. We somehow scored a booth on the main entrance aisle of the show beside brands like LVC Clothing, PRPS Jeans, Ben Sherman and a select few other super cool brands. Now it was time to figure out how to construct an amazing display with our van load of “stuff” after most of the other million dollar booth exhibitors had gone home . Luckily Caleb who has years of experience in trade shows from both sides was an expert in these matters. Caleb set up a rough layout with Eric and I ran around digging up bubble wrap and other discarded materials from the Wooster booth to stuff into our bags and boots to make them look good. We had to figure out a way to accommodate Jeff’s rare Crocker motorcycle that he was going to try and bring by. We set up and by 11 pm after a quick hello to Mike Hodis and the lads at Rising Sun who were also there late into the evening, we headed out to find a hotel and a poker room.