Kelli Freeman, Contributing Writer | Thursday, September 15, 2022
CALA Show Bursts With Nostalgia and Luxury
Enthusiastic buyers from California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Washington shared good vibes at the second CALA Men’s & Women’s Show, held at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, Calif., Aug. 28–29.
Retailers were thrilled that customers are returning to bricks-and-mortar, purchasing new items for vacations and events held off due to the pandemic.
Some 250 vendors displayed brands from around the globe, including the surf-inspired Toes on the Nose, known for its sea-silk fabrications and high quality. Its new, classic 1961 collection captures the era and includes vintage board shorts produced in Orange County, California. “We’re excited and looking forward to producing more products in the United States,” said owner Richard Allred.
“This is a great venue. I welcome the assortment of brands and new men’s and women’s vendors,” said Pat Mon Pere, president of the Fresno, Calif.–based Patrick James store.
Key Items included flowing dresses and fanciful Betsey Johnson footwear,men’s vintage T-shirts, and colorful linens, prints and knits from Desoto, Patrick Assaraf and Postmarc.
“We only go to one show a year and focus on what we like such as TailoRED sports coats, plus we love Newport Beach,” said Brooks Whitworth of Homer Reed Ltd. in Denver. Whitworth explained that fostering relationships and believing in the product is most important, plus the show makes it easy to find new lines showcasing unique items. “Stitch Note is the perfect example; it’s really fun, tasty and well-madefor our discerning customer, who focuses on quality,” said Whitworth.
Downtown L.A.’s VKTRBLACK made its trade-show debut at CALA. “We are mix-and-match linen shirt-and-short sets and trousers featuring our trademark rope belt. We are excited to be here launching our women’s,” said Gil Gomez, owner of the Blackcircle Agency.
There was no shortage of great denim,with 34 Heritage, AG Jeans, Alberto and L.A.–based NOEND exhibiting.
“Jada Jo travel-inspired jewelry is a great find for us,” said Ken Griffin of San Francisco–based Button Down. The line includes men’s and women’s bracelets handmade in Newport Beach, Calif., with matte unfinished and precious stones. Jado Jo Jackson said, “Our best women’s sell for Spring ’23 is our Chasing Rainbow women’s sun, moons and stars collection.”
“CALA is a perfect place—convenient, a much-improved open-floor format with great vendors. It gave me the chance to do my buying and button up loose ends,” said Andrew White of the Ascot shop in La Jolla, Calif.
CALA Shows partner Gerry Murtagh said, “It’s a great team effort between Ken Haruta and me. We’re thrilled with the positive feedback and look forward to having a successful Fall 2023!”