May 17, 2017 | By Samuel Trotman
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Earlier this month Juniper Ridge hosted Desert and Denim, a makers trade show in California’s hi-desert.
At the tail end of Rin Tinaka Inspiration trade show in LA, Feb 12-13, California health and beauty label Juniper Ridge threw a two day tradeshow/conference showcasing some of the best brands and makers in the world. However, this wasn’t you’re average trade show you’ve come to expect in Berlin’s Templehoff or Vegas’s expo halls, rather an intimate gathering of likeminded brands in the Mojave desert. Held at the Mojave Sands Motel in the small desert town of Joshua Tree, the debut show invited some two dozen brands to showcase their crafts that ranged from natural dying, hemp textiles and denim, to wilderness perfume distillation.
An invite-only event, Desert and Denim goes against the grain of the traditional trade show format, focusing rather on a super intimate, highly curated show with only a handful of brands that are changing the course of retail. As Rawr put it (check out their coverage of the shows here) “the idea behind these new shows isn’t to capture a scattershot assortment of buyers, but only the few that will actually come to see these specific brands instead of the giant throbbing maw of Capsule or Liberty Fairs.” The fair taps into the growing trend towards lifestyle, story-based retail concepts where attendees are invited to “meet the makers” and “hang out” with other like-minded folks for a few days of sharing ideas, inspiration, workshops, music, campfires – a much more immersive experience than trawling vast halls.
The debut show had a eclectic mix of brands from as nearby as LA or as far away as Stockholm. The list included everything from purist denim labels, outdoors and lifetsyle brands, barber shops and perfumeries. The denim list featured some top studio labels like Indigo Fera, Tellason, Jack/Knife and Crawford Denim. Throughout the day, many of these brands hosted live demos, providing insight into their respective crafts like natural dye classes, denim waxing, leather-working and even whiskey and bitters know sessions. By night everyone gathered for whiskey fueled campfires and Western debauchery under the galactic desert sky. We can’t wait for the next year!
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