“You have to wake up everyday and have that aggression toward your goal, go out there and push towards it at any cost, and be willing to get told no 100 times before you get that yes.”—Aaron Levant
It’s with this commitment and vision that Aaron Levant created Agenda Show, the world’s largest most diverse and creative lifestyle fashion trade show. Debuting in 2003, Aaron’s aim was to create a platform for emerging lifestyle brands, and now his vision has grown into a successful business committed to featuring the next generation of lifestyle brands and streetwear apparel.
On January 8th, the 3rd annual Agenda Emerge Conference, presented by Project Cobalt and moderated by Pro Skateboarder Chris Pastras and NiceKicks Founder Matt Halfhill, featured an inspiring list of speakers including Nic Galway, Vice President of Global Design of adidas; Jon Wexler, Global Director of Entertainment and Influencer Marketing of adidas; Jeff Kearl, Co-Founder of STANCE; and Mark ‘Gonz’ Gonzales, Pro Skateboarder.
Here are some of the best creative advice from those shaping the industry of streetwear:
“Entrepreneurship starts with character.” – Jeff Kearl
Not all entrepreneurs are created from the same blueprint, but key characteristics include unwavering determination, enthusiasm in learning, and a strong ability to sell and promote. For Jeff, his success as an entrepreneur came from developing characteristics that allowed STANCE, a sock company, to collaborate with NBA and Rihanna. Jeff notes that he studied what categories suffered from market neglect, and saw big potential in socks. Pay attention to your environment and look for ways to build businesses in untapped industries.
“It’s my responsibility as a creator to break the rules.” – Nic Galway
Don’t be afraid to take risks. Those who break the rules, create the new trends. Nic Galway, Vice President of Global Design of adidas Originals, explains that collaborations are a big part of taking risks and that in order for a successful collaboration to happen “you need to be open creatively.” Nic explains that “the best collaborations happen when you come together to do something you couldn’t do alone.” Look at those in your industry and find creatives to collaborate and connect with.
“People that fight for what they believe, will make a difference tomorrow.” – Jon Wexler
What are you fighting for? As a creative, it’s important to hold onto your vision. Jon Wexler highlights how being a brand builder and dot connector established his relationships with Kanye West and the launch of the adidas Yeezy. Jon encourages those creating their own brand to “never give up.” Explaining that “if you’re passionate about your goals and give yourself permission to fail, there’s no ceiling for your growth.”