trends trip

Ok people Im fortunate enough to have the oppurtunity to hit the US in March for a trends trip, at present Im based in France so sper lookin forward to it. Thing is, I havent a clear view on where to go? We managed to nail it down to either LA or San Fran… ANyone out there have any views as to which destination i should hit up?? MAny thanks

Maybe if you could be a little more specific as to what you are after, then people here might be able to help you.

What do you hope to achieve by looking at “trends?” Are you a designer? If so, what sort of designer? Are you looking for visual inspiration? Hard facts? Experience collecting? Why?

And “trends” in what exactly? California (about 3/4 the size and population of France) has all sorts of things going on. Are you looking for “trends” in automotive design? surfing? defense contracting? butthole bleaching?

If you could be bit more specific with your questions, this board might actually be of help.

Well excuse me sir…
Let me explain myself to the rest of the board in the vain hope that someone may have some advice instead of being a somewhat ‘staunch’ critique…
My name is Tom, Im 26 and a shoe designer, at the weekends i play football and drink with my friends…

The point and orientation of my ‘trip’ is not to analyse one specific niche such as butthole bleaching as highlighted by our friend here, but moreover to look at the broader spectrum - emerging fashions, style of living, nightlife trends etc… I must apologise if i have to NAIL one specific subject matter but bleaching my biutthole doesnt really ‘grab me’…

So as said before if anyone out there may care to just simply state LA or San Fran I would be SUper greatful for their CONSTRUCTIVE help…



Don’t be such a thin-skinned worm.

LA - as recommended by a collegue who is a native:





And oh yeah it is for real -


If you are going to be renting a car, and depending on your schedule, you might be able to get both in. I think would be best to get both, I think the travel time is about 3-4hrs and would be worth it to see both major cities if you are already in the state. been a while since been in caii (used to live out there). I think LA will give you more on the urban market.


It seems like you are the only one in this thread with an attitude problem. I agree with Cordy that you were been way too vague.

I also question your assessment that SF or LA would be a place for research. Are you designing product for the US market? If so, the East/West coast hardly represents a true picure of whre the majority of American tastes lie. You would be better off spending time in the Mid-West.

yes and no I think with the mid/ west. (yes it represents what the majority is) I think for footwear design you will get your larger orders and sales from shoes that are designed with the mid-west as the target market, but if your shoes are are more directional/ fashion based I think the coasts are a good representation. But also the two coasts styles vary. I would also try and schedule a trip to NYC. Depending on what your market is where your shoes will be sold different regions will be helpful.


for urban usually look at: (I havent been able to go on the trend trips but these are cities that are hit for the urban trends at work)



So you are looking at Pop Culture trends.

Some might say that butthole bleaching has become a popular trend in recent times.

and do you really play “football”?

I would suggest NYC. Not only is it much easier a place to cover given the ease of public transit and density, there are some of the best lifestyle fashion and footwear shops in the US found in NYC (like Alife, Nomme de Guerre, DQM, etc.) plus likely at least 50 footlockers, Nike town, etc.

maybe not so many surfing opportunities, but…

btw- do you work with Zen at Decathelon?


Thanks to everyone for their feedback hugely appreciated, and apologies if I kicked off a bit…

The general idea is to travel to the states to look at the market and the possibility and SMU development, I realise that maybe NY holds more of the core values but Im looking for emerging trends and markets…

Thanks once again and Happy new year


yes i do work with Mr Chance! Small world!

haha. say hi to Zen for me. We worked together in Toronto, and i just saw him on his trip back home.

in terms of emerging trends, id still say, NYC is your best bet. lots of great underground lifestyle trends develop in NYC, far more than LA, from what i’ve seen. in terms of trends for footwear, id likely say in order that its Japan, HK, London, then NYC…

but thats just my 0.02$ worth



For Cali, I would recommend staying in two spots which are relatively close around LA, but have dif vibes. Stay at the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica, just North of LA, lots of stuff doing on in the low brow art scene that I think you would like Tom, plus you can check out Venice Beach and the whole Dog Town thing (rent Z boys before you go), plus you can go to Supreme and other indi sneaker collector shops.

The second spot I would go is just south of LA, Huntington Beach, where you can get that whole rich kid who drives a BMW and surfs all day feel and girls that where bikinis 24/7 with a $100 trucker hat… ahh Cali.

In the middle, make sure you pop into the Standard Hotel in LA for some drinks, you will most likely see someone there you have only seen on TV, last time my friends where there, The Kills where chilling at the pool.

Let me know if you go to LA, I have some friends down there you can party with. Heres a list of a few good shops:

I think Miami is also a good spot to hit (and less flight change overs for you probably) stay in the Shore Club or the Delano, the art Deco district is pretty cool. Some good vintage American modern. And the people watching is great.

I’m not a huge San Fran fan, it’s OK, good collector sneaker culture, art acene is a little snobby IMO, at least what I saw… I hear Santa Cruz is pretty sweet, just 1.5 hour drive South od San Fran.