12 Makers2Know from Agenda, Capsule, and Liberty Fairs in NYC Pt2.

WORDS: Yahdon Israel

PHOTOGRAPHS: Christian Torres

Because we at MakersFinders find joy in shedding light on independent Makers who inspire us, we embarked on an eventful expedition to the Agenda, Capsule, and Liberty Fairs trade shows in NYC!

Agenda, Capsule, and Liberty each accomplished the two-fold task of curating their respective spaces with Makers who best reflected their unique aesthetics without clashing with the others. While they each branched off in their own directions, there was still the sense it was all rooted in the same thing: (1) presenting forward thinking brands to the public consciousness; (2) providing visibility for brands that need help cutting through the clutter of a competitive and, not to mention, congested industry; and most importantly for the Makers, (3) having a space where they can connect with Buyers who will hopefully stock and sell what they, the Makers, create. All of this has positioned these three trade shows as a nexus for culture, creativity, clothing, and commerce to convene.

M a r c B r u d e r / B e n Z e r b e

As a trade show, Liberty Fairs is sincere in its vision that space can exist “without boundaries.” One of the key ways to get rid of boundaries is to go beyond them. Push them to their limits. Innovate. Marc Bruder (left) and Ben Zerbe (right) are doing this by sticking to the basics; literally working from the ground up with Worldboots. Based in Southern California, Worldboots is as dedicated to comfort as they are to luxury. While Marc, the founder, blazes the trail for the direction of the company it’s Ben, with a background in prosthetics and orthotics, who’s tasked with creating a shoe that can withstand the journey.

On Worldboots:

Marc: I started the company in 2015 because I got tired of wearing shoes that didn’t feel as good as they looked. Especially for the price. The brand is called Worldboots because we’re taking the highest quality materials from all over the world and bringing them to one shoe. And unlike any shoe company around here, an orthotic expert, is the partner, owner, designer, and maker of these shoes.

Ben: We have a luxury upper and we’re breeding it with an athletic mid sole base. The athletic mid sole base is a proprietary EVA sole that we came up with ourselves. Phylon gives you that dynamic rebound, so if you have a problem walking and you’re a heavy heel striker, it gives you a nice bounce back to the shoe. There’s a lot of high end shoes that people but they can’t wear for too long because they’re uncomfortable. You can literally stand and walk all day in these. It gives you the support you need.

On why he makes Worldboots:

Ben: I want to bring something different to the table in terms of style, look, frame, and really build off the comfort aspect. I’m really tired of buying expensive shoes that are uncomfortable. I want people to feel good, look different, and show that creativity and uniqueness don’t have to cost you an arm or a leg. If you got foot problems, that support is there.

Marc: Plus Worldboots allows us to give back. That was why we started. For every purchase of the Spanish Pink Lees, for example, $5 goes to breast cancer research.

On Liberty Fairs:

Marc: Liberty fits us because they’re bringing high quality stuff that is not in that fast paced, retail track. It’s more about the products. I think Liberty Fairs really shows that creativity, but the quality of the product is definitive here.

On the story behind the “Number 4s”:

Ben: Clarks has been my brand since I was in middle school. And I always wanted a shoe that had the desert boot frame with the height of a high top boot but the comfort of a sneaker. And beyond what it looks like, the comfort is amazing as well. As I said before, this type of crystallized rubber’s a little bit different, a little bit firmer, but you can wear these every single day and they will wear really nicely too.

R y o I s h i k a w a

Posted in the back corner of Liberty was Ryo Ishikawa, the maker who started the Japanese street luxury brand, Vanquish in 2004. Based in Shibuya, Japan, Ryo allows the spirit of the city, namely the youth culture there, to lead him. As Ryo’s main language is Japanese, we spoke to him through his translator. In regards to the brevity of his answers: they’re the soul of wit.

On Vanquish:

Vanquish started in 2004. And it’s based on Shibuya culture. It’s a part of Tokyo. This brand is for youth of Shibuya.

On why he makes clothes:

When I was young, my father and I would go shopping for clothes together, a lot. t’s a part of who I am.

On Liberty Fairs:

It’s great!

On the story behind the Shibuya bomber jacket:

I wanted to make a piece that showcases Shibuya culture.

M a r g a r i t a V o u l t s o s

Margarita Voultsos has been designing outerwear for the past 13 years. She was the head designer at Canada Goose for five of those years and now the Canadian-based Maker is braving the brutal winters, in Canada and elsewhere,” with her new outerwear line Navante, which is set to release this August.

On Navante:

“Avante” is an ancient French work that means “to lead.” We are the Northern leaders. We put an “N” in front of avante because we’re the Northern leaders. You really see it throughout the collection. We have industry firsts within the collection. The way that our three-in-ones have been built to function together. The way that you can access your interior liner from your shell. Doing a camouflage, an animal print quilt on a down-filled garment is an industry first. We’re quite proud to be leading in innovation and technology.

On why she makes outerwear:

Well, I’m Canadian. It’s cold. The cool part about outwear is the end use. I really enjoy building collections that have a purpose. Either to keep you dry, to keep you warm, to keep you sheltered from the sun, the innovation behind that, it really just interests me. I like fashion with a purpose. My expertise lies in outwear because of that.

On Liberty Fairs:

I mean this is the right look, the right feel and the right people!

On the story behind the camouflage fur vest:

I’ve been hugely into military surplus for decades and it’s because of the function and purpose. The way that things are designed, the innovation behind it and the end use fascinates me. It’s very thought out, so even the detail of being able to access your inner liner pocket comes from a military function so that soldiers could access their weapons even if they had outwear on. Taking that and putting it into an urban setting, the whole innovation behind military surplus and the functionality behind it has always intrigued me. I’ve been collecting camouflages for a while and I figured out a way to present fur that looks like camouflage with our patchwork fur vest.

D a n i e l M o f o r

If we are to always dress like we’re going to meet our worst enemies, Daniel Mofor is a man without friends. That’s how stylish he and his menswear line, Don Morphy is. The company started five years with the idea to bringing “Italian quality and flair to discerning customers in the USA and abroad.” While Don Morphy is based in Texas, their operations are worldwide.

On Don Morphy:

We take more of the really old stuff and we reinvent it in a trendy fashion. We go to all the top fashion shows in the world, look at the trends, from there we get our inspirations to and see how we can bring something unique.

On why he makes clothes:

Fashion is what I’ve always been passionate about. I’m very passionate about trying to get the young and working class guys to look really, really good.

On Liberty Fairs:

I came to Liberty because I wanted to reach a new audience and encourage people to step their suit game up.

On the story behind the Double Monks:

This one is all hand crafted and hand painted. I’m usually reserved but every once in a while I like a little color.

M a t t R h o / A n t h o n y L u p e s c o

Presentation is most definitely everything, which is why we had to talk to Matt Rho (left) and Anthony Lupesco (right) of Shockoe Atelier, the raw selvedge denim company based in Richmond, Virginia. Matt works the business; Anthony works the denim. Together they work to create, like their Revenant-esque set up at Liberty, an experience that’s one of a kind.

On Shockoe Atelier:

Anthony: We do raw selvedge denim in our showroom that resembles an art studio more than a traditional retail store, where anyone can watch the product come to life.

On why they make clothes:

Matt: We just love it. It’s just something we’re fascinated by. Our brand, Anthony and I. Anthony’s the designer, I’m on the business side of it. Denim, especially. The characteristics of the fabric allow you to sort of see a garment evolve over time and with flair, and that process fascinates us.

On Liberty Fairs:

Matt: We love Liberty because of the people involved. Ouigi [Theodore] always been amazing to us. He’s been such a huge supporter of the brand and so we want to be where he is.

On the story behind the field shirt:

Matt: What I’m wearing is our field shirt. It’s a 10 ounce denim out of Japan. It’s super light, very easy to wear. I love this shirt because it’ super versatile. You can wear it as a shirt. You can wear it as an overshirt. You can wear it as a light jacket. It also just looks great on everybody who wears it.

G a v i n H a r r i s

In the far back end of Liberty Gavin Harris, a maker and brand ambassador for Cooperstown Distillery, handed out sample shots of whiskey, gin and bourbon like Cy Young throwing changeups at the mound. We stopped to get a taste, the rest is history.

On Cooperstown Distillery:

Gavin: We’re a family run distillery up in Cooperstown, New York. Small batch, farm-distilled spirits. 80% of our ingredients come from New York state soil. We’ve been open for three years. We opened in October of 2013. We do vodka. We do gin. We do two times the bourbon. A whiskey. White whiskey, cinnamon whiskey. Rum. We do a lot of different things and we’re really excited about the future of distilling in New York State and look forward to building a legacy.

On Liberty Fairs:

Well, Ouigi and Nicole of the Brooklyn Circus actually invited me to partake in the event . I’ve done some lifestyle promoting and cross branding with them in the past and they’ve been really good to me. Our aesthetics kind of work really nicely with each other and I’m really happy to be here.

On the story behind the Doubleday bottles:

Gavin: For us Cooperstown has a huge significance to baseball as this is where the National Baseball Hall of Fame is. We wanted to incorporate that history and significance into the design of our Abner Doubleday bottles. Babe Ruth used to drink whiskey in the dugouts. There’s always been that connection between spirits, Coooperstown and baseball. It was an opportunity that no one else was taking and we thought who better to do it then us.

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Originally published at makersfinders.com.