On July 20th and 21st in Soho New York City, Cargo held its 3rd semi-annual art, music and fashion trade show. The idea started a little over a year ago as the brainchild of Gerry Rojas and some of his associates. Rojas made the observation that it didn’t make much sense for local up and coming streetwear and lifestyle brands to fork over huge amounts of cash only to get lost in mega-shows that didn’t cater to the type of buyers they wanted to attract. So they put together the first Cargo show, consisting of 6 labels. Only a year later, nearly three times that many are participating. This year, Cargo saw representation from: Amivectio; Burden Clothing; e.5.Charlie; Good Wood; Kana Beach; Lavie; Odd Men Out; One Punch Machine Gun; Rolling Paper; Sabit; Triko; Triple 5 Soul; Unnecessary Clothing; and Wildchild Nation, to name a few.
I was able to catch up with Gerry Rojas, who gave SoJones the lowdown on Cargo.
Jake: So, tell us a little about Cargo. You guys have done this a few times now, right?
Gerry: Yeah, this is our third time. This is our first anniversary. I have two other partners and we got together and were like “yo, lets get 5 or six brands together and have some fun.” So we pulled it off. They called it the “unconventional convention.”
This year we had ads on Hot 97, we got Rich Yung in here, we got Triple 5 Soul. We take a different approach with our marketing, with everything. Since we allow not just wholesalers in here, it allows the vendors to maybe get rid of a little bit of extra inventory and stuff too. So instead of being all stuffy, it’s like we can all just hang out and have a good time.
Jake: For real. Who is the DJ, by the way?
Gerry: Today, we got DJ Panther, he is going to be doing the after-party tonight as well. Then yesterday we had DJ Camilo from Hot 97. And you know, our sponsors have been doing some really cool stuff too. Becks has been hooking everyone up. Zip car has been driving everybody around to the other trade shows and back.
Jake: How did you guys find this venue [St. Patricks, on Mullberry in SoHo], anyway?
Gerry: Well, believe it or not, I have done a lot of events for different types organizations. So I’m always like, when I’m walking the streets, keeping my eye out. And I saw this place. When I came in with Hector, there were guys in here playing basketball. And I walked in and I was like, hey this place is kinda cool!
Jake: Do you think that this show has been affected by the current depressed economic climate?
Gerry: Well yeah, for sure. It’s like a lot of brands were like “I wasn’t going to do the show, but now that I can sell some of my stuff, I’m in.” We definitely have a lot more local brands this time too. Like last time we had four brands from California. But once they have to pay for traveling and hotels and everything, it was too expensive (for them) this year. So as far as the economic impact, we are definitely feeling it.
Jake: What is the story behind the name “Cargo”?
Gerry: Well, we wanted to come up with a cool name. It seems like I’m always reading about these trade issues, and it’s always, cargo cargo cargo. So it’s like we bring all of these brands togther and deliver them. It’s like, here is our cargo!