You may not have heard of Desert & Denim, but that's about to change. This hip fashion trade show was started by Mats Andersson of Indigofera Jeans and Hall Newbegin of Juniper Ridge, who says that they "wanted to make a trade show as beautiful as the things that we make." Desert and Denim has been quietly taking place on the outskirts of Joshua Tree since 2015, bringing together makers and buyers of quality American styles, and making laypeople like us super jealous. Because for the past two years, Desert & Denim has been a trade show only, meaning attendance was limited to makers and wholesale buyers.
We wouldn't have felt like we were missing out on too much, except for the fact that in addition to wholesale buying, Desert & Denim offers collaborative workshops, demos from makers, panel discussions with industry leaders and super fun-looking after-hours events. They host gallery shows, concerts, campfire dinners and more—and look really, really good doing it in all their denim, leather, cowboy cottons and hammered jewelry.
Needless to say, we're thrilled that this year, for the first time ever, Desert & Denim will be open to the public, with the goal of inspiring connections and and community between not just vendors and buyers, but also press, influencers, sponsors and anyone who appreciates high-quality design. The 2017 event will take place at Pioneertown from Friday, February 24 to Saturday, February 25. Friday is for vendors, buyers, press and invited guests only—they've still gotta take care of business! Saturday will be free and open to the public. "The thing about most trade shows is that they're after the money, right?" says Newbgin. "So that's why they suck."
Desert & Denim is definitely not a typical trade show, and it most certainly does not suck. It's almost like a mini summer camp for grown-up creatives, with activities like indigo-dying workshops, whiskey tastings, macrame, denim repair, candle making and a slingshot shooting range.
If you'd like to attend the Friday festivities, you must register beforehand and wait to hear if you've been approved. If you're interested in showing up on Saturday, head to Eventbrite to snag your free ticket; the first 50 to sign up will receive a free PF Candle Co. Mojave scented travel candle.
Check out this video to learn more about how Desert & Denim came to be:
Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.