In 2004 Olah inc. decided to throw a textile party. Specifically, we threw a "WE LOVE JEANS" fiesta. Of course there was a commercial aspect behind our idea. We wanted to sell our denim but at the same time we wanted to sell in an environment that was fun and funny - so we rented an art gallery on 25 Mercer Street, in Soho, New York which today is the home of the famous Japanese toilet wizards, TOTO.
The art remained on the gallery walls (we even bought some of the pieces) and stuffed colorful mod furniture throughout the premises. Each exhibitor was given their own "living room" set with their own couch and chairs and then we asked various friends in Italy, Japan and South America to come to our event and show their best products… to our glee, a laundry, a hardware company, some corduroy suppliers, a label company and a bunch of other great suppliers endorsed our idea and showed up in NYC to exhibit at the first Kignpins on July 13th 2004. This show was comprised of 13 exhibitors, all making products that went into a jean. We opened a bar from 10am, had a salami and cheese party at 7pm and Kingpins was born.
Why the name Kingpins? Truth be told, our original name was "Leaders" but the name was not easily pronounced by our Japanese suppliers so we sought a synonym and found Kingpins, which means the most important people in an organization. Our exhibitors were defined. They had to be the leaders in the jeans industry.
We learned many things from the original Kingpins. Most importantly was not to serve Hungarian charcuterie all day which made the entire gallery smell like a butcher shop in central Budapest.
We also learned that making a kind of trade show that specialized in jeans wear was a good idea. From our New York party sprung shows in Los Angeles, Shanghai, India, Hong Kong - and in 2014 our new baby debuts in Amsterdam.
The Jeans industry is over $55 billion in scale. How could such a large industry not have it's own trade show? Seemed insane to us that
no one had ever thought of this before, but well … we all live and learn.
For more information on the Kingpins Show visit our website, http://www.kingpinsshow.com