by Kelli Freeman
(L_R) Chris Reece, Ken Haruta, and Sam Glaser attend the recent West Coast Trend Show.

The West Coast Trend Show (WCTS) held its in-person trade show in Los Angeles on February 13-15, 2021, keeping safety first with plenty of hand sanitizer and a socially-distanced atmosphere for menswear buyers. “It was a very different type of show because everyone needed to wear masks and follow strict safety protocols,” said WCTS owner Ken Haruta.

Additionally, a storm in the Northwest closed airports causing delays on Saturday and grounding numerous buyers. Other regular attendees chose not to participate due to Los Angeles being the hotbed of COVID-19 infections at the time. That said, connections were made and orders were taken. Retailers were delighted to touch and feel fabrics face-to-face. 

Said John Braeger, president of Garys in Newport Beach, California, “We come to the WCTS to support Ken and to see some of the lines we missed in Dallas. It’s very convenient and easy to attend this regional show in Los Angeles. We clearly prefer to touch and feel products vs. Zoom appointments. Thank you, Ken, for making this happen!”

Dick Stallone from Stallones in Anchorage, Alaska agreed. “I’ve been supporting WCTS for over 10 years. I consider several factors in deciding which shows to attend: always most important is the mix of quality lines and the convenience of working the show. Ken and his team go above and beyond to ensure you’re getting exactly that. West Coast Trend Show provides a cost-effective vehicle, with quality lines and exciting new finds each season.”

Steven Matus, rep for Alberto, Codice, Haupt, and Carl Gross, spoke for many exhibitors. “It was good to be back at the West Coast Trend Show. Once again Ken Haruta did a fantastic job keeping our regional show seamless and easy to work. It was refreshing to see in-person customers from long distances away. It makes a world of difference for the retailer to see, feel and touch product. West Coast Trend certainly beats the alternative of Zoom calls, where the passion and excitement of viewing new product is lost. We’re all appreciative of this show; it helps us make better decisions.” 

“These are not regular times,” adds Gary Wasserman of Left Coast Tee. “In fact, these are perhaps as difficult times as our industry has seen. It’s a time for support, partnerships, understanding, and safety, for setting an example for our industry. With all the challenges, the WCTS was a positive and professional environment for all to meet and work together. Our brand Left Coast Tee had the chance to meet quality western stores in a personal and safe way.  Ken’s team and the hotel itself did a lot of work and an excellent job on our behalf.”

With the pandemic now entering a second year, loungewear is proving to be stronger than ever. Underwear, t-shirts, shorts, and denim were the big draws. Not surprisingly, dressy suits, sportscoats, sport shirts, and dress pants are not moving for stores right now. This had already been a trend now accelerated by the harsh reality of COVID-19. Fortunately, optimism is in the air as more people get vaccinated.   


  1. Just about every great store that shops the West Coast Trend Show, are long time loyal customers of Ken Haruta. Ken is the pillar of strength when it comes to the west coast top doors any company and salesmen would welcome to do business with in a heat beat. But that’s Ken, he is always willing to share the accounts he’s nurtured for many decades with all his many industry friends. Ken Haruta is the needed vaccination of our hurting business we all need.
    It was such a pleasure for me personally to have work with Ken for many great years. TAP TAP TAP ♥️ 😎

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