You sense it as soon as you leave your car. Absolute quiet. And a dry heat, as all-encompassing as the limitless blue skies. But above all, there is a sense of possibility, of freedom, it’s what has drawn generations of restless travellers to Joshua Tree National Park spanning generations.
Now, there is a new crop of artists, entrepreneurs, and free minds who have found inspiration in the desert, and at the center of this brave new world is Desert & Denim, an alternative trade show for some of the world’s finest natural fashion and design.
The raucous two-day event was born in a restaurant in Oakland. Founder Hall Newbegin who also started the world’s first wildcrafting fragrance company, Juniper Ridge, recreates the scene: “At our table are three very drunk men: myself, some Juniper Ridge people, and our friend Mats, the founder of Stockholm-based Indigofera Jeans. We were pounding our fists against the table and saying, ‘Yeah, fuck those big New York trade shows at the Javits Center, those endless, airless giant rooms full of aisles of crap! We need a trade show that is as beautiful and soulful as the things we make. Let’s put on our own thing, get the best makers in the world together, and have campfires under the desert sky… It’ll be too good to resist.'”