Stories for December 2003

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Friday, December 26

Stony Apparel at New Address

Stony Apparel has consolidated its headquarters and manufacturing facility at one address in downtown Los Angeles. The company moved its operations on Dec. 15 to one 200,000-square-foot building at 1...

Tukatech Moves TukaCenter Into FBI Facility

Los Angeles–based CAD software supplier Tukatech Inc. will shutter its 2-year-old TukaCenter design studio in Los Angeles and shift operations into...

California Shopping Mall Company Expands in Arizona

The Macerich Co., based in Santa Monica, Calif., recently completed its acquisition of the Biltmore Fashion Park from Taubman Centers Inc. The purchase adds another mall t...

Anti-CAFTA

The American Textile Manufacturers Institute issued a statement in opposition to the Central American Free Trade Agreement and urged Congress to vote down the trade bill. The Washington, D.C.–based org...

Brand Building North of the Border

Mexican label opens retail store in downtown Los Angeles...

TALA to Celebrate 60 Years

The Textile Association of Los Angeles (TALA) will celebrate its 60th anniversary with an inaugural luncheon and installation on Jan. 22, 2004....

2003 in Review

It was a year of independents....

Execs See Improved Tech Investments in 2004

The year 2003 was one of optimism for technology providers. Apparel industry clients finally loosened their investment dollars after realizing enhancements to their bottom lines through the use of aut...

TALA Christmas

It was a full house at the

Russell Big and Tall

Atlanta-based athletic apparel maker Russell Athletic struck a four-year licensing deal with New York–based Profile, which will merchandise and distribute a line of big-and-tall apparel under the Russe...

Name Change

New York–based public company Sassoon Group Inc. has changed its name to BIB Holdings Ltd. The company holds the license for the m.Sasson label but opted to change its name to reflect the company’s enti...

Greek Drama

A group representing African-American sororities and fraternities has sued shoemaker Converse, charging unfair competition and copyright infringement regarding a collection of shoes named GreekPak. The shoes ...

HK in NY

Nine designers from Hong Kong will join the lineup in Bryant Park at New York Fashion Week in February. The designers—Arthur Lam, Blanc de Chine and Bleu de Chine, Dorian Ho, Flora Zhang Tian Ai, Harrison Wong...

Crush Boutique Parties in Malibu

Is Malibu a haven for clothes with a conservative cut? Not if Crush Boutique is throwing the party....

Friday, December 19

2003 Retrospective: Textile and Apparel Imports and Exports

China has overtaken Mexico as the main source of apparel and textile imports for the United States, growing 33 percent during the first three quarters of 2003 while Mexico’s imports dropped 5.27 percen...

St. John Taps Raj Manufacturing Inc.

With the fashion world’s growing appetite for high-end swimwear, women’s better apparel maker St. John Knits Inc. is ready to take a multi-million-dollar plunge....

Deflating the Holiday

Sales deflation in three major gift categories could deflate seasonal exuberance, according to a recent report by accounting and research firm Ernst & Young LLP. According to the company’s recent Q...

2003 Retrospective

The U.S. economy lurched toward recovery in 2003, and the apparel industry also showed signs that business was picking up....

FIDM Lights Up L.A.

The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) is dressing up downtown in lights for the holidays. FIDM decorated its downtown building with white lights and erected a 25-foot Holiday eve...

Costume Award

The Costume Designers Guild will bestow several honorary awards at its sixth annual Costume Designers Guild Awards on Feb. 21 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. James Acheson will receive the Bulgari Career Achievement awa...

Economists Project Growth for California and Apparel Industry in 2004

Economic gurus have been reading the tea leaves to decipher what next year will bring for California.They conclude the economy will be growing at a faster clip next year and that that growth will tric...

Silicon Shoes

Westford, Mass.–based sneaker maker Puma has opened a 3,000-square-foot concept store, called Sportlifestyle, at the Valley Fair Mall in San Jose....

CMC Sets New Agenda, Leadership

New Year’s is still a couple of weeks away, but the management of the Los Angeles–based California Market Center is already preparing for 2004 with a new advisory council made up of CMC tenants...

NPR Program Focuses on L.A. Fashion District

National Public Radio station KPCC 89.3 FM shone a spotlight on the ever-changing Los Angeles Fashion District on Dec. 17 in a two-hour live broad...

Sales Mixed

Retailers reported mixed sales results for the secondto- last weekend before the Christmas holiday. Many analysts said they expected to see sales rise following the Dec. 14 announcement that former Ir...

No. 1 Shirt

Carlsbad-based golf apparel maker Ashworth Inc. was named the No. 1 golf shirt for the seventh consecutive year by the annual Darrell Consumer Survey. Ashworth golf shirts have 12.6 percent market sha...

2003 Retrospective Retail Sales: Recovery for Some

In a year of economic uncertainty, consumers kept shopping. But they chose where to spend their money carefully, opting for high-end merchandise, rock-bottom bargains or spot-on merchandising for specialty ...

2003 Retrospective Apparel Employment Roundup: Job Losses Continue in 2003

This year, the apparel industry had little to offer in the way of jobs, but clothing manufacturers said they were able to hold on to their employees by coming up with “realistic” project...

2003 Retrospective: Real Estate: Rents Up for Retail

Despite a slight uptick in interest rates during the second half of 2003, the California retail and commercial real estate market held firm this year....

Friday, December 12

Longtime Manufacturer Closes Its Doors

Teddi of California, a women’s sportswear label that parlayed its early success in the 1960s as a women’s blouse company into a maker of misses staple items like polyester pullon pants, closed ...

MarcoMarco Draws a Designer Crowd

The designers turned out for Marco Morante’s party celebrating the opening of his design studio in Hollywood....

State Politicians Delve Into Label Controversy

As Wal-Mart Stores Inc. prepares to launch an initiative requiring its top 100 suppliers to tag shipments using radiofrequency identification (RFID) technology, the California Senate is deciding whet...

Polo Jeans to Take Space in Gerry Bldg.

Independent representative Brett Morris has signed a three-year lease to open a showroom in the Gerry Building....

Downtown Fashion Walk

Several local designers opened their studios on Dec. 6 for the second Fashion Walk at the Maxfield Building in downtown Los Angeles....

The Bohemian Society

Designers and business partners Victor Wilde and Heather Scott set out to create a one-of-a-kind collection that would appeal to fashion iconoclasts....

Paradiso's Customers Travel in Style

Natalia Castillo spends an inordinate amount of time thinking about what to wear on vacation. But then again, that’s her job....

Fund-Raising Fashionably

The fashions were fabulous and the sh...

Asch Joins California Apparel News Staff

Veteran journalist Andrew Asch has joined the editorial staff of the California Apparel News as retail editor. Asch replaces Christian M. Chensvold, who will continue to write for th...

Sears.com Moves Forward With Fashion

To date, Sears, Roebuck and Co. has used its Web site,

Design Direction From Beth Frank

Accessories designer Beth Frank hosted a belt-making party for stylists and press on Dec. 6 at her eponymous boutique in Los Angeles’ Fairfax district....

DNA Textile Marker Program Awaits Funding

A Los Angeles technology company that has developed a DNA-based textile tracing tool to track illegal imports will have to wait longer than expected to find out whether the federal government will imp...

Influential 20

News makers, hot topics and trends....

LAEDC to Industry: Capitalize on the 'L.A. Look'

Southern California’s apparel and textile industries have been losing jobs—particularly entry-level and low-wage jobs, but companies can survive through sharp marketing skills and by latching onto Los Angeles...

Warnaco Shutters Speedo Retail

New York–based The Warnaco Group Inc. announced plans to close all 44 remaining Speedo and Authentic Fitness retail stores as part of the company’s ongoing restructuring efforts. Some of the stores will become ...

Staying Low

The Federal Reserve kept the federal funds rate at its 45-year low of 1 percent. The federal funds rate is a short-term interest rate that banks charge each other for overnight loans....

Gerber Gets New West Coast Director

Rodney Harrelson has been named the new deputy regional director for Gerber Technology Inc.’s Los Angeles office, which supplies cutting-roomequipment and business management software for the ...

Mollycoddle Morphs Into Mishka

What’s in a name? Everything and nothing....

Moves at Roxy

Huntington Beach, Calif.–based Quiksilver Inc. has announced promotions in its Roxy division....

Stocking Up for the Holidays

Vecchiarelli Brothers Inc., 64-year-old supplier of dress forms, sewing machines and sewing suppliers, opened the doors of its L.A. garment district store on Dec. 6 for a customer-appreciatio...

New Line From Directives' Drobnick

Sheri Drobnick, a former merchandise manager with Directives West, has left the Los Angeles–based buying office to launch a new label aimed at “a woman who has a designer headset but no...

Skechers and Davril

Manhattan Beach–based trendy shoemaker Skechers USA Inc. has struck a deal with Los Angeles–based Paul Davril Inc. for a line of licensed men’s and women’s apparel under the Skechers name. The line will b...

Bebe Names CFO

Brisbane, Calif.–based Bebe Stores Inc. has named former Wet Seal executive Walter Parks chief financial officer. The position was previously held by John Keyes, who left to take the chief financial of...

Slow Growth

U.S. employers added 57,000 workers to payroll in November, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, which also announced unemployment dropped to 5.9 percent, its lowest percentage since April. Analysts had...

Stepping Back From Gap

Gap Inc. founder Donald G. Fisher has stepped down as chairman of the apparel company. Fisher founded the company 34 years ago in San Francisco as a single store that sold jeans from Levi Strauss...

Friday, December 5

Less Than Hoped For

The State Compensation Insurance Fund, the biggest insurer in California, announced that it expected to cut workers’ compensation rates by about 2.9 percent next year. The amount of reduction is less t...

Levi's new Hire

Levi Strauss & Co. has replaced outgoing chief financial officer William B. Chiasson with Jim Fogarty, who will serve as an interim chief financial officer. Fogarty is the managing director of Alvarez & Marshal, a co...

Body Glove Launches Active Sportswear

In the ’80s, Body Glove International created a zip-up neoprene swimsuit for women. Now the Redondo Beach, Calif.-based surfwear manufacturer is preparing to launch a women’s fitness divi...

Loft Living Becoming a Fashionable Move in Downtown L.A.

The Los Angeles Fashion District is taking on a look that it has never seen before. When two projects in the district open their doors, the 90-block section of downtown Los Angeles will contain a majo...

Rock da House

It was only a matter of time before the action-...

Hello (Dr.) Kitty

Pacoima-based uniform company Strategic Partners Inc. has struck a deal with the Sanrio Co. for a line of Hello Kitty medical uniforms. Tokyo-based Sanrio, which has U.S. headquarters in San Francisco, also announced licensi...

Paxar Eyes Growth With Alkahn Acquisition

White Plains, N.Y.–based label supplier Paxar Corp. recently finalized the acquisition of Hong Kong–based Alkahn Labels Inc., a maker of woven labels, for $25 million....

Op Taps Mitzi International

Irvine, Calif.–based Ocean Pacific Apparel Corp. has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Mitzi International Handbags & Accessories Lt...

Quiksilver Expands Footwear Offerings

Surf industry observers said it was just a matter of time before surfwear giant Quiksilver Inc. entered the men’s footwear market. Last month, the Huntington Beach, Calif.–based appare...

Retailers, Manufacturers Hopeful for Merry Holiday

Early-morning promotions on the Friday after Thanksgiving kicked off the Holiday shopping season, prompting hopeful expectations for the rest of the sales season....

Bronstein Sings for Students

Kathy Bronstein did it her way. The former chief executive officer of Foothill Ranch, Calif.–based teen retailer The Wet Seal gave a rousing, funny and unexpectedly musical speech as the gue...

Joyce Azria Launches Solo Label

Every young bird must leave the nest....

A&F Pulls Catalog

New Albany, Ohio–based chain retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co., which has drawn fire for its racy catalog from several consumer groups, has pulled the catalog from stores to make room for the new A...

Apparel Makers, Mills Deal With Rising Cotton Prices

Climbing cotton prices, which have nearly doubled in the last year, are leaving local apparel manufacturers and textile factories in a quandary about how to keep the lid on prices without gouging thei...

Perry Ellis Rides the Action-Sports Wave

Perry Ellis International Inc. is ready to ride the action-sports wave. The New York–based apparel giant recently purchased indie surfwear maker Redsand Apparel for an undisclosed amo...

E-Shopping Soars

“Black Friday,” the traditional Holiday shopping kickoff, made the jump to cyberspace. Online consumer spending the day after Thanksgiving rose 28 percent over the previous Friday, and the numbe...

Hurley, Lunada Bay Dive Into Juniors

With a strong consumer demand for juniors swimwear in the action-sportswear market, indie label Hurley International Inc. is looking to get in on the action....