Stories for December 2004

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Friday, December 31

Local Apparel Manufacturers Donate Clothing to Disaster Area

Several apparel manufacturers in Southern California have stepped forward to donate clothing to the disaster-ravaged country of Sri Lanka....

Finding Their Niche: Companies Look to Break Into the Surf Market

Surf’s up. A trio of small surfwear companies is chasing waves leading to big sales in the growing surfwear market....

Mills Corp. Gains Del Amo Center Partner

The Mills Corp. has sold half of its interest in the Del Amo Fashion Center mall to JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management for $244.5 million. Mills acquired the Torrance, Calif.–...

SD Style Awards

The San Diego chapter of Fashion Group International will host its ninth annual Style Awards Gala and breast cancer fundraiser on March 5 at the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego. The event, which will b...

Macerich Builds East Coast Presence

The Macerich Co., a real estate investment trust in Santa Monica, Calif., has agreed to acquire Rochester, N.Y.–based real estate investment trust Wilmorite Properties Inc. for $2.3 billion....

StyleCAD: New Player on the Block

Los Angeles–based StyleCAD is making a move on its big brothers. The CAD company has quietly flown under the radar in the Southern California apparel market during the past s...

Tag-It South

Los Angeles–based trim and zipper maker Tag-It Pacific Inc. announced its Talon Division has struck a multimillion-dollar deal to bring the Talon brand to the Southern Hemisphere. The agreement, set to...

Confidence Back

The Consumer Confidence Index rebounded after four months of flagging results, according to the Conference Board, the New York–based research company that tracks the index. The Conference Board found that the index ro...

Dallas Mart Hires Marketing VP, Promotes Four Executives

The Dallas Market Center has hired a new vice president of marketing and has promoted four executives to new posts....

Delays Expected for Apparel and Textiles From Southeast Asia

U.S. apparel and textile manufacturers said they expect many goods made in Southeast Asia will arrive days to weeks late after a tsunami generated by an undersea earthquake wreaked havoc in the region. Three countrie...

Wet Seal to Close 150 Stores

The Wet Seal Inc, announced Tuesday that it will close 150 stores, more than one-quarter of the company’s 559 shops. The Foothill Ranch, Calif.–based teen retailer, which has suffered more than...

Liquidation Sale

Chicago-based asset management company Great American Group has started liquidation of Kennesaw, Ga.–based The Athlete’s Foot Stores LLC. The shoe and athletic apparel retailer has begun store-closing sales in 114 U.S....

Westfield Renovates Mall With Luxury Shopping

Life in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley is about to become a little more luxurious....

Lectra Acquires German Cutting Co.

Lectra has agreed to acquire German cutting systems company Humantec Industriesysteme GmbH and its U.S. subsidiary for an undisclosed sum....

Gerber Names New Product Managers

Tolland, Conn.–based Gerber Technology Inc., supplier of CAD/CAM products and cutting-room equipment, has made four key appointments to its product management and global marketing dep...

Fake Croc

New York–based Lacoste USA announced that the U.S. Marshals Service had seized $170,000 in counterfeit Lacoste apparel during a sweep of raids across Puerto Rico. The counterfeit pieces, many emblazone...

Web Producer Launches Service for Online Retail Stores

ApparelLink,a Web site producer in Tujunga, Calif., is adding online boutiques to its list of services....

New at Nike

Beaverton, Ore.–based Nike USA named four vice presidents. Julia Law was named vice president of U.S. human resources, Nicholas Athanasakos was named vice president of U.S. supply chain, Craig Cheek wa...

Urban Brands Expect Challenges in 2005

The urban apparel market is starting to struggle after experiencing a long stretch of growth. Stalled efforts to promote the urban scene in Los Angeles have not helped....

N'Zania Grows in Orange County

Apparel manufacturer N’Zania LLC is expanding its real estate holdings in Orange County to accommodate its growing licensed-goods business. The company recently signed a five-year lease for a ...

Friday, December 24

Tiffany Lights Up Pasadena

One of luxury’s top brands will move into Old Town Pasadena in fall 2005. Then, shoppers will be able to look forward to New York–based Tiffany & Co. opening a 5,600-square-foot store on 64...

Billabong Aims for High Profile in Santa Cruz, New York

Pleasure Point is a legendary surf beach in Santa Cruz, Calif., and on Dec. 4, Irvine, Calif.–based surfwear giant Billabong USA moved in....

Flagging Optimism Could Affect Retail

Now that the presidential election is over, California consumers are less optimistic about the future because of high gasoline prices, sluggish job creation and slow economic growth....

Buying Project Runway

The fashions created on cable network Bravo’s fashion reality show “Project Runway” will be auctioned off in a fund-raiser for Dress for Success, the nonprofit organization that provides interview suits and interview co...

Wet Seal's CEO

Foothill Ranch–based retail chain The Wet Seal Inc. named Joel N. Waller chief executive officer, replacing interim CEO Joseph Deckop, who will remain with the company. Waller, who begins as CEO in Feb...

Lunch Lapse

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger backed down from plans to endorse an emergency measure that would change the rules regarding when workers must take a lunch break. Current law requires that employees take lunch by the ...

2004 in Review: Year of Rebound

The economy rebounded in 2004—for some more than others....

Minimum RFID

A recent report by Boston-based AMR Research found that Wal-Mart’s top suppliers have invested only a small portion of what is needed to implement the retail giant’s Radio Frequency Identification requirement. The Bent...

Financing Options for a Quota-Free World

As a growing number of apparel manufacturers move production overseas, factors are receiving more requests for letters of credit and purchase order financing from domestic companies. But the factors a...

Friday, December 17

C&C to Open Showroom at Cooper Design Space

Hot T-shirt brand C&C California is going places....

Ultrasuede in Canada

New York–based Toray Ultrasuede (America) has partnered with the Toronto Fashion Incubator to participate in the TFI New Labels Fall 2005 Design Competition, set for March. The fabric maker will sponso...

Indra Launches New Web Site

San Diego–based Indra Technology Inc., developer of Escape software for apparel industry sales forces, has launched a new Web site....

Local Manufacturer Prevails on Appeal in Letter-of-Credit Case

Los Angeles manufacturer DBJJJ Inc., which does business as True Love, has won an appeal in the California Court of Appeals, Second District in its case against Nat...

ITG Goes to China

Greensboro, N.C.–based International Textile Group, the company founded earlier this year to purchase Burlington Industries and Cone Mills, has formed a partnership with the China Ting Group to build a dyeing ...

California Gets New Labor Commissioner

The position of state labor commissioner, which had been vacant for about one year, was filled by an executive from a nationwide janitorial company....

Hard Holiday

A recent Gallup poll found that consumers have been “less enthusiastic” and “highly priceconscious” so far this Holiday season, forcing some retailers to slash prices in or...

Textile Tariffs

China announced plans to impose an export tariff on textiles bound for the United States. The tax is China’s response to growing concerns regarding the impact of the elimination of quotas on Chinese-ma...

Forever 21 Settles Workers' Suit

Forever 21 Inc. settled a lawsuit with garment workers in California Superior Court, effectively ending a 3-year-long national boycott against the popular Los Angeles–based retailer and resolv...

Russell Buys Brooks

Atlanta-based Russell Athletic has inked a deal with Brooks Sports Inc. to purchase the Bothell, Wash.–based running-gear maker for approximately $115 million. Brooks, founded in 1914, manufactures foo...

Karl Joins Tommy

New York–based Tommy Hilfiger Corp. and Paris-based designer Karl Lagerfeld struck a deal that will allow Tommy Hilfiger to purchase the Lagerfeld trademarks, including Lagerfeld Gallery and Lagerfeld ...

West Third Street Retailers Mint Holiday Tradition

’Tis the season to block party. On Dec. 9, retailers on Los Angeles’ West Third Street invited loyal and new customers to festive store celebrations with discounts ranging from 10 percent to 50 percent....

2004 Retrospective: California Commercial Real Estate Rents: Showroom Space, Retail Remain Strong

Low interest rates and rising values kept the California real estate market strong in 2004....

For Many Brands, Premium Denim Begins in Japan

Blue jeans are as American as apple pie. But an increasing number of denim labels are turning to Japan as a source for fabric....

Revisions in the Works for Garment Contractor Law

There may be some changes in store next year for the California sweatshop-reform bill known as Assembly Bill 633....

Cal State, L.A. Kicks Off Textile Program

California State University, Los Angeles is looking for future textile executives....

Ladies of the Canyon Mix Fashion and Fund Raising

Hollywood starlets flocked to the L Salon and Beauty Lounge on Dec. 1 for a fashion fund-raiser that featured the first runway show for Los Angeles line Ladies of the Canyon...

2004 Retrospective Textile and Apparel Imports and Exports: China Holds Top Spot in Imports to U.S.

China maintained a strong lead as the No. 1 supplier of textiles and apparel to the United States. Chinese imports grew almost 25 percent during the first 10 months of 2004....

2004 Retrospective Retail Sales Department Stores: JCPenney Sizzles, Sears Grabs Headlines

In 2004, discounters and moderate-priced stores found a chance to shine in an arena long dominated by Bentonville, Ark.–based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. ...

Warnaco Chooses SAP

New York–based Warnaco Inc. is adding enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to streamline its global operations....

2004 Retrospective Retail Sales Specialty Stores: Chico's Soars, Gap Coasts

While shopping centers increasingly devoted their real estate to teen fashions in 2004, Chico’s FAS Inc. earned strong same-store sales by selling fashionable clothes to baby boomer women....

2004 Retrospective Apparel, Textile and Retail Employment: Retail, Textiles Among the Brightest Spot

It was no surprise that the number of state apparel manufacturing workers continued to dwindle in 2004, according to the latest data provided by the California Employment Development Department (EDD)....

Friday, December 10

Mani at Tarrant

Los Angeles–based private-label and private-brand apparel maker Tarrant Apparel Group named Simon Mani to its board of directors. Mani is the co-founder and general manager of the Mani Brothers Real Estate Inv...

Ben's West Coast Man

Ben Sherman North America, the New York–based division of the London company, promoted Derek Mosher to the position of West Coast sales manager. Mosher will be relocating from the New York showroom to the comp...

Cutter & Buck Inc. Chooses Freeborders

San Francisco software developer Freeborders PLM has sold its suite of product lifecycle management software to Seattle-based Cutter & Buck Inc., which will use the appl...

Influential 20 of 2004

California’s apparel industry had its share of triumphs and challenges in 2004....

L.A. Textile Company Files Copyright Suits

A Los Angeles textile company owner has filed eight lawsuits alleging that a raft of retailers, manufacturers and textile converters have used his copyrighted fabric designs....

Columbia to Kentucky

Portland, Ore.–based outdoor active apparel maker Columbia Sportswear Co. dedicated its new 520,000-square-foot distribution center in Robards, Ky., which is expected to be operational in January. The ...

Fallout From Labor Dept. Sweep Continues

In an update of a California Department of Industrial Relations report on its recent investigation, the agency revealed additional labor law violations found at local contractors. The DIR said that, i...

EWarna Aligns With German Company for Color Sampling

Malaysian-based color specialist eWarna Ltd. has teamed with German company Color AIXperts to provide a new online color sampling service for the apparel and textile industries....

L.A. Designer Ahneva Teams With African Textile Makers

Los Angeles designer Ahneva Hilson, known for her Afrocentric apparel creations, is taking on an expanded role as a distributor of African textiles. As a result, she hopes to help impoverished nations...

Unexpected

Metropark, the store founded to bring boutique culture to suburban malls, celebrated its grand opening on Dec. 2 at the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, Calif. The party lived up to the store...

November '04's Sales Bring Mixed Yuletide Messages

The holidays could bring a lot of cheer to retailers but gratification might be delayed, said Michael Niemira, chief economist for the New York–based International Council of Shopping...

CMC Revises L.A. Textile Show Dates

The California Market Center has shifted the dates for the next Los Angeles International Textile Show to April 4–6....

Guess? Inc. Tests Marciano Division

With high-profile celebrity Paris Hilton as a brand spokesmodel, the grand opening of Guess? Inc.’s new Marciano store at The Grove in Los Angeles should have been a glitzy r...

Celebrating the First

Los Angeles designer Marco Morante celebrated his oneyear anniversary of designing clothes with an eclectic touch on Dec. 2 at his Marco Marco boutique in Hollywood. Enjoying party ...

Candie's at Kohl's

New York–based Candie’s Inc. has struck a longterm, exclusive deal with Kohl’s, which will launch Candie’s juniors and girls’ department on

Gerry Building Finds a Buyer

An unnamed fashion industry executive has reached an agreement to purchase the historic Gerry Building in the Los Angeles Fashion District for close to its asking price of $...

VF and HD

VF Imagewear, a Nashville- based division of the VF Corp., located in Greensboro, N.C., has inked a deal to acquire Waukesha, Wis.–based Holoubek Inc., the apparel licensee for Harley-Davidson. Holoube...

Charity Program Has L.A. Fashion District Beginning

“How many say shopping is their favorite hobby?” publicist Carrie Gilbreth yelled out in front of the Guess? Outlet store at the Cooper Design Space in downtow...

Dirtbag, Garage Radio Enter Partnership

San Francisco–based streetwear line Dirtbag Clothing Co. is employing new methods of grass-roots marketing to get a jump on the competition. The independent company, founded by Doug Canning, has stru...

Apparel Takes Top Spot in 2004 Online Sales

As of this writing, 47 percent of all adult Americans have made an online purchase, and about 5 percent of all retail sales are now transacted online. After one decade of business, online shopping has establi...

Modern Amusement Founder Launches Generic Youth Label

Jeff Yokoyama, founder of Santa Monica, Calif.–based Modern Amusement, wanted his 15-year-old daughter, Coco, to get a job this summer. Instead of marching her to the nearest mall, he suggeste...

Lane Bryant's Seven7

New York–based plus-size retailer Lane Bryant has launched a new plus-size designer denim collection called Seven7. The fashions, which come in sizes 14 through 28, feature wash details such as whisker...

L.A. Contemporary Market Dates Shift

Los Angeles Contemporary Market organizers have adjusted the event’s Fall ’05 dates to March 17–22. Designers & Agents will be held March 18–21....

Friday, December 3

American Apparel Leads All-Star Award Winners

Los Angeles–based American Apparel led a group of California companies that received awards for leadership and performance during Apparel’s All-Star Awards, held Nov....

CMC Sets Market, Textile Dates for Spring

The California Market Center has moved the Los Angeles International Textile Show dates to eliminate a conflict with the new Los Angeles Contemporary Market dates in March, ...

213 Industry

Michelle Kim knew she was on to something when Debra Messing wore one of her tops on “Will & Grace.”...

Bandit

After years of styling rock groups, Felicia Arlin is helping the common man to swagger in his own vintage leather jacket....

Tukatech Opens Services at FedEx-Kinko's

Los Angeles–based CAD/CAM company Tukatech Inc. has opened up a patternand marker-making service in 1,248 FedEx-Kinko’s units worldwide....

CMC Suitor Finds New Line of Business in L.A. Fashion District

The soon-to-be new owner of the California Market Center, Dr. David Y. Lee of Jamison Properties Inc., may not know a lot about apparel showrooms and fashion shows, but he d...

Designers Go Green With Sustainable Fabrics

Kate O’Connor is known for creating ponchos and knits that languidly drape a woman’s curves. The Los Angeles–based designer—who typically uses alpaca, silk and other supple yarns for her designs—recently d...

G-III and Kenneth Cole

New York–based Kenneth Cole Productions will expand its existing licensing agreement for outerwear with the G-III Apparel Group. G-III has been producing women’s outerwear under the Kenneth Cole New York and Re...

Workers' Comp Reductions

The California State Compensation Insurance Fund, a government-funded insurer, has proposed a 5 percent reduction in workers’ compensation rates. This is the third rate reduction since the beginning of the yea...

Wal-Mart Slashes Prices

The nation’s top retailer announced plans to cut prices during the Holiday season after lackluster sales on the Friday after Thanksgiving, traditionally the start of the Holiday shopping season. The me...

TALA Spotlights Fashion's Future

Los Angeles designer Trina Turk shared highlights from her career path with students from several local design schools at the 48th annual Textile Association of Los...

Labor Department's Surprise Sweep Shutters Six Contractors

The California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement said it had shut down at least six garment shops and issued more than $76,000 in fines to Southern California garment shops violating state and f...

Levi's Outlet Sold

Hub Holding Corp., a division of Boca Raton, Fla.–based private investment company Sun Capital Partners Inc., bought Designs, the outlet retailer for Levi’s and Dockers on the East Coast, from Casual Male Retail Group Inc. for $12.8 m...

Flag Day

The Los Angeles Fashion District Business Improvement District this week distributed eye-catching banners throughout its 90-block jurisdiction. Four new styles representing the apparel, retai...

Donations Sought for TALA Christmas Party

The Textile Association of Los Angeles is collecting books and toys to be distributed at its annual Christmas party for inner-city children, which will be held Dec. 17 at the Califor...

Pritzkers Sell Buena Park Downtown

Cleveland-based Developers Diversified Realty (DDR) and New York–based Coventry Real Estate Advisors spent $91 ...

TALA to Honor Goldman, Metchek

Textile representative Michael Goldman and the California Fashion Association’s Ilse Metchek will be honored at the Textile Association of Los Angeles’ annual inaugural lunche...

Wal-Mart Seeks Relief

Bentonville, Ark.–based retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. asked the San Francisco appeals court to dismiss the class-action status granted to more than 1 million women claiming the company discriminate...

Beefed Up Mexican Port Could Compete With Los Angeles

A major Hong Kong firm has plans to build a new port south of Ensenada in Mexico’s Baja California region to compete with the jammed port complex in the Los Angeles/Long Beach area....

Strong Start for Holiday Season

Holiday sales started on a blockbuster note, but will this winner’s streak last throughout the entire Holiday season?...

Retailer Finds Late- Night Niche

At 11:30 p.m., long after most retailers have locked their shops, Jennifer Miller prepares for the second big rush of her work day. Her boutique, Late Bloomer, located at 430 N. Fairfax Ave. ...

Kernochan Joins Merchant

Merchant Factors has hired Bill Kernochan as vice president and account executive. ...

Kendo Scores for Women's Sneakers

Nov. 11 was party night in Los Angeles. Aero & Co. on Third Street hosted a trunk show for contemporary label Franny; Lisa Angel in Studio City held a...

Alpha's Gala Opening

Lights! Cameras! Ties! Darren Gold and Christos Garkinos wore ties, something they rarely do, for the glamorous Nov. 11 grand opening of their men’s boutique, Alpha, in West Hollywood, Calif....

Free Trade Advocates Head to Court

U.S. apparel and textile importers are taking their fight for free trade to the courts....

Guitar Alley's Fashionable New Face

For five years, Margaret Dietl searched Los Angeles for the perfect real estate for her new store. She finally found it in a neighborhood once known for its bad behavior....

Shark-Infested Waters

Surf retailer Zuma Jay’s suffers 20-year trademark infringement ...

Westonwear Opens Pop-Up Retail Store

When Vietnamese restaurant The Slanted Door moved out of San Francisco’s increasingly fashionable Mission District, Julienne Weston mourned the loss of one of her favorite ea...

Anchor Blue's Extreme Makeover

Ontario, Calif.–based teen retailer Anchor Blue had been brightening its financial picture since early this year but not the look of its stores. The mall-based retailer had been featuring the ...