Stories for December 2007

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Friday, December 28

2007 in Review

It was a year of both the mega-deal and the quiet merger. 7 For All Mankind sold for $775 million and American Apparel for $774 million, while Chicago menswear comp...

Bayou Hosts Private Show

Los Angeles–based couture designer Bradley Bayou has shown on the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios, but the former Halston designer recently eschewed ...

Costa Mesa: The Closet Opens in Growing Indie Retail Scene

With luxury retail centers South Coast Plaza and Fashion Island only a few minutes’ drive away, people in Costa Mesa, Calif., and the adjacent cit...

Revamped Vuitton Opens at Hollywood & Highland

The influence of French luxury-goods company Louis Vuitton might loom larger over Hollywood. On Nov. 21, it held an exclusive cocktail party to celebrate an expansion and remodeling ...

Plus-Size Designers Fill the Sizing Gap

Some of California’s plus-size designers are finding new opportunities beyond their target customers—and they are adjusting their sizing below traditional plus-size boundaries....

PTC Brings its PLM Knowledge Westward

The apparel industry is starting to embrace PLM (product lifecycle management) technology, and that has a bandwagon of vendors courting West Coast manufacturers, retailers and importers....

TALA's Crowded House

About 120 children spilled into the California Market Center Fashion Theater for the Textile Association of Los Angeles’ annual holiday party....

California Couture

Fashion shows and the glamorous madhouse images they conjure up are great for building buzz. But some Los Angeles–based couture designers are turning the idea of the fashion show on its head to showcase their designs better and close sales.

Lyon Mode City, Interfilire Move to Paris

The Lyon Mode City and Interfiliegrave;re trade shows are moving to Paris. ...

ASR Goes Digital

Come January, the Action Sports Retailer Trade Expo in San Diego will take on a distinctively high-tech flair. As part of its move toward a more eco-friendly and u...

Major Apparel Importers' Association to Meet in Los Angeles

Key U.S. government officials who influence the apparel and textile import market will be speaking at a one-day meeting in Los Angeles organized by the United States Association of Importers ...

Success Tips

Retailers with well-stocked shelves and a customer-friendly return policy tended to fare better than other retailers during the holiday season, according to accounting firm KPMG. In a phone survey, the accounting firm noted that 76 percent ...

Salary Boost

Starting Jan. 1, California’s minimum wage hits $8 an hour, a 6.7 percent increase from the previous minimum wage of $7.50. Employees who are exempt from overtime pay now have their minimum monthly salary pegg...

Big Blue

Cone Denim, the world’s largest denim producer, based in Greensboro, N.C., hopes to have its new denim plant in Nicaragua up and running some time in early 2008. Cone Denim recently announced it obtained a sev...

Watchful Eye

Vietnamese apparel manufacturers have hired a U.S. law firm to help them deal with any antidumping charges brought by the U.S. government in 2008. Sidley Austin LLP, a worldwide law firm headquartered in Chicago, wil...

ENK Announces Acquisition of WSA

ENK International, the New York trade-show organizer whose shows include Fashion Coterie, Intermezzo ...

Friday, December 21

Graphics and Street Art in San Francisco

During a trip to San Francisco, Sally Lohan, content editor of the Worth Global Style Network, the Britan-based online forecaster at

Popular Fashion District Eatery Closes

After 35 years, The Grill Table, a landmark eatery in the Los Angeles Fashion District, served its last kabob on Dec. 21....

2007 Retrospective: Forecast for 2008

Imports were up, employment was down, commercial rents stabilized somewhat and retail sales were all over the map—strong in some sectors and tough in others....

Boutique Promises New Era for Men's Vintage

Vintage fashion had mostly been a woman’s affair in Los Angeles until Dec. 13, when Jonathan Kanarek opened Jake Vintage, a men’s vintage-fashion boutique in the heart of a specifically retro-l...

Grey Ant's Pop-Up Store Opens

Following the close of designer Brian Lichtenberg’s pop-up store on Dec. 14, designer Grant Krajecki moved in Dec. 15, morphing the New High (M)art into a Grey Ant pop-up space....

Nicole Miller, Karen Neuburger Get Web Makeovers

Los Angeles–based One-Stop Internet Inc. recently completed Web site redesigns for New York–based fashion brand Nicole Miller and San Rafael, Calif.–based sleepwear company Kar...

2007 Retrospective: Some Rents Stabilize for the Short Term

After a steady increase in rising rents and prices, retail real estate rates in some of California’s most desirable retail areas may finally plateau....

2007 Retrospective: Retail Sales

The Wet Seal Inc. has had a tough time in recent years but appears to be making a comeback. The Foothill Ranch, Calif.–based company enjoyed good business for much of 2007—even with a steep dip in March.

2007 Retrospective: Retail, Textile and Manufacturing Jobs Slump in 2007

Across the board, California’s apparel-related jobs dipped in 2007, according to the most recent data available from the California Employment Development Department (EDD)....

Trend Tracking in the Denim Market

Denim veteran Adriano Goldschmied of Los Angeles–based Goldsign warned jeans makers to never relax when it comes to producing or selling denim....

2007 Retrospective: China Posts Major Gains in Apparel Exports in 2007

China had a banner year in apparel and textiles exports to the United States despite quotas on 34 different categories of goods....

Trade-Show Producer to Open Store With Rock Stars

Aaron Levant, the 24-year-old wunderkind who launched the Agenda trade show in 2003 as a venue for streetwear, has successfully built the event into a biannual production in San Dieg...

Variations on a Theme

The theme was quot;East Meets Westquot; at Los Angeles Trade-Tech’s annual Gold Thimble Fashion Show, where students were asked to mix Eastern and Western historical attire to create a new look. Juan G...

Cotton This

A World Trade Organization panel in Geneva, Switzerland, has ruled that a series of U.S. cotton subsidies are illegal and should be scrapped. The ruling is a victory for Brazil and West Africa, cotton...

Local Ports Increase Cargo-Handling Fees

Come June 1, the cost to load or unload a 40-foot container from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will go up by $70....

Opening Doors

Von Maur, the department store in the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Neb., where a gunman went on a rampage, planned to open its doors on Dec. 20. The store had been closed since the Dec. 5 shooting, during...

L.A. Designer to Highlight El Paseo Fashion Week

Los Angeles designer Eduardo Lucero will show his latest collection to cap the third edition of Fashion Week El Paseo in Palm Desert, Calif., to be held March 23–30....

Pool Gets New Head, Shifts Focus for 2008

Mindy Weiner, Pooltradeshow’s operations manager, has announced her resignation from the trade show, effective the end of this year. “It has been a good ride, a great ride,” sai...

Montclair Plaza Set for Renovations

Montclair Plaza, a 1.3 million-square-foot regional mall in California’s Inland Empire, is getting a makeover....

Technology, Sustainability on Agenda at Garment-Washing Symposium

The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) hosted its “Fashion Garment Washi...

Leases Signed for New Bay Area Center

A slate of national retailers will take space at the new Streets of Brentwood lifestyle shopping center under construction in the Northern California town of Brentwood....

Deal Making

Retail Ventures Inc., a Columbus, Ohio, retailer, said it has entered into talks with a third party for the acquisition of one of its chains, Value City Department Stores Inc. The talks are subject to certain conditions, including d...

For Sale

Cherokee Inc., a licensor and marketer of brands such as Cherokee, Sideout and Carole Little, is considering selling its business. The publicly traded company announced it has retained Goldman Sachs & Co....

Shirt Tale

Phillips–Van Heusen Corp. has signed a licensing agreement with Donna Karan Studio to manufacture men’s shirts under the DKNY label. The shirts will start appearing in stores in early 2008 with the Spring colle...

Friday, December 14

Retailer Says Good for the Head, Good for the Body

For Nir Zilberman, the fashion business is not so different from the hair-and-beauty trade. In fact, the hairstylist might have an advantage in selling clothes, according to the West Hollywood, Calif.–...

Retailers Catch the Custom T-Shirt Wave

The latest trend in T-shirts might be a do-it-yourself style, and there is a wave of retailers offering new ways to customize a blank tee to suit customers’ personal styles....

Solstiss/Bucol Mingles With the Gods and Rootstein Mannequins

NEW YORK—When one of the fashion industry’s leading manufacturers of fine lace and fabrics collaborated with the world’s leading mannequin-design company, the result was a fantastic party of Olympic scal...

Team Behind 'Project Runway' Takes Center Stage

A sold-out crowd of more than 200 “Project Runway” fans packed the theater at the Paley Center for Media (formerly the Museum of Television & Radio) in B...

Badgley Mischka, Papillon Move to Sunset Plaza

The latest boutiques moving into the exclusive Los Angeles shopping district Sunset Plaza include an established couture line and a new Euro-luxury sportswear store....

Ms. Kline's New Web Emporium

High-profile Los Angeles boutique retailer Lisa Kline recently debuted a new e-commerce Web site (

T-Shirt Makers Take Customization to the Web

Newsmakers of 2007

California’s fashion industry was at the center of a host of changes in 2007 as fashion went eco—and so did the local port. Fashion took the top spot in online spending and the blogosphere exploded with...

DJ Set Makes Good Partner, Says Fashion Chief

Funk and punk music might provide a good soundtrack for a Saturday night. Yet when Jade Howe deejayed at the LASC boutique in West Hollywood, Calif., Dec. 6, the sounds also served as a catal...

B.B. Dakota Eying Possible Sale or IPO

B.B. Dakota, a young contemporary brand based in Irvine, Calif., has tripled its business since its debut in 2005....

Salons Carve a Niche With Apparel Sales

One-stop shopping is a concept that is constantly evolving, and for some retailers, the latest spin is to combine clothing sales with salon and beauty services....

Bryce & Bouji

Newcomer Jen Wilder set out to create sophisticated femininity with her new line, Bryce & Bouji....

Mervyns' CEO Resigns

Hayward-based retail chain Mervyns announced that its Chief Executive Officer and Chief Merchandising Officer Rick Leto resigned. The company’s board named Chief Financial Officer Chuck Kurth as interim president and chief executive ...

Lucky Eyes

Los Angeles–based Lucky Brand Jeans, a division of Liz Claiborne Inc., struck a deal with REM Eyewear for the launch of Lucky Brand Spectables, rock ’n’ roll–inspired eyewear set to launch in January. The launch ...

Karmaloop Launches Entertainment Channel

Boston-based online retailer Karmaloop (

Spring Technology Conference at FIDM

The Tech Conference West, an annual technology conference for the sewn-products industry, will debut April 2, 2008, at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising’s (FIDM) Ora...

Levi's Haas to Retire

Robert Hass, a descendent of Levi Strauss & Co. founder Levi Strauss, will retire as company chairman of the board after 18 years in that position. He will remain on the board as...

Walmsley Promoted at Kellwood

St. Louis-based Kellwood Co. has promoted Stephen Walmsley to vice president of business development and special projects. Formerly the director of special projects, Walmsley joined Kellwood in 2004 a...

Port Workers Start Enrolling for Security Cards

Truckers, longshore workers and thousands of other port workers in Long Beach, Calif., and Los Angeles have started enrolling for mandatory security cards now required by the federal government....

American Apparel Deal Goes Through

After nearly a year of negotiations and paperwork, Endeavor Acquisition Corp. in New York completed its approximately $774 million acquisition of American Apparel Inc., the ...

Palazzo Hotel to Open in Time for MAGIC

Visitors to the February 2008 edition of the MAGIC Marketplace and satellite shows in Las Vegas will have a chance to get a glimpse of the city’s latest hot...

Rodeo's New Address

The Rodeo Drive Committee, a merchants association founded in 1972, has taken the tony Beverly Hills shopping street online with the launch of the Rodeo Drive Web site (www.rode...

Friday, December 7

Federal Sting Nabs N.Y. Counterfeit Ring

Capping an almost 1frac12;-year investigation, federal authorities on Dec. 5 announced the arrests of 10 people in the New York and New Jersey area for the alleged ...

Martin & Osa's Big Step

While retail watchers wait for the highly anticipated announcement of American Eagle Outfitters Inc.’s fourth brand, expected to debut in summer 2008, they can cool their collective heels at ...

Sustainable Collective by Convoy: Eco-Friendly and Built to Last

Being eco-friendly doesn’t stop at buying garb made from sustainable and organic fabrics. It also means being less disposable about those clothes. That’s the philosophy that Maia Andersen has w...

Bird of Prey

Bird of Prey is an evolution in design for Peter Ross. The founder of Grail launched the brand in August at the Project Global Trade Show in Las Vegas. Ross described Bird of Prey as a meta...

LAPD Quickly Squelches Internet Threat Against the Grove

On the heels of the tragic Dec. 5 massacre at a Von Maur department store in Omaha, Neb., The Grove shopping center in Los Angeles received a threat of a shooting attack. The threat ...

Guess Fetes 'Movies Rock'

Los Angeles–based manufacturer and retailer Guess? Inc. teamed up with the Condeacute; Nast Media Group on Nov. 29 to host a bash celebrating quot;Movies Rock,quot; ...

Kaltman's Velvets, Now From China

After 46 years in the textile business, Hal Kaltman is going to China....

Simon Miller Jeans: Progressive Classic

Simon Miller had dozens of premiumdenim brands at his fingertips but found none that fit just right. As the owner of Fabric, a high-end specialty store in his native New Zealand, Miller tra...

Warnaco Explores Lejaby Sale

New York–based Warnaco Group Inc. formed an exclusivity agreement with Palmers Textil AG giving the European company exclusive rights to negotiate for Warnaco's Lejaby lingerie label, based in Lyon, Fr...

Carrots: Sweater Dresses and Shirtdresses Cover San Francisco

The city of San Francisco pioneered the hippie look in the late 1960s and then watched as basics took over thanks to the city’s retail behemoth Gap Inc. But recently, the shirtdress and the sw...

Fabric Washes, Trends Focus of AATCC Seminar

quot;Fashion Garment Washing: Trends, Fabrics, Technologies and Sustainabilityquot; will be the subject of a symposium to be held Dec. 12–13 at the Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach, Calif....

U.S. Senate Passes Peru Trade Bill

The U.S. Senate passed the Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act, known as the PTPA Act, on Dec. 4 in a 77–18 vote. ...

Cortezar In at Ungaro

Colombia-born, Miami-based designer Esteban Cortezar was named the new chief designer for Emanuel Ungaro's womenswear collections. He replaces Peter Hyde Dundas, who left the company in July....

Old Navy Recall

Old Navy, the discount division of San Francisco retail giant Gap Inc., announced a recall of performance fleece–lined jackets style #507907 for boys due to a toggle on the jacket's waistband drawstrin...

Cold Weather, Promotions Animate November '07 Sales

November’s cold snap benefited apparel sales across the United States, but analysts questioned if the cold weather will be enough to guarantee a thriving holiday season....

Wet Seal to Consider Non-Mall Units

Executives at Foothill Ranch, Calif.–based juniors apparel retailer Wet Seal Inc. are rethinkingthe company’s real estate strategy and for the first time may open non-mall stores or units in le...

London Calling

Fashions from Ted Baker London graced the runway at the recent Divine Design opening-night gala, where the British label was among the evening’s honorees....

Skechers Goes to China

Manhattan Beach–based footwear company Skechers USA Inc. struck a joint venture deal with Hong Kong–based Luen Thai Enterprises, which plans to open more than 1,200 points of sale for Skechers over the ...

Saks Settlement Unlikely to Alter Charge-backs Practice

Saks Inc. recently settled a lawsuit with one of its vendors regarding the department store’s charge-back policy, but many in the industry question whether the settlement—for an undisclosed amount...

Showroom Space in L.A. Is a Game of Musical Chairs

Getting a Class A showroom in the Los Angeles Fashion District is becoming a waiting game....

Iconix Adds Four

New York–based Iconix Brand Group Inc. has found new executives. Kimberly Lee Minor was named vice president of brand management for the London Fog, Joe Boxer and Rampage brands. She was previously wit...

Smile, Happy Is in Pacific Palisades

Pacific Palisades is one of Los Angeles’ wealthier neighborhoods, where the median household income is above $131,000 and the median home price is $1.3 million, ac...

Monday, December 3

$8 Million in Counterfeits Seized in Fashion District

A Nov. 29 raid that resulted in 26 arrests and the seizure of more than 50,000 pieces of suspected counterfeit clothing, jewelry, accessories, DVDs and CDs in the Los Angeles Fashion District...