Stories for December 2008

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Friday, December 26

Looking for Big Fashion in L.A.'s Little Tokyo

Ray Cho helped open a fashion boutique called Kimski in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo neighborhood in July, but Cho is still wondering if he made the right real estate decision....

NPD: Consumers Spending Less

In what will probably be no surprise to many retailers, consumers are spending less this holiday season, according to a recent sur...

NRF Wants a Tax Holiday

The National Retail Federation, a Washington, D.C.–based retail organization, is asking President-elect Barack Obama to inc...

2008: Year in Review

While the economic crisis was by far and away the major news story of 2008, it was not the only development in a year that saw retail sales gradually ebb as consumers juggled high gas prices, shrinkin...

FBI Moves to CMC in the New Year

Fashion Business Inc., the business incubator for small- to mid-size apparel companies, is packing its bags and moving from its long-time headquarters at The New Mart to a l...

Ed Hardy Launches Snow Division

The slopes are about to get a little more colorful. ...

A&F Renews CEO Contract

New Albany, N.Y.–based retail chain Abercrombie & Fitch Co. has struck a new contract with its chairman and chief execu...

Embracing 'Haute' Technology

The Academy of Couture Art is a Los Angeles–based fashion college that prides itself on the ages-old haute couture methods of garment construction taught in Europe. Yet, the school’s founders know that...

Task Force Nets Counterfeit Denim, Apparel

A multi-agency, anti-counterfeit task force seized thousands of pairs of counterfeit True Religion and other branded jeans, Ed Hardy shirts, DVDs, and other merchandise valu...

Tommy Heads to South Beach

Tommy Hilfiger U.S.A. Inc. will open its second Florida store on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach’s South Beach neighborhood. ...

Bush Administration Protests Chinese Export Subsidies

The U.S. government is getting serious about halting alleged Chinese export subsidies that help bankroll branded products shipped overseas....

YMI Launches Spring With a New Face

Actress Alexis Dziena is the new face for Los Angeles–based YMI Jeanswear’s Spring ’09 collection. ...

Wednesday, December 24

Influential Tracey Ross Boutique to Close

High-profile Los Angeles boutique owner Tracey Ross closed her influential Tracey Ross boutique, another casualty of the weak economy, on New Year’s Eve, said a boutique spokesperson....

Chain Reaction: Store openings in L.A. and Points Beyond

The holiday sales news is grim, but that’s not stopping retailers from opening shop in Los Angeles and other Southern California retail hot spots....

Tuesday, December 23

Importers Prepare for a Post-2008 World

China, importing, apparel, anti-dumping, China Conference, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, ports, manufacturing, textile

More of Everything at N.Y. Trade Shows

Fashion Coterie, The Train, Platform 2, Designers and Agents, Starrett-Lehigh Building, Chelsea Art Museum, Spring 2008 Fashion, Federation Francaise du Pret a Porter, Terminal Shores, new york, trade shows

Gen Art Announces Fresh Faces Lineup

Get Art, Fresh Faces in Fashion, Petersen Automotive Museum, Jeffrey Sebelia, Cosa Nostra

Saturday, December 20

Flaunt Turns 10, Jacket Required

Flaunt magazine is frequently an advocate of “hippiester” style, or the boho fashions of the 1960s and 1970s. But you wouldn’t know it from the dress code at the...

Friday, December 19

Kill City: Purveyors of Punk

Kill City, the contemporary streetwear brand owned by Los Angeles–based Lip Service, hosted a grand opening for its new Kill City store on Los Angeles’ Melrose Avenue....

TALA Names Friend, Member of the Year

Richard Clareman, president of Los Angeles–based juniors apparel brand Self Esteem, will be named “Friend of the Year” by the Textile Association of Los Angeles and STC-QST’s Rob...

Solis Said to Be Tapped for Labor

U.S. Rep. Hilda Solis (D–Calif.) is expected to be named secretary of labor by President-elect Barack Obama, according to several news reports....

How Low Can You Go, Fed?

The Federal Reserve lowered the federal funds rate from 1 percent to a range of 0 percent to 0.25 percent. This is the lowest rate ever for the federal funds rate, which is the rate banks charge each ...

2008 Retrospective Declines in California Apparel, Textile and Retail Employment Mirror U.S. Results

There were few bright spots in California’s apparel industry in 2008. As the year comes to a close, the best that can be said for the state’s industry-related jobs in the textile, manufacturing and retail sectors is that unemp...

Rampage Heads to China

Rampage, the juniors brand founded in California but now owned by New York–based Iconix Brand Group Inc., is going to China. Iconix China Limited, the joint venture between Iconix and Novel Fashion Bra...

Bomb Scare at Printemps

Historic Paris department store Printemps was evacuated for several hours on Dec. 16 after French police discovered five sticks of dynamite in the men’s section of the luxury store. Police were tipped ...

2008 Retrospective: Specialty Chains: Hot Topic, Aeacute;ropostale

It’s been a tough season for most retailers serving teen-fashion consumers, but Hot Topic Inc., the mall-based retailer focusing on music and pop culture, ended the year with a surprising come...

2008 Retrospective: Apparel Imports Downsized in 2008

Americans’ love affair with clothes took a break in 2008....

Developer to Add More Retail at Bella Terra

The Bella Terra shopping center in Huntington Beach, Calif., is following the lead of high-profile projects such as L.A. Live! in downtown Los Angeles and is adding...

Dear Charlotte

The board of directors of San Diego retailer Charlotte Russe Holding Inc. received a letter recently from Baltimore-based Plainvie...

2008 Retrospective: Department Stores: Neiman Marcus, Target

The luxury market suffered in 2008. One of the market’s consistently solid performers, Dallas-based The Neiman Marcus Group, reported a shocking decline of 26.8 percent in comparable-store sal...

Designers Gear Up for an Indie Take on L.A. Fashion Week

Expect an independent spirit to run through Los Angeles Fashion Week next March....

American Apparel Cuts Jobs as Plans for Expansion Slow

On Dec. 18, news broke that Los Angeles–based vertical manufacturer, retailer and distributor American Apparel had cut several hundred jobs company-wide. According to Elliot Sloane, a...

2008 Retrospective: Retail, Industrial Rents Down, Vacancies Up in California

Record-low consumer confidence, coupled with a cloud of bad debt hanging over the country, has hit retailers harshly, resulting in rising vacancy rates and lower rents even in the toniest of neighborh...

Eco and Active

Agoura Hills–based outdoor-apparel maker Gramicci launched a new material that is good for performance and for the environm...

PacSun Gets $24.5m for Warehouse

Pacific Sunwear of California recently closed escrow on the sale of its former Anaheim, Calif., distribution center, which sold to a private party for $24.5 million....

Importing Apparel Faces Upcoming Perils in 2009

With the new year fast approaching, there are some new rules and regulations on board for importing apparel....

2008 Retrospective: The Fashion Industry Played It Safe in 2008

To be sure, the economy was stalling early in 2008, but few could have predicted the impact of the summer’s sky-high energy prices, the catastrophic credit crisis or the far-reaching implications of th...

Hollywood Sizzle Lights Up D&G Debut

Even a tough economy cannot knock the will to party out of Los Angeles. ...

L.A. Sample-Sale Calendar: The Season for Sample Sales

’Tis the season to land a great deal on fashion as California designers, manufacturers and showrooms open their doors for sample sales, warehouse sales, holiday parties and benefits. California Appare...

Thursday, December 18

Surf Expo Shifts Dates to August

Atlanta-based action-sports trade show Surf Expo, a production of DMG World Media, has announced a major shift in its show dates. Typically held in January and late September, Surf ...

Wednesday, December 17

Quiksilver Opts Out of ASR Trade Show

Huntington Beach, Calif.–based surf giant Quiksilver Inc. will not participate in the January edition of the Action Sports Retailer Trade Expo, held biannually in San Diego. ...

D&G's Antidote to the Holiday Blues

Just when you thought there was no room for flash and fabulous style in the tough 2008 holiday season, iconic fashion house Dolce Gabbana came to the rescue with its new DG flagship boutique, located at 147 N. Robertson Blvd. in Los Angeles. A red-carpet...

Tuesday, December 16

Getting Fro-Yo—Fashionably

The Los Angeles Fashion District is getting a new frozen-yogurt “lounge,” according to downtown blog Angelic.com. Provocatively named Garden Berry, the new “yogurt lounge” will open at 229 E. Ninth St.—just...

Friday, December 12

L.A.'s Robertson Stumbles, O.C.'s Erica Dee Goes Online Only

Los Angeles’ Robertson Boulevard once held some of the most highly coveted commercial real estate in California, but the weak economy has been taking away some of the street’s glitzy luster....

L.A. Designers Leverage Experience as Consultants

After more than 25 years honing their skills as designers of high-end, avant-garde fashions, the husband-and-wife team of Eric and Diane Martin quietly opened Studio MM7 in January. Located in a sun-filled ...

Bane Joins Gramicci

Dreanna Bane joined Agoura Hills–based Gramicci as design director. Bane’s 17-year career includes stints in management, design and product development for labels such as Lucky Brand, Safety Clothing Co...

TALA Holiday Party Set for Dec. 19

The Textile Association of Los Angeles will host its 64th annual holiday party for local children on Dec. 19 on the 11th floor of the Cooper Design Space in downtown Los Angeles....

Lucky's Holiday Coupon

Vernon-based Lucky Brand, a division of New York– based Liz Claiborne Inc., launched a holiday promotion that allows consumers to play an online game to receive discounts for Lucky Brand purchases. Visitors to the “Lucky Brand...

Microsoft Enters the Clothing Business

Redmond, Wash.–based software giant Microsoft Corp. will try its hand at the apparel business with theDec. 15 launch of Softwear by Microsoft, a line of unisex T-shirts and tops featu...

Buzzflikr Primes PR for the Digital Age

Buzzflikr is spreading the message digitally with its own brand of online-only public-relations services at

Layoffs at BCBG

As retailers across the country are cutting back on orders and inventory to weather the recession, many California apparel makers are feeling the brunt....

Forever 21, Kohl's to Take Over 46 Mervyns Stores

Forever 21 Inc. and Kohl’s have signed an agreement to take over 46 Mervyns stores that are slated to be closed as part of Mervyns’ bankruptcy filing....

Reveal L.A. Postponed

Reveal Los Angeles, the newest event on the Los Angeles Fashion Week lineup, will not debut in March as originally planned. Instead, the event, organized by IDG World Expo, ...

Container Traffic at Ports Dips for 16th Straight Month

Cargo volume at the nation’s largest ports has dropped to its lowest level in four years....

Kellwood Shifting Moderate Labels to L.A.

In a major corporate overhaul, St. Louis–based Kellwood Co., maker of women’s and children’s clothing, is moving operations for three of its biggest brands to its West Coast headquarters....

New at Burlington Coat

Burlington, N.J.–based discount retailer Burlington Coat Factory named Thomas A. Kingsbury president and chief executive officer of the company. He was previously senior executive vice president at Kohl...

International Producers Down

A recent survey by New York–based Panjiva, a company that provides information on global suppliers, found that the number of suppliers “actively serving the U.S. [apparel] market” has dropped 70 percent ...

Locally Grown

When it comes to production, some California companies find there’s no place like home....

Fashion District's High School Prepares Students for a Fashionable Future

Students in Cynthia Banks’ advanced sewing class at Santee Education Complex are scattered around industrial tables, cutting patterns and pinning and stitching garments that will be shown at the high school’s...

Wengrod Named Chairman of FBI Board

Ken Wengrod, president and founder of FTC Commercial Corp., has been elected as the first-ever chairman of the board of directors of Fashion Business Inc....

Source California Resource Guide

Buhler Quality Yarns Corp. is a leading supplier of the highest quality yarns to the apparel industry in the Americas. By using only top grade, extra-long staple Supimareg; cotton fiber, all grown in Californ...

Liz's Scarpa Joins The Talbots

Hingman, Mass.–based retail chain The Talbots Inc. named former Liz Claiborne executive Michael Scarpa as chief operating officer of The Talbots. Scarpa held the same position at New York–based Liz Clai...

PacSun Exec Exits

Thomas M. Kennedy, division president of Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., resigned from the Anaheim-based retail chain to “pursue other interests,” according to a company statement that said ...

Andrew Christian-Limited Edition and on the QT

When designers offer limited-edition goods, it usually means they pile on all the bells and whistles. But for underwear designer Andrew Christian, whose boxers are already done up with trendy graphics and sell for $28–$48 retail, his...

Monday, December 8

With Help From Friends: Urban Outfitters Opens Space15Twenty

Here’s another way to reinvent the mall. Open a store and surround it with all of the boutiques you like. Urban Outfitters Inc. followed this business logic on Dec. 6, when it held a gala debut for a 11,000-square-foot Urban Outfitters store in Los Angeles’ Hollywood section.Of course, the party also...

Saturday, December 6

Sears' 'Wish Story' with Nick Verreos

Los Angeles–based designer Nick Verreos is featured in Sears’ new “Wish Story” ad campaign, which profiles famous faces—including L.L. Cool J, Vanessa Hudgens, Trisha Yearwood and Ty Pennington—and how the gifts they were given as children influenced them...

Friday, December 5

Boy Scouts, the Brand

Montgomery, Ala.–based promotional-product company AKD recently landed the licensing rights for the Boy Scouts of America. AKD provides design consulting, custom-screen printing and embroidery for pro...

Agave Collaborates to Raise Eco Awareness

Premium-denim brand Agave Denim, based in Vancouver, Wash., announced its new eco-inspired collaborations with three groups: Cool Green, a nonprofit organization with a tre...

Forever 21 to Open Flagship in the Big Apple

Not every retailer is playing it conservatively during this recession....

FBI Gets Microsoft Grant

Microsoft Corp. has bestowed a $115,000 grant on Los Angeles–based Fashion Business Inc. to be used for training displaced workers for apparel-industry jobs....

Berton Joins Roochi Traders

Roochi Traders Inc.—a decades-old importer, wholesaler and distributor of private-label sportswear and activewear located in Commerce, Calif.—has hired Bruce Berton as its new executive vice pr...

November Sales Tough

Retail sales in the United States declined 2.7 percent in November, according to the influential New York–based International Council of Shopping Centers. This drop is the first holiday-season...

Bebe Stores Lands Pussycat Dolls Shhh ... by Robin Antin Lingerie Collection

Bebe is cozying up with the Pussycat Dolls. The company announced it will be the exclusive major retailer of Pussycat Dolls Shhh hellip; by Robin Antin, the lingerie line inspired b...

Ports Again Delay New Cargo Container Fees

The Port of Long Beach has decided to delay collecting a cargo container fee that would help pay to improve roads, bridges and rail tracks around the port. The Port of Los Angeles is...

Steve & Barry's Liquidates

After 20 years selling discounted merchandise, Port Washington, N.Y.–based retailer Steve & Barry’s announced plans to close its remaining 173 stores and will sell off approximately $250 million in ...

Crooke Named Prana President

Michael Crooke was named president of Vista, Calif.–based yogawear label Prana Living LLC on Dec. 3....

Junk Food Relaunches Web Site

Vintage-inspired graphic T-shirt brand Junk Food Clothing recently relaunched a new version of its Web site at

CFA Hosts Discussion of New CPSC Requirements for Apparel Makers

The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Improvement Act of 2008 is

Big Sales, Big Events Mark Start of Tough Holiday

The 2008 holiday retail season will be dominated by deep promotions that might cut into retailers’ profit margins, said many retail analysts and economists. The gloomy forecast came on the hee...

We're Already in It

The U.S. economy has been in a recession since last year. That’s the word from the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Cambridge, Mass.–based organization of economists and lawmakers who monitor eco...

Torrid's New Curvy Jeans

City of Industry–based Hot Topic launched a new collection of plus-size jeans under the Torrid label for the retail chain’s plus-size division, also called Torrid. Debuting for the Holiday season, Torri...

Lily's of Beverly Hills Courts a Contemporary Customer

After 35 years in the tennis- and golf-apparel business, The LBH Group Ltd. is upping its game. ...

Cyber Monday Is a Surprising Bright Spot for Online Sales

Coming off of a better-than-expected Black Friday, with

Skechers, Crocs Settle

Manhattan Beach–based Skechers Inc. and Niwot, Colo.–based Crocs Inc. agreed to settle for an undisclosed amount over a dispute regarding certain footwear styles. Crocs alleged that Skechers had infringed on Cr...

Star Power at Audigier Opening

Several celebs—including Jermaine Dupri, Gnarls Barkley, Jazze Pha, Chilli and T-boz, and members of the Atlanta Hawks’ and the Atlanta Falcons’ cheerleading squads—were scheduled to attend the opening of Los Angeles–base...

Tuesday, December 2

Holiday Shoppers to Take a Wait-and-See Attitude

Holiday shoppers will probably be spending about the same amount of money as last year, but they won’t be sprinting to the stores until later in the season, according to the latest holiday sur...

Black Friday: First With Freebies

Christmas 2008 might shape up to be the season of the freebie.Mall owners and retailers gave potential consumers generous gifts on Black Friday, the traditional start of...

Orthodox: Androgynous, Minimalist, Chic

orthodox, contemporary, womens, menswear, los angeles, designer, american rag

Monday, December 1

Trovata and Staying Alive Foundation Launch Charity Tee

What better way to celebrate a T-shirt that reads “Lovers Love Life” than an uplifting party with limitless cocktails and head-bobbing tunes? That’s how Trovata toasted the launch of its...