Inside the Industry

The Los Angeles Fashion District Business Improvement District has introduced four new grant programs aimed at supporting the area’s small businesses and property owners who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through SpaceConnect, $10,000 grants are being offered to incentivize independent retailers, arts-and-culture collectives, and casual-dining and personal-care businesses to lease ground-floor commercial space within the district’s BID boundaries. #SmallBizLove is awarding creative-service grants worth between $500 and $2,500. You Are Here is a rent-free pop-up retail program that will afford vacant spaces to retail tenants in the area. Spruce It Up grants property owners and businesses up to $6,000 in matching grant funds for exterior improvements to their buildings. For additional information,

Atlanta Apparel has announced a surge in demand for leasing ahead of its June 2021 market. Scheduled for June 9–12 at permanent showrooms and June 9–11 at temporaries, the International Market Centers’ Atlanta Apparel market is experiencing growth in showroom leasing with nearly 50 new, expanded, relocated or renewed locations that will open for next month’s event. The June Atlanta Apparel is slated to feature more than 2,500 lines with goods representing Holiday, Autumn/Winter 2021, Spring/Summer Immediates, Game Day and accessories. “Showroom leasing has boomed since the start of the year,” said Caron Stover, IMC senior vice president of apparel. “Atlanta Apparel is keeping up its momentum with major updates to the permanent showroom collection.”

Denim brand Devil-Dog Dungarees has announced the appointment of Zulu Williams as senior design director, a newly created role. A division of General Sportwear, Devil-Dog Dungarees brought Williams on board to oversee all design processes across the brand’s categories, including jeans, pants, shorts, T-shirts, hoodies, hats and accessories. Williams will work with Sean Connelly, vice president of merchandising and sales. “Zulu is an exceptionally dynamic leader with a proven track record of inspirational design, trend forecasting, leading design teams and brand building,” said David Rosenstock, executive vice president and owner at General Sportwear. “His unique creative abilities and retail experience will help us further build upon our early momentum and achieve the ambitious goals we have set.”

Following a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation, a Los Angeles garment contractor has been ordered to pay back wages and penalties. Sew Nice Inc., which produces apparel for Anna Bella, a manufacturer whose clients have included Fashion Nova, violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by paying some employees a piece rate and failing to pay overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Recordkeeping-requirement violations were discovered as the contractor failed to record all wages paid to some workers who were paid in cash, in addition to its failure to maintain accurate records of all employee hours and payroll for months. Ten employees will recover $5,846 in back wages. The contractor will also pay $3,485 in penalties. A spokesperson for Fashion Nova contacted California Apparel News to provide the following statement regarding the company's relationship with the manufacturer Anna Bella: “We have a vigorous audit process with all of our domestic vendors and following a regularly scheduled in-depth subcontractor audit of Sew Nice, Inc., Fashion Nova discontinued all domestic business with the vendor that contracted with that company in February 2021,” the statement read. “Fashion Nova is committed to protecting the rights of garments workers and mandates that all contractors and subcontractors pay their workers the applicable minimum wage and be compliant with all relevant labor laws. It also actively takes steps to ensure that its subcontractors comply with this mandate, including regularly conducting independent in-depth audits, and holding them accountable by imposing serious consequences when they fail to do so.”

*This story has been updated with a statement from a Fashion Nova spokesperson.