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Andrew Asch

Stories by Andrew

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US Blanks: The Recycled T-shirt

Manufacturing | Made in America

The apparel industry has been criticized for wasteful manufacturing practices and fouling the environment with dyes to color clothes. This year US Blanks, a basics manufacturer headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, believes that it can offer an alternative.

NRF Forecasts A Strong 2015, But January Results Mixed


Retail sales will increase by 4.1 percent for the 2015 year, according to a forecast released on Feb. 12 by National Retail Federation, the Washington, D.C.–based retail trade group.

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Harlem’s Fashion Row Comes West

Fashion Row

Fashion Row, a group that advocates for fashion designers of color, came west to make its Los Angeles debut on Feb. 6. The show was in town just in time for the Grammy Awards and the NAACP Image Awards, which took place the same weekend.

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FIDM Displays Oscar-Nominated Costumes for This Year’s Academy Awards

Fashion | Events

Showcasing Hollywood characters and their garb, the Costume Designers Guild curated 100 costumes from more than 20 Hollywood films, including five Academy Award nominees, for the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising’s 23rd Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition.

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MAGIC U Gets Ready For Class

Las Vegas is all about partying and making deals, right? Well, as MAGIC gets ready for its February run from Feb. 17-19 in Las Vegas, the sprawling trade show also introducing MAGIC University, a free, online educational resource on retail, social media, trend forecasting, consumer demographics and sustainability.

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A Look at Louis Vuitton's Rodeo Flagship

Louis Vuitton is taking a spotlight in Los Angeles. The heritage brand’s Series 2 exhibition took a bow at 1135 N. Highland Ave. in Los Angeles’ Hollywood section, and the highly anticipated Louis Vuitton emporium on Rodeo Drive made its debut this month. We just liked the guitar case on display at the Vuitton flagship.

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Alex Matthews: From Fashion To Juice & Back

Almost everyone in L.A. fashion in the past eight to nine years crossed paths with Alex Matthews. He served as the national retail director for denim line G-Star, he was a man about town, but in 2008, he wanted to do something different. In fact, it was a far leap from denim. He opened a Juice Served Here location at 833 S. Spring St., a half block away from the Fashion District.

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Popkiller Shutters First Shop Started in Retail Chain 

This Man Goes Pop

Ricky Takizawa is starting up a new division called Popfactory, which he forecasts will serve as the back office and the business support for a creative community of artists who can upload their designs to the website.

Men’s Gets Its Own New York Fashion Week


After many years of womenswear getting its place on the runway, menswear is now getting its own chance to walk down the catwalk.

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Chinese New Year Starts at Malls

Here’s more proof of the growing importance of dollars from Chinese tourists, as well as Americans of Chinese heritage. Some of Southern California’s big malls are holding major events to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year.

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Sex Tape – The Fragrance

For the past decade or so, Bohemian Society label concerned itself with dressing stylish outsiders, now the downtown Los Angeles label is jumping into a game that is often the domain of mature lifestyle collections; fragrance.

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A List Sample Sales’ New Home

After more than a decade of doing pop-up shops and fashion events in backyards, Caroline Bray’s A List Sample Sale has found a permanent home.

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Bringing Back Broadway’s Boutique Connection

Crowds of people took to downtown Los Angeles’ Broadway thoroughfare Jan. 31, all to watch acrobats, magic shows and short films at the up-and-coming thoroughfare’s ornate 1920s movie palaces during the Bringing Back Broadway street fair. For the boutiques on the formerly blighted street, it was a chance to show their stuff.

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Mall Rats + Gym Rats Unite - Does It Motivate Ya?

Here’s a manifesto from Tracy Anderson, star fitness trainer and Gwyneth Paltrow pal. “ Mall Rats + Gym Rats Unite!” It was on a T-shirt for Anderson's Mass Workout Classes at the Westfield Century City and Westfield Topanga on Jan. 28.

Sears to Close at Westfield Topanga


In December, Sears announced that it will close 235 locations around the country.

Nordstrom Rack to Open Two Stores in Long Beach Area


Nordstrom Rack, the off-price division of Nordstrom Inc., will be doubling its efforts in the area of Long Beach, Calif.

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Crooks & Castles Spring 15 Sprung

Crooks & Castles is one of the high profile brands of streetwear, and in the past year, the brand has held events, such as debuts and parties, close to its flagship store on Los Angeles’ Fairfax Avenue. For the shoot for its Spring 2015 lookbook, Photographer Ja Tecson took models to a leafy, Downton Abbey style estate where they displayed the “castle” side of the Crooks & Castles vision. Take a look.

2014 Best Holiday, Retail Analyst Says

Retail Sales

When retail sales for the 2014 holiday season fell short of forecasts, many industry watchers declared the crucial shopping season a disappointment, but recent research indicates the season may have been better than first reported—and more good news may be on the way.

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Psycho Bunny Hops Into New Categories

The Psycho Bunny label might have a crazy name, but it intends to chase some serious business. The fashion label with the logo of a rabbig skull over crossbones announced new partners and is scheduled to show new looks at Project.

eBay Lays Off 2,400 to Prepare for Change


eBay Inc. reported that revenue for its fourth quarter increased 9 percent to $4.9 billion. However, the San Jose, Calif.–based company is laying off approximately 2,400 of its employees, or 7 percent of its workforce.

SIMA Honors Legendary Surf Shops


Surf Industry Manufacturers Association, a trade group headquartered in Aliso Viejo, Calif., will honor venerable surf shops with the 2015 SIMA Surf Shop Gold Wave Award. The inaugural Surf Shop Gold Wave awards will be presented Feb. 12 at SIMA’s Image Award Show at City National Grove of Anaheim, Calif.

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Style and Structure Meet Comfort and Versatility

Lime & Vine

Lime & Vine, which is based a mile away from the corporate headquarters of surf giant Quiksilver Inc. in Huntington Beach, Calif., introduced a full collection for the Fall 2014 season and is set to debut its Spring 2015 collection.

Forever 21 Unveils Giant Solar Project


The company announced on Jan. 21 that its headquarters in Los Angeles’ Lincoln Heights neighborhood has gone solar. The retailer installed a 5.1-megawatt high-efficiency SunPower solar-power system.

Kellwood Names New CEO


On Jan. 19, the New York–headquartered Kellwood announced that Joseph Lombardi, the former chief financial officer of Barnes & Noble, a major bookseller, was named the fashion company’s chief executive officer. Lombardi will assume his responsibilities helming Kellwood immediately.

Prana Names New Director of International Sales


Prana, the lifestyle and yoga line headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., is going more global with the appointment of Pacho Bedoya as its new director of international sales. He begins his new job on Feb. 2.

New American Apparel CEO Outlines New Path


Fashion veteran Paula Schneider formally took the reins of the downtown Los Angeles–based company on Jan. 5, and she held a conference call with Wall Street analysts on Jan. 20 to talk about where she wanted to guide the brand, which makes its basic clothes for women, men and children in California.

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More Business for Giant T-shirt Market

ISS Long Beach

With screen-printing machines whirring and salespeople talking about the next big thing in T-shirts, the Imprinted Sportswear Show Long Beach ran Jan. 16–18 at the Long Beach Convention Center, located by one of America’s busiest ports, in Long Beach, Calif.

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Morphew's Awards Season Pop-Up

It’s awards season in Los Angeles, the time when the fashion world and the entertainment industry collectively go gaga over the red carpet gown. Enter Morphew, a luxury online retail platform, which aims to say something unique with its red carpet pop-up shop.

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Beckham’s New Clothes

Hey L.A., miss David Beckham after he left the Galaxy soccer team? Sure you do. But the essence of Becks will be in L.A. area H&M stores. Around March 5, a new line Modern Essentials selected by David Beckham will be stocked at H&M in addition to David Beckham Bodywear Collection. Here's a peek. C'mon, take a look...

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The Dashiki Strikes Back…with Royal Kulture

When Kevin Afuwah rapped under the moniker ThatAfricanKev, he always made sure to wear a dashiki, a colorful West African shirt. Later, he put his own stamp on the iconic shirt, specifically the logo Royal 1. Voila, Afuwah started his line Royal Kulture.On Jan. 17, Royal Kulture held a viewing event in downtown Los Angeles.

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GGeisha’s Fashion Underbelly

It’s a new year, and for the notorious GGeisha, flipping the calendar means a new party. Welcome to the new monthly, Underbelly.

Wet Seal Files Chapter 11

Juniors retailer The Wet Seal Inc. announced Jan. 16 that it has filed a voluntary petition for chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

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Surfin’ Byrd’s Board Comb

The trade show season’s major surf friendly trade shows; Agenda and Surf Expo, have already wrapped up successful events. But we still have surf on the mind. And look what popped up! A comb made out of surfboard fins by grooming company Byrd and boarding company Futures Fins. Cowabunga!

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Kitson to Mayor: Let’s Talk


Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s website encourages people to share their ideas to create jobs and deliver better city services for the City of Angels, but Fraser Ross, founder of the Los Angeles–based boutique chain Kitson, said he has been unable to speak with the mayor about L.A. retail.

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Sunny Skies & Busy Booths for East Coast Surf Trade Show

Surf Expo

While much of the Eastern Seaboard suffered under a cold snap Jan. 8–10, weather in Orlando, Fla. was a good backdrop to Surf Expo, the veteran trade show for surfing and other water sports.

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I Love Ugly’s La Brea Bow

The black walls and tinted windows of the store on Los Angeles' La Brea Avenue look foreboding. The shop’s name only brings up more vexing questions. I Love Ugly

Holiday Sales Increase 4 Percent With Mixed Results


Sales for the winter holiday season increased 4 percent to $616.1 billion, according to the National Retail Federation, slightly missing forecasts.

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Je Suis Charlie: After The Hashtag

Anguish and outrage over the assassinations of the editorial staff at Charlie Hebdo on Jan. 7 has become the cri de coeur for those who love freedom of expression.The hashtag Je Suis Charlie proclaiming solidarity with the assassinated journalists has covered Twitter and Facebook, and the statement has taken root beyond the online world, including T-shirts. Kitson's Fraser Ross talks about making a T that expresses solidarity with freedom of speech, but also avoids appearing that it is capitalizing on tragedy.

Nasty Gal Has New CEO

Executive Moves

Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso named Sheree Waterston the new chief executive officer of the Los Angeles–headquartered retailer.

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Donald Drawbertson, King of the Fashion Doodle, to Cooper

Donald Robertson has an alter-ego; Donald Drawbertson, a pop artist who makes whimsical, chic doodles, and brings them to the fashion masses.Drawbertson continues to make pop art, and a Cadillac bearing his art, and lipstick, will drive by Cooper Design Space building in L.A.’s Fashion District noon, Monday, Jan. 12.

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2015 Starts With Busy Trade Show


A cold winter helped produce a hot show at Agenda, the first trade show of the 2015 trade-show season, which ran Jan. 5–6 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, Calif.

December Seen as Modest


December retail sales results were described by analysts as good but modest.

Macy’s Inc. Announces New Stores and Organizational Changes


Macy’s Inc. announced Dec. 8 that it would build two stores in California and that it would close a few under performing stores in the state. The news was part of an announcement of sweeping changes at the department-store giant.

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Eco & Art-Driven

Together California

There’s another world, hidden in plain sight, said Lily Chehrazi and Benedict Barrett, owners and designers of the fashion brand Together California.

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Ingear Fashions Introducing Licensing Swim Line Based on the Popular Beer

Corona Swim

Constellation is upping the ante for marketing the popular beer, and its next step will be rolling out a women’s swimwear line bearing the Corona logo produced by Ingear Fashions Inc.

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Agenda Emerge: Under the Hood of Nike, Obey and Hurley

What makes the founders of storied brands such as Nike, Hurley and Obey tick? Bob Hurley, Shepard Fairey of Obey and Tinker Hatfield of Nike gave a few clues at Agenda Emerge on Jan. 6.

Wet Seal Shutters 338 Stores, Fires More than 3,000

retail closings

Beleaguered retailer The Wet Seal Inc. announced on Jan. 7 that it will close two-thirds of its fleet of more than 500 stores after being unable to negotiate favorable terms with its landlords, it also cut the jobs of thousands of its workers.

Caruso to Receive NRF Foundation’s Disruptor Award

Retail Real Estate

The NRF Foundation, the non-profit division of National Retail Federation, the largest trade group for U.S. retail, will feature Rick J. Caruso, developer of The Grove and The Americana at Brand, in “The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future.”

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Agenda: Show Starts, Grab Yer Caps

Streetwear and action sports brands love caps, and Agenda trade show is all about streetwear, action sports and fashion. So being good trade show producers, Agenda will give its VIP streetwear and action sports people what they want. Caps! Think caps from Hurley, Herschel Supply Co., and DeathWish Skateboards, which will be given to VIPs at the Agenda trade show in Long Beach, CA., which starts today.

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Retro Street for PacSun Exclusive


The music of tattooed rapper YG shot up Billboard charts in 2013. In 2015, he’s starting on a fashionable note thanks to a partnership with RVCA, one of the leading lifestyle, fashion and action-sports brands to come out of Orange County, Calif., in the past decade.