The earthquake that rattled Southern California Tuesday caused just a ripple of industry disruptions and a few anxious moments. Damage and injuries were reported to be minor.
The magnitude 5.4 quake, reduced from an initial estimate of 5.8, struck at 11:42 a.m. and was centered about 30 miles east of Los Angeles in Chino Hills, San Bernardino County. However, the jolt was felt as far south as San Diego and as far east as Las Vegas.
Businesses said they were operating normally shortly after the temblor, which forced the evacuation of some buildings and stores.
Designer Monique Lhuillier was in her office on the third floor of her downtown Los Angeles factory when the quake hit.
“All 140 of us ran downstairs in a panic,” she said of her employes. “As soon as we got to the street the post lady handed us the mail and said, ‘Did you feel that earthquake? It was a 5.8.’ “It’s just part of living in L.A….I called our store and we had a mother of the bride [while watching her daughter try on her wedding dress], say ‘Is this a good omen or a bad omen?’”
Fraser Ross, owner of Kitson on Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles, said the store was evacuated but nothing was damaged and there were no phone or Web site disruptions.
“Our Web servers are in Canada, thank God, so our e-commerce wasn’t affected at all,” he said.
Macy’s in Topanga Plaza was closed after minor flooding from the sprinkler system.
A few retailers at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, about 30 miles from the quake’s center, reported minor damages, such as broken bowls at Villeroy & Boch and shattered crystal at Baccarat, but the center wasn’t evacuated and shoppers remained indoors.
“People didn’t even leave,” said center spokeswoman Debra Gunn Downing.
Most retailers said the occasional earthquake is just part of doing business in the Golden State.
At the Balenciaga store on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, manager Carrie Smoljanovich said, “Everything is structurally sound and there were no disruptions to business.” She surmised that the customers in the store were California natives because “natives just sort of roll with it.”
One non-native employee who works on the second floor reported that the building swayed and shook and she kneeled under her desk.
Intuition owner Jaye Hersh, whose store is in West Los Angeles, said, “There were a lot of tourists in our store and there was a lot of excitement, but there was no harm done.”
Winston Hewett, national communications director for Opus, which owns The Shoppes at Chino Hills, said the Trader Joe’s grocery store had about 30 broken cases of wine and most of the open-air center’s shops were closed for less than two hours.
“We have a business disruption plan,” Hewett said. “As with any act of Mother Nature, we have to try to be prepared; it’s part of doing business” in California.
“We had a couple products fall.…We ran outside,” said Charlene Robrigabo, an employee at Tessie’s Serenity Spa in the Gateway Village shopping center in Chino Hills. “Everybody in the center evacuated their buildings, and it doesn’t seem like any of the businesses have closed.”
Verizon Communications said the quake briefly disrupted local landline service, and other carriers such as AT&T reported system congestion from a high volume of calls. There were also reports of short Internet server interruptions,
The quake hit a state battered over the past 12 months by harsh winter storms and flooding, wildfires, drought, a housing market collapse, skyrocketing gas and food prices and widespread economic downturn.
The impact was in contrast with the 1994 Northridge earthquake, which registered a 6.7 magnitude and caused an estimated $25 billion in damage, killed 72 people and injured more than 9,000.
The Southern California region is among the most seismically active in the world, and the state’s building codes were updated in 2001.
“Some of our displays have fallen down, some of the stuff from the rooftop came down, so we had to sweep,” said Sharon Catedriloa, an employee at Active Ride Shop in The Shoppes at Chino Hills. “I haven’t felt a big one like this in a while.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast