California retail, apparel and beauty firms were bracing for the fallout from wildfires that swept across Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley and San Diego-area communities Tuesday.
Marie Patterson, co-owner of Naya Fresh Body Spa in Chatsworth, which closed Monday and opened Tuesday for part of the day, said the eco-spa was “dead” as a result of the fires. Patterson said the financial crisis had already hurt her high-end customers, and she expected the fires to add to their concerns.
“It will impact the short term because my direct community has been devastated, and those people are not going to be able to come in for their regular appointments because they are going to be worried about insurance claims and their homes,” she said. “All the luxuries go out the window.”
The fires, which are stoked by ferocious Santa Ana winds, come at a precarious time as the biggest U.S. market struggles with rising unemployment, tepid consumer spending, a $3 billion state revenue shortfall and other troubles amid global economic turmoil.
“The mood is sour — putting it mildly,” said Jack Kyser, chief economist at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. “If you are in the immediate area [of the fires], it would impact you. If you don’t live in the immediate area, you watch it closely, and it is another thing going on in this crazy, topsy-turvy world.”
Large retailers in the fire-stricken communities include Wal-Mart, which has a store in the Porter Ranch Town Center, and J.C. Penney, which has a unit in the city of San Fernando. Mall operator Westfield has three properties in the San Fernando Valley — Westfield Topanga Plaza, Westfield Promenade and Westfield Fashion Square — that it said were largely unaffected. “We are monitoring because…things can change quickly,” said a Westfield spokeswoman.
A state of emergency was declared in Los Angeles and Ventura counties Monday.
Even in areas that were not evacuated, train service disruptions and highway closures kept customers from shopping and employees from reporting to work.
“It is going to be a financial burden for everybody that this is happening right now,” said Pablo Solis, owner of Jim’s Western Wear in Chatsworth, about 3 miles from the fires. “Their focus is going to be on other things besides clothing.”
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion