LOS ANGELES — So much for centralization.
This story first appeared in the January 9, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Efforts to contain Los Angeles Fashion Week to downtown have been foiled by the news late Tuesday that another program would take place 10 miles west of the Downtown Standard, the hotel where 7th on Sixth is staging its series.
Celebrity photographer Davis Factor and his business partner and brother Dean Factor are opening their sprawling complex in Culver City for a program they’re calling Smashbox Fashion Week Los Angeles. Some 15 or more shows will run from March 31 through April 3.
7th on Sixth is opening Mercedes-Benz Shows L.A. April 1 and expects to host 12 to 15 shows over its four days. Vogue is said to be on board as a media and marketing partner, and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, just blocks from the Downtown Standard, is lending its support in student volunteers and as a possible event site.
Smashbox’s announcement had many here buzzing Wednesday, not in the least because some said they had heard that 7th on Sixth had canceled its plans.
“We’re absolutely coming,” confirmed Fern Mallis, 7th on Sixth executive director. She said that she’d had calls through the day from designers who’d heard the rumors. “As soon as we finish New York’s schedule this week, we’ll be shifting to Los Angeles plans, getting our packages out as soon as possible.”
Dean Factor said he and his team had been mulling the idea for several seasons. Smashbox makeup artists have worked on shows here for some time, and last November, Eduardo Lucero staged a presentation at Smashbox. Lucero is on board again. Other participating designers will be announced next week.
Factor insisted that his series was not about competing with 7th on Sixth. “We want to be a great complement. We are right now working on transportation between us and downtown. We definitely recognize people need to be in two places.”