NEW YORK--Omega Textiles has had a busy year, reshaping its product line and expanding geographically. At the same time, it's been cleaning up its reputation in the market, which president Charles L. Greenberg readily admits had been getting tarnished. Among Omega's moves in the last 12 months: Exited the highly competitive, import-laden rayon blitz and bengaline fabric market. Acquired the women's apparel fabrics business from Erlanger Blumgart, another converter here, in November. Established a West Coast sales office under the auspices of Marty Beck, whom the firm has charged with heading sales in that region. Reestablished a presence in the printed fabric market. "While we've reorganized and restructured the firm, the moves alone won't make us better," said Greenberg, who founded the firm in 1982, along with Ron Loeser and Mark Edelstein. "We had to make a switch from basic fabrics, which are predominantly imported now, to more special applications. "We also had lots of delivery and quality problems, and we weren't servicing the market as well as we should have," Greenberg said. "We turned a lot of people off." Greenberg, one of the company's four partners, said that three years ago, Omega had sales of about $100 million, but that in 1994, sales were about $80 million. However, they project in excess of $100 million this year. "By getting out of basics, we lost a lot volume-wise, but blitz and bengaline were products we weren't making an awful lot of money on," Greenberg said, interviewed at Omega's offices here. "You don't need a lot of sales to make money, just good, solid products." Omega's offerings, enhanced greatly by its Erlanger Blumgart acquisition, now include novelty wovens in blends of rayon and acetate, polyester and rayon and polyester and wool. The company has also gotten back full-force into the printed fabric arena, offering such printed novelty fabrics as blends of polyester and rayon and 100 percent textured rayon. "Prints are an important part of the business, but it's a tough market right now," said Loeser, another of the firm's partners. Loeser said 40 percent of its print business is through custom orders, which depend heavily on quick turns. "That's one reason we're staying in the U.S. with our dyeing and finishing rather than relying on imported goods," said Loeser. Omega, said Loeser, currently does its dyeing and finishing throughout the South and New England, "avoiding the problems you get when you deal with imported finishing." "We aren't going to say we'll never do business overseas, but our customers want a quick turn on goods and it's hard to do that if you're in Taiwan, Korea or Eastern Europe," Loeser said. Edelstein and Paul Reiss are the remaining partners. While Omega is focusing on firming up its print business, it is also expanding and focusing on the West Coast. The company "never really was successful there," Greenberg said. Its new Los Angeles sales office opened in September. Omega's customers have also noticed a difference. "Prior to their restructuring, we couldn't do anything with them," said Marlon Horn, president of Froxx, a moderate to better dress and sportswear manufacturer here. "They had problems after problems. We were reluctant to jump back into the fire. But they've proven that they've gotten their act together. Now, we're back to being a loyal customer." Horn said Omega now supplies between 10 and 15 percent of his firm's fabric, primarily blends of rayon and acetate.
“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