Yala is not your mother’s organic clothing, but in designer Chelsea Morgan’s case, it is her mother’s company. What began as a sleepwear line called DreamSacks in 1996 has since evolved into a lifestyle brand rechristened this year as Yala, comprising natural-fiber clothing for men, women and babies, as well as accessories, home and travel goods.
Founded by Ashland, Ore.-based family Nancy and Larry Morgan and daughter Chelsea, the company uses fabrics made from sustainable fibers — organic cotton, renewable bamboo viscose and silk — colored with low-impact, azo-free dyes.
From its collaborative design process to socially responsible sourcing, manufacturing with carbon-offset credits, shipping by electric vehicle and paperless billing, Yala has become a key example of sustainable business practices.
Hoping to expand its niche reach beyond the U.S. and Canada at WWDMAGIC, Yala is also launching a new line at the show: Free Soul, a collection of handmade scarves, necklaces and bracelets made by women from India’s Untouchable caste, who have found financial independence through Yala’s partnership with microfinance company Build A Nest.
Yala will also be showing fall immediates including its best-selling tunics, leggings and cashmere scarves, and maxiskirts, reversible scoop-neck tank tops and sweaters. Wholesale prices range from $12 to $59. “Sizes go from XS to XL, and my mom and I designing together can navigate two generations,” said Chelsea, 30.
Before starting Yala, Nancy, 59, was a teacher who worked in Southeast Asia and Central America. “I was interested in anthropological and global issues and always dreamed of having a business that combined culture and fashion,” she said.
Chelsea, who spent her early childhood in China and learned Chinese before English, went to school at Dartmouth and joined the company after graduation. “Chinese comes in handy when we go there for sourcing,” she said.
Seventies denim brand Dittos is relaunching for spring. After being produced under license by Frankie B. for two seasons, Dittos’ parent, Jordache Enterprises, has taken the line back in-house and is rolling out jeans and bottoms at wholesale prices from $38.50 to $43.50, jackets and vests from $33.50 to $43.50 and T-shirts for $18.50.
“The Dittos brand was very particular to Western style but still a very luxury and wanted brand at the time,” said Jordache owner Steven Nakash, recalling the heyday of the 33-year-old brand. “What we went for was a more fashion-oriented and color-driven denim, which was not really being offered at the time.”
Today, those are again two of the hottest trends in denim, making the timing of the re-launch “impeccable” said Nakash. “Naturally, we are taking the available trends in the market now, color and pastels, and working off of that,” he said.
Bottoms include flare and skinny silhouettes, with plenty of the trademark double yolk stitch. “We want to offer newer and fresher styles along with different stitches and pocketing for a look that is authentically vintage,” he said. “We’re getting back into quality and small details and fit.”
Although the focus is still on jeans, Dittos now offers shorts, skirts and logo T-shirts that blend the Western flair of Texas (where the brand was born) and the rock-band influence of Los Angeles (where it’s always been made).
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)