LOS ANGELES — Fashion week here, which now stretches for several weeks, is trying to overcome an identity crisis.
Many in the industry thought Los Angeles Fashion Week would implode with the exit of event producer IMG a year ago after a five-year run, but organizers have been able to return to the original goal — shows featuring local designers, timed with the city’s two apparel markets, and staged in landmark venues in the garment district and in Hollywood.
Although sponsors are still scarce, the activity hints at optimism for the city’s fashion scene.
“I have watched so many fashion weeks fail, so part of my mission is not just to be an exhibition space for designers, but also to support the industry’s new talent,” said Barbara Graff, a partner in the returning Downtown Fashion Week with Leanna Lewis and Juan Rodriguez. One of its shows featuring emerging designers is being sponsored by the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs.
Other new players also see opportunity in the region with the biggest retail market and clothing production center in the U.S.
“People were disappointed with events in the past, but I see potential to build a fashion monster,” said Nicole Purcell, a partner in New York-based Rock Media and Entertainment. The firm recently merged with Gen Art, which has staged biannual events in Los Angeles since 1997, to become RMGA LLC. Their new three-day event, Rock Fashion Week L.A., will open with Gen Art’s Fresh Faces in Fashion show Oct. 29 at Paramount Studios in Hollywood.
“Our merger has given Los Angeles Fashion Week an important anchor,” said Gen Art founder Ian Gerard. “It’s been flailing in the wind in terms of being a cohesive week, and everyone’s looking to someone to organize it. Creating multiple days in a well-regarded location is the first step to getting other groups to rally around the same time frame.”
The IMG-produced Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios in Culver City was criticized for subpar designers, lack of press, D-list celebrities and out-of-the-way location.
“That was a tough draw because it is an industrial area,” said Mikey Koffman, who is producing a new event this season, L.A. Fashion Weekend, at Sunset Gower Studios. “Not a lot of celebrities and buyers want to go [there] because it is off the beaten path, and it doesn’t really have anything to do with fashion. By making the move to Hollywood, we are trying to give fashion week a Hollywood image.”
Koffman acknowledged the past few seasons without Smashbox Studios co-owners Dean and Davis Factor have been “a little frustrating.” Davis Factor has said he will return to fashion week when the economic climate improves, adding, “I want to wait until I can do it right.”
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)