LOS ANGELES — With design credits ranging from Hugh Hefner’s silk sleepwear to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” costume and Senator Edward Kennedy’s nuptial suit, Hollywood clothier Rick Pallack has racked up his fair share of notable male clients. Throughout his more than 25 years in retail, six former U.S. presidents, countless actors, news broadcasters and professional athletes have donned Pallack’s men’s collection.
Now, 10 years after closing his namesake store in Sherman Oaks, Pallack is back in the game.
He has spent the past several years selling off his real estate holdings, digitalizing his career archives and formatting a new Web site design, which has yet to publicly launch. Pallack has set up an appointment-only studio and haberdashery in a private showroom in Los Angeles and is currently talking with several potential licensees about relaunching his brand for next fall. “I’m in discussions now about licenses, joint ventures or collaborations,” he said. “It’s usually a year from when you make an agreement to when the products are launched, so that’s what I’m shooting for.”
In his haberdashery, bespoke suits start at $2,950, while custom shirts retail for between $295 and $395. There are also T-shirts, Henleys and hoodies that retail between $49 and $98 and ready-made suits and sport coats that range from $795 to $995. Price points for a wholesale collection have not yet been determined.
What Pallack is proposing for next year is multifaceted and includes everything from formalwear and tailored clothing to sportswear and accessories. He owns the Studio Wardrobe Department trademark, which can be used for a lower-priced subbrand in the U.S., according to his business plan, and he has an idea for a denim collection as well as a Malibu Beach collection of casual, California-inspired sportswear. He’s also proposing a Rick Pallack Personalized Wardrobe Coordination System, for which he would act as the personal stylist for customers seeking advice on wardrobing.
Pallack believes the timing is right to re-launch the brand globally, saying his return was sparked by the requests of friends for his designs.
“Now is the perfect time, and I have 100 percent of my time to focus on it,” Pallack said. “I don’t have the day-to-day businesses or running of real estate. My only focus now is to develop the brand again.”
Currently, Pallack’s bespoke suits are only available to private clients, and he does not plan to open another store location. Rather, he hopes to line up a retail partner to help with the relaunch. Pallack’s designs were never wholesaled in the past.
“I’ve always had the vision that my wardrobe could be shared on a larger scale,” Pallack said. “I’m leaning toward whoever is going to execute the Rick Pallack full wardrobing concept and deliver the best level of excellence and customer service to the consumer. That is my ultimate goal — that the consumer looks perfect. So, whether that is through one exclusive retailer or more than one, that I don’t know yet.”
Pallack believes his sensibility and sartorial sense make his designs appropriate for today. And the fact that he operated his own store for nearly two decades gives him insight into what sells, he said.
A Los Angeles native, Pallack began his retail career at age 12, assisting customers in a Rodeo Drive boutique. Teenage years spent selling clothes out of his car and apartment culminated in Pallack opening, in 1985, his own 2,000-square-foot storefront, which, despite its wayward location in the San Fernando Valley, garnered more than $2,000 per square foot in retail sales and catered to a celebrity clientele.
After nearly 20 years in business and more than $60 million in merchandise sold, the Rick Pallack store closed its doors in 2004.
As for future brand extensions, Pallack, who is entirely self-financed, would also like to venture into women’s apparel and hopes to turn his extensive memorabilia and photo archives into a coffee-table book.