Until it closed its factory last month, Revatex Inc. was among the few big Los Angeles clothing designers to also produce garments itself.
Many apparel firms in a city known for trendy juniors garments already had shifted production to contractors, both in the city and abroad. Los Angeles lost 5,000 garment production jobs in 1999.
Observers said it's tough for firms such as Revatex to profitably run their own factories. For one thing, seasonal demand can cause wild production swings. The juniors business, for example, is driven by back-to-school sales.
And as garment labels diversify, they need specialized equipment that drives costs higher. Known for its JNCO men's clothing, Revatex is branching into women's contemporary clothes to revive sales.