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Another Eastwood Looks to West

Alison Eastwood not only carries on a tradition of stars' daughters striving in fashion, but her line even evokes her dad's western persona.

January 25, 2002|BOOTH MOORE | TIMES FASHION WRITER

Making your mark in the fickle fashion world isn't easy, but having a famous last name helps. (Just ask Stella McCartney, Jade Jagger and Tatiana von Furstenberg.) Alison Eastwood--cowboy Clint's daughter--is the latest second-gen celeb to get in on the act, with Eastwood Ranch, a denim and sportswear line for men and women. And she's tapped the progeny of another famous name to help: Sheridan Tyler, son of fashion designer Richard Tyler.

The genesis of the line is an L.A. story. Eastwood came up with the idea after meeting her business partner Jeremy Lew at Maha Yoga. "It used to be AA [Alcoholics Anonymous], but now all the deals are happening in yoga studios," said Lew, who previously founded the boutique advertising agency One Day Live and launched an online holistic product store.

McCartney made a name for herself by designing for French fashion house Chloe, Jagger by creating jewelry and Von Furstenberg by opening a chic Los Feliz boutique. But Eastwood, 29, is launching yet another denim-based line at a time when many in the apparel industry are hurting.

"So many lines are trend driven. They have their 15 minutes, and then they go away. We are going to focus on timeless pieces," said Eastwood, relaxing in beige corduroys, a rag wool sweater and clogs at her Westwood office, where the walls are plastered with movie posters from her father's westerns.

She is also sizing her clothes so that they are more generous in their cut than some lines known for their ultra-snug fit. "We're not going to be another Seven jeans or Juicy Couture," said Lew, 40, who is president and chief executive.

Eastwood, an actress and former model, splits her time between the family ranch in Carmel, where she goes to ride her five horses, and West L.A. Her personal style is rugged and western-inspired but also a bit eclectic. She likes to mix designer pieces with vintage western duds, such as a pair of brown suede cowboy boots she picked up in a thrift store in Australia. And she loves tooled leather accessories. "I think everyone should have a piece of tooled leather in their closet," she said.

Her spring line, produced in L.A. and funded through private investors, reflects the same sensibility. In addition to offering jeans in two washes, the collection ($40 to $220) includes a button-down "tequila shirt" with pin-tuck detailing for men, and shaped eyelet tops, floral print camisoles, riding jackets lined with a vintage-looking dusty-rose print and T-shirts with slogans such as "Every Girl Loves a Dirty Cowboy" for women. The clothes will be available at Fred Segal, American Rag, Saks Fifth Avenue and other stores in February.

Though she has no fashion training, Eastwood, who is the design director, likes to sketch out ideas. She hired Tyler to refine the tailoring. The 26-year-old worked with his father for several years and helped design the first Richard Tyler menswear collection in 2000. He will begin work on Eastwood Ranch's fall line.

"I love working for my father, but it was starting to make me lazy," Tyler said. "I have always wanted to do younger, funkier clothing."

Eastwood wants to be involved with the business--the first to carry her family's name--for the long haul. But she also wants to continue making films.

Perhaps she can get some advice about dual careers from papa Eastwood, who has the golf sportswear line Tehama and numerous other projects, including a new post on the California Parks and Recreation Commission. He is a support, she said, but not an investor.

Guess it's her own fistful of dollars.

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