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Fashion Designers

They say necessity is the mother of invention. But with Bay Area children's wear it seems to be more a case of mothers inventing necessities. The last decade or so has given rise to a gaggle of kidswear companies started out of frustration by Bay Area moms who wanted more for their children than basic, boxy, polyester styles in pink for girls, blue for boys. Along with MTV, these designing women have helped change the dress style of the nation's children forever.
Back in the Stone Age, folks wore fur for a strictly functional reason--to keep warm. Several thousand years later, fur had evolved into a fashion statement that, along with diamonds and Rolls-Royces, conveyed classic style as well as wealth. But icons are meant to be broken. And fur is no exception. Recent years have seen the rise of the animal rights lobby, whose anti-cruelty campaigns tapped neatly into a burgeoning environmental movement.
Calvin Klein's empire nearly collapsed under a mountain of debt in 1992 before record producer David Geffen came to the rescue. Tommy Hilfiger went bankrupt before teaming up with Hong Kong apparel mogul Silas Chou to build the giant fashion house that bears his name today. But even in the topsy-turvy world of fashion, few falls have been as dramatic as that of Mossimo Giannulli. Two years ago, the Irvine menswear designer was the toast of Wall Street.
December 30, 2012 | By Booth Moore, Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic
Body by Beckham Women weren't the only ones baring skin in ads this year. Fast fashion giant H&M debuted its first Super Bowl ad for the David Beckham Bodywear collection, starring the soccer star in his skivvies. During the London Summer Olympics, images from the campaign were projected onto the White Cliffs of Dover. (February, August) The '20s roar The fall 2012 runway collections were steeped in 1920s influences, from Ralph Lauren's "Great Gatsby"-inspired gowns to Tory Burch's sportswear inspired by 1920s Deauville, to Frida Giannini's Art Deco black-and-gold fringed flapper dresses at Gucci.
November 10, 2013 | By Booth Moore, Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic
After 16 years at the helm of Coach, Reed Krakoff left the American heritage brand this fall to chart a solo course with his own label, which is starting to really gain momentum. In the three years since launching his namesake brand, Krakoff has dressed Lena Dunham, Julianne Moore and First Lady Michelle Obama, who wore his cobalt blue dress on the March 2013 cover of Vogue. He has a robust accessories business (the Boxer and Atlantique bags have been big hits), which accounts for about 70% of sales, and his ready-to-wear clothing is gaining momentum among women looking for something intellectual, modern and American.
October 14, 2012 | By Adam Tschorn, Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK - As it gets ready to enter its 10th year, the Band of Outsiders brand has just about become the ultimate fashion insider. In June, founder and creative director Scott Sternberg presented his menswear collection in Paris for the first time - in a live-streamed, 60-hour event billed as "the longest show ever. " The brand's first retail store is being built in Tokyo. And the first lady of the United States, arguably the most high-profile fashion fan in the country, has been spotted in the Boy by Band of Outsiders women's line not once but twice this year.
January 8, 2012 | By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
In a bustling part of downtown L.A., a high-rise is teeming with stylish young women in short skirts and full makeup wheeling small suitcases in and out of elevators on their way to class. They're students at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, where, down the hall from a flat-screen TV broadcasting a runway show, past a plexiglass case of high-fashion Barbies, two of their peers are consulting with Mary Stephens, the school's self-described "big boss. ""This is a very new-looking shape here," says Stephens, FIDM's director of fashion design.
January 20, 2013 | By Nora Zelevansky, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Hayley Starr is a modern-day flower child. The artist and designer (whose given last name is Keenan but who describes "Hayley Starr" as her "highest self and inner superhero") may not wear fringe and flash peace signs. But a desire to promote creativity and self-confidence prompted her last fall to open the Quest by Hayley Starr, her one-stop boutique, art gallery, New Age refuge, classroom, studio and event space in Venice. The shop, which is clean and feminine but decidedly offbeat, is like a three-dimensional Pinterest page, communicating Starr's whimsical outlook via an eclectic collage of her favorite things.
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