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Garment Industry Los Angeles

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NEWS
May 31, 1990 | STUART SILVERSTEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In a surprise ending to a vicious and far-reaching legal brawl, the warring owners of the Guess and Jordache jeans empires reached a settlement Wednesday that restores full ownership of Guess to the Marciano brothers of Beverly Hills. The Marcianos' longtime foes--brothers Joe, Avi and Ralph Nakash of New York, owners of Jordache--in return won an undisclosed share of $106 million in Guess profits set aside in a frozen account.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2001 | PATRICK J. McDONNELL
Kimi Lee and her co-workers have no illusions about the obstacles they face. From an office in the garment district, she and two other anti-sweatshop organizers are taking on L.A.'s multibillion-dollar garment industry. They are trying to improve the treatment of the overwhelmingly immigrant and female work force toiling in thousands of sewing lofts, storefronts and hidden factories concentrated on the southeast end of downtown.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 11, 1996 | PAUL LIEBERMAN and GEORGE WHITE, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
What became known as the "Carole Little murders" stretched over 18 months and left three dead--two executives of the chic women's clothing company and one of its top sewing contractors. There were two bombings, as well, along with a freeway shooting and an ambush outside a sewing plant that left a husband and wife wounded. The string of violence shocked Southern California's $20-billion garment industry and created a gnawing mystery for area law enforcement.
NEWS
September 27, 2000 | MARLA DICKERSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The masked intruders burst into Ace Knitting Co. just before 11 p.m. They stuck a pistol to the head of the lone employee, bound his wrists with shoelaces, then sped away with a truckload of booty. The target of their carefully woven scheme: bolts of spandex fabric. Long the bane of the fashion police, the body-hugging fiber is now bedeviling local law enforcement.
NEWS
August 22, 1990 | CINDY LaFAVRE YORKS, Yorks, a free-lance writer, regularly contributes to The Times' fashion pages.
A Cheshire cat grin creeps across Francine Browner's face as she confesses that the jacket she wears does not carry her own label. "It's a Calvin Klein," the 44-year-old sportswear designer admits, adding that she has not "interpreted" its look and feel into her own line. Yet. Klein is one of several top names in the business who inspire Browner's designs for Rue de Reves, a company she founded six years ago and has built into a leader among Southern California's junior market.
BUSINESS
May 16, 1994 | JILL LEOVY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
This time, Allan Franklin and Sidney Penchansky say, they really mean it. If they can't turn their North Hollywood textile business around in the next few months, the brothers-in-law vow to sell out, ending three generations of family ownership. "We can't go on at this rate," said Franklin, who with Penchansky is vice president of Levine Bros. Inc.
BUSINESS
July 25, 1994 | KAREN KAPLAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Clothing designer Clotee McAfee can barely contain her excitement as she describes a pocket-making machine she will install in the new, fully automated garment plant she plans to move into by the end of the year. "It can set a pocket in three seconds," McAfee said. "Right now, with a single needle, it takes three minutes" for one of the 25 sewing machine operators she employs to make a pocket and sew it onto a shirt.
NEWS
August 20, 1999 | JOSE CARDENAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Walking down a Los Angeles street or at an Ozomatli concert, you might spot someone wearing a T-shirt with the picture of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata or a "Brown Pride" graphic. "It's urban wear with a cultural twist to it," explains Anthony Cruz-Gonzalez, founder of Montebello's Trueroots Streetwear & Clothing Co. The 27-year-old, who works out of his Montebello home, is one of a handful of small L.A.
NEWS
October 30, 1992 | DENISE HAMILTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Behind a faded storefront on the eastern fringes of Hollywood, the seamstresses of Silvia's Costumes sing as they sew, much as their ancestors in Yerevan did a thousand years ago. Their metier is fine detail work--the hand beading, embroidery and stitching that adorns some of the fashion industry's most extravagant garments. They craft one-of-a-kind designs for a Bob Mackie gown or a jacket by designer Bill Whitten that will fetch thousands of dollars in a boutique across town.
SPORTS
December 25, 1997 | SCOTT HOWARD-COOPER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Some come simply to get a glimpse of the big boss, emphasis on big. That might happen a couple of times a day, a supervisor says, usually teenagers under the guise of seeking employment. "Middle-aged people too, now that I think about it," Cynthia Atterberry adds, laughing. They come to Compton, to a side street filled with low-rise warehouses and other industrial buildings, to see Shaquille O'Neal.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 24, 2000 | Cecilia Rasmussen
Historically anti-union, Los Angeles once was described as the buckle on the scab belt. But the city has had more than its share of labor heroes--and heroines--none more notable than the redoubtable Rose Pesotta, a Jewish immigrant who not only championed the cause of Latino workers, but also predicted that they would one day form the backbone of the city's organized labor.
BUSINESS
August 18, 2000 | MARLA DICKERSON and NANCY CLEELAND, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Employment in the Los Angeles garment industry dipped below 100,000 this year for the first time since the North American Free Trade Agreement was enacted in 1994, with nearly 13,000 jobs lost since 1997 alone, according to state employment data. Also, a new analysis of state figures from 1995-1997 has found that the region began losing blue-collar sewing jobs on a large scale earlier than was previously thought.
NEWS
August 18, 2000 | LOUIS SAHAGUN and JESSICA GARRISON, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
On their last day to steal the spotlight from the Democratic National Convention, activists representing a multitude of causes returned to the streets Thursday--and to the strange line dance with police that characterized a tense but mostly nonviolent week of protest.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 7, 2000
A former state deputy labor commissioner responsible for regulating working conditions in the garment industry was sentenced Thursday to three years in federal prison for taking kickbacks from clothing manufacturers. Howard Hernandez, 48, of Montebello also was ordered to pay $283,000 in restitution to the state. Hernandez was arrested and fired in September 1997 after investigators saw him take a bribe in a Montebello parking lot.
BUSINESS
January 15, 2000 | JESUS SANCHEZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The hub of Southern California's apparel industry--the massive California Mart in downtown Los Angeles--has been put up for sale and is expected to draw bids of more than $100 million, according to people familiar with property. Equitable Life Assurance Co., which took control of the property in 1994 in a foreclosure, is selling the complex as part of an ongoing effort to reduce its real estate portfolio. Officials who handle the giant insurance company's portfolio said they had no comment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 19, 1999
Immigrant workers who made name-brand clothes labored in sweatshop conditions, working long hours without overtime pay for far less than minimum wage, two lawsuits filed Thursday allege. The suits, filed in federal court, name as defendants trendy fashion house BCBG Maxazria, of Los Angeles, and clothing labels City Girl, based in Commerce, and Hobby Horse, a Chino company. Also named are the Los Angeles-area sewing contractors who were the plaintiffs' actual employers.
BUSINESS
May 3, 1994 | JILL LEOVY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
This time, Allan Franklin and Sidney Penchansky really mean it. The brothers-in-law say if they can't turn around their family textile business in the next few months, they will give up and sell, ending three generations of family ownership. "We can't go on at this rate," said Franklin, who with Penchansky is vice president of Levine Bros. Inc. Battered by burglaries, a fire, the Los Angeles riots, the recession and the earthquake, Levine Bros.'
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 24, 1995 | PATRICK J. McDONNELL and PAUL FELDMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Federal agents swooped in on three suspected sweatshops and arrested 55 people early Wednesday, including 39 Thai workers who authorities suspect were toiling to pay off travel debts to professional smugglers. Investigators from the Immigration and Naturalization Service and Department of Labor acted jointly on one of many tips received by the INS since the highly publicized shutdown of a clandestine garment factory in El Monte on Aug. 2.
BUSINESS
November 17, 1999 | NANCY CLEELAND, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Claiming Los Angeles garment workers who produced high-end jackets for USC, UCLA and several other universities were cheated out of overtime pay, two legal centers filed suit in U.S. District Court on Tuesday, asking for back wages and punitive damages. The lawsuit was announced at a news conference on the USC campus as part of a coordinated "labor solidarity day" in which students at 20 universities across the country demonstrated for labor rights.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 1999 | TED ROHRLICH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Los Angeles police said Thursday that they are looking for two gangs of takeover robbers who have hit a dozen or more textile warehouses in the central Los Angeles area in the last year, stealing more than $2 million worth of Lycra--a popular synthetic fiber produced by the Dupont Co. and used in a wide variety of clothes.
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