Like a true world class city Los Angeles has a garment district. It is garish, over the top, loud, messy, odorous, Ali Baba’s cave. This is the most bargain you can get, a step above the thrift store, and as second hand stores go, with imagination, a treasure trove. Here you used to be able to get very good fakes of anything, at street level. Now you can get everything else. It is a bazaar for the creative and profit minded. Fashion is an artistic business.
Here also there is a garment industry. Patterns being drawn, cut and sewn, wholesale designer’s outlets wholesaling, account sheets analyzed, etc. Los Angeles is the largest manufacturing center in the US, its largest component being the apparel sector. With raw talent, creativity and the city’s support, LA can show a very marked pride of labels “Made in LA” or “Made in the USA”. American Apparel is based in LA and in spite of its colorful reputation otherwise, its boastful tag line is Made in LA. In this they are not alone; LA has a strong tradition of craftsmanship and creativity, two base ingredients of fashion.
At the other end there are stores in LA such as Maxfields of Malibu’s Cross Creek, where it ain’t no thing to have 2 or 3 Chanel dresses in a mix worthy of Chanel, but they also have scarves made of scrap cashmere for which, as for a pearl necklace, each section has been chosen for compatibility of color and weight, cut to size and formed into an extra-long tube.
When stores such as Maxfield’s, or their equivalent in other cities, choose to carry such a humble yet luxurious, and clever product it is an honor to its creator and to the planet, its footprint being minimal. It is ecologically correct but also sound economics to preserve tradition, industry and employment in one’s hometown and country.