Newsflash: Tom Ford is relocating his offices to Los Angeles. Why does this matter to you? Honestly, it represents the shift in the fashion industry from a highly structured, regimented machine to a more free-flowing, space-for-everyone kind of place that it is today. Think about it, nobody is sticking to a strict timetable now. Some brands are doing “see now, buy now”, some brands are doing “see now, preorder now” and some brands are just sticking to the regular old timetable. Then it comes down to fashion week scheduling. The official calendar, in New York at least, doesn’t mean much given that brands are choosing to show outside of the city (often in LA). Some are taking it even further than that and showing on a calendar entirely of their own (Vetements and Public School are the two most prominent examples). We are at a period of change in the fashion industry and who knows what things will look like in five years time.
Tom Ford moving to LA is exciting to me, because hopefully others will follow suit. LA began to have its moment when Hedi Slimane relocated the YSL offices there a few years back. Now that he has left his role there and creative control has been handed back to Paris, there was a slight void in the newfound high fashion spot. Tom Ford has filled it, quite literally, by taking over the old office space that the Saint Laurent team previously occupied. Off Highland, on Santa Monica Boulevard, the space is below Hollywood yet close enough to remember you’re in La La Land.
In the past, collectively people have associated LA fashion with surfers and beaches and maybe even denim. However, it is becoming so much more than that. Whilst it is true that celebrity reigns supreme in Los Angeles, the art scene is growing and the fashion scene is becoming a lot more legitimate. Other brands that have design offices here, or are entirely based in the city, include & Other Stories, the Swedish “atelier-based” chain under the H&M umbrella, Elizabeth & James (Mary-Kate and Ashley’s second line) and Rodarte. FarFetch, the e-commerce giant, has an office with 120 employees Downtown. I’d like to see a shift in the industry to more brands relocating to LA, or at least opening smaller satellite offices.
Personally, I’d like to move to LA one day. Sometime after I graduate I hope to live in California and enjoy the weather. However, a career is also insanely important to me and I wouldn’t like to think that I’d be forfeiting it by leaving New York. With more brands starting to make the switch to the West Coast, that looks less and less likely. Currently the Los Angeles fashion industry is very much celebrity driven. Most fashion stylists working out there are in celebrity styling/event dressing. Think of the Hollywood Reporter’s annual list of the Most Powerful Stylists. Everyone on there does red carpet dressing. PR companies based there are in the same field. It makes sense given that Hollywood is the center of the entertainment industry. I’d like the option of doing e-commerce or editorial styling, alongside celebrity styling too. It’s interesting to see what the future holds.