L.A.'s Rich Fashion History
In partnership with Otis College of Art and Design, Artbound explores the latest Otis Report on the Creative Economy with online articles and video segments culminating in a broadcast special airing on KCET.
Though it's not a traditional "fashion city" like New York, London, Paris, or Milan, L.A. has a rich fashion history. Silent movie actresses Gloria Swanson and Louise Brooks flapped their way into becoming influential fashion plates in the 1920s, and red carpet gowns and dresses have shaped the world's idea of glamour ever since. Fashion design courses at schools like Otis College of Art and Design and FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) churn out prominent fashion designers like Monique Lhuillier and Lubov Azria. The history of surfing and skateboarding, and the apparel that accompanies it, has deep roots in L.A. since the 1950s. And, since 2000, American Apparel has been a global leader in basics.
The fashion industry generates billions of dollars in labor income through thousands jobs in Los Angeles and Orange County, according to the Otis Report on the Creative Economy of the Los Angeles Region.
Although L.A. may not be known for couture yet, it plays an important role in key segments of the fashion world.