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Fred Segal, Designer Who Commodified California Cool, Dies at 87

Fred Segal, whose clothes shops have develop into an emblem of cool Los Angeles promoting denims and chambray shirts tailor-made to Bob Dylan, Farah Fawcett and the Beatles, died Thursday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 87 years previous.

The trigger was sophisticated by a stroke, a spokeswoman for her household mentioned.

Segal turned one of the vital well-known designers and retailers on the West Coast within the 60s and helped form the picture of Southern California vogue as windy, attractive and relaxed. Its eponymous ivy-covered journal has develop into an occasion for fashionistas, Hollywood actors and big-name artists and musicians. For vacationers, it’s typically featured on vacationer itineraries close to the Grauman’s Chinese language Theater and the Hollywood signal.

Credit score …Household images

Segal opened its first retailer in 1960. It was, in accordance with the corporate web site, a 700-square-foot area on Boulevard Santa Monica that offered denim denims, chambray shirts and pants, velvets and flannels.

In 1961, Mr. Segal and his nephew Ron Herman opened a mid-size retailer on Melrose Avenue that wore solely denims, which offered for $ 19.95 a pair – a worth that was just about extraordinary on the time. , when males have been nonetheless carrying overalls and denim pants sometimes offered at $ 3 a pair.

“My idea was that folks needed to be snug, informal and attractive, so I believed it could work, and it clearly labored,” Mr. Segal mentioned in a interview with Haute Residing journal in 2012.

Individuals flocked to the shop to purchase denims, pushed in a small half by celeb cooks Jay Sebring, the hairdresser who was one of many inspirations for Warren Beatty’s character in “Shampoo,” who wore tight denims with a flare backside and an identical shirt that he had bought at Mr. Hairdresser’s. Segal. Segal’s purchasers quickly embody the Beatles, Elvis Presley and Diana Ross, in addition to members of Jackson 5 and Jefferson Airplane.

“After I got here to Los Angeles within the late’ 70s, there have been two issues that everybody was speaking about: Gucci baggage and Fred Segal, ”author Nice Gehman advised the New York Occasions in 2001.

His designs have been notable for assaults that have been uncommon for the period. The pants have been lower for males in order that they fell over the hips, for instance, and their shops additionally offered tight French T-shirts and Danskin our bodies.

Along with his drawings, Mr. Segal was a part of a small group of shops on the time – others included Tommy Perse, Linda Dresner and Joan Weinstein – who pioneered the idea of working carefully with designers and promoting designer garments of their shops, mentioned Ikram Goldman, the proprietor of Chicago’s Ikram boutique.

“They’d an beautiful eye,” Ms. Goldman mentioned. “These are the individuals who have found the expertise and put it to gentle in a manner that – earlier than Instagram, earlier than social media, earlier than the information hits you – has launched collections that you have not seen earlier than.”

In 2006, a New York Occasions reporter described Mr. Segal as “the provider of these Hollywood fantasies, promoting uniforms of high-priced, bluejean T-shirts and heels of unthinkably unlucky kittens to the well-to-do residents and celebrities of the town “

Frederick Mandel Segal was born on August 16, 1933, in Chicago. His dad and mom, David and Helen Segal, had executed a number of jobs, in accordance with the household spokeswoman, and Mr. Segal grew up poor.

Segal by no means went to highschool for vogue. He labored as a vendor of journey footwear and glossy footwear in Venice Seashore – two jobs that allowed him to look at individuals and helped him domesticate a way of what patrons needed.

Bored with touring, he determined to open his first retailer in 1960.

Segal attributed his early success to his capacity to be trustworthy with clients.

“I realized at a younger age that the uncompetitive space is unbroken,” Segal advised Haute Residing. “After I promote in my retailer to my clients and so they are available wanting to purchase this or that, in the event that they placed on a costume and ask me for my recommendation, a part of the time I’ll say,‘ Take that, don’t purchase that both. , it could be ridiculous, you don’t even look good in it. ‘It’s actually profound honesty. You don’t discover this in enterprise, you recognize? “

There have been Fred Segal shops in Taiwan and in Bern, the capital of Switzerland. In 2015, the model has opened a retailer in Tokyo which additionally included an on-site meals truck promoting Mexican street grain, rolled shrimp and scorching canines paired with Coca-Cola and Corona.

The identify Fred Segal turned so well-known that he was casually referred to in films as “Clueless” and “Legally Blonde.”

Segal is survived by his spouse, Tina; 5 kids, Michael, Judy, Sharon, Nina and Annie; 10 grandchildren; and two grandchildren.

Mike Ives contributed to the signaling, and Jack Begg contributed analysis.

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