Fabric Store from NZ a Natural Fit in LA
The Los Angeles location for The Fabric Store, a New Zealand-based business that also has four retail stores in its native country and three in Australia, offers “a more edgy, fashiony focus than a typical store,” owner Roger Wall says.
Tags on the rolls make it evident that this is no run-of-the-mill fabric shop: Some are labelled with the names of major fashion designers, such as Tory Burch, Marc Jacobs, Diane von Furstenberg and Donna Karan.
Wall began buying and selling fabric for a wholesale business in New Zealand at age 18. Eventually he started his own business selling fabric in New Zealand and Australia, then had the idea of reselling leftover fabric remnants from New Zealand clothing manufacturers. When this became a success, Wall saw the potential for something bigger and expanded the business to include buys from Hong Kong clothing manufacturers.
“We buy 1- or 2-million yards of fabric a year from European and American clothing designers,” Wall says. “We buy all the sample yardage that they retained and never made into garments. And we buy from the designers because they don’t want it hanging around.”
A major focus of the business is its emphasis on natural fabrics – silks, linens, leathers, lyocell tencel, viscose rayon, cottons, Italian wools and New Zealand merino wool jersey.
Company publicist Ann Flower also notes how the New Zealand stores are a major resource for costume designers, such as Ngila Dickson, known for her work on The Lord of The Rings films, and Kirsty Cameron, whose credits include Whale Rider and In My Father’s Den. So what better location than Hollywood for the brand’s first US outpost?
Original article by Ingrid Schmidt, Los Angeles Times, March 22, 2014.