L.A. Fashion Week Postmortem: What Went Wrong?

By Alesandra Dubin October 21, 2008, 5:33 PM EDT

L.A. Fashion Week's October 2008 run

Photo: BizBash

Now that L.A. Fashion Week is a wrap in its former capacity, everyone involved is trying to isolate exactly why the shows here never took off as a major industry event, and what might be done to improve matters for potential future incarnations.

A lengthy story in Monday's Women's Wear Daily mused on some of the reasons for the ultimate failure of the five-year partnership between IMG and Smashbox Studios. It cited lack of profitability compared to other cities, inability to draw A-list stars and an infestation of B-list ones, sub-par designs, and a generally chaotic and crowded environment in Culver City, among myriad other causes. The story specifically called out the debacle surrounding the show for the collection by The Hills' Lauren Conrad—and the long, unwieldy line of wannabe showgoers eventually turned away before seeing it. One retailer quoted in the WWD report called the whole event “a joke.” A designer called it “peripheral.”

Still, the IMG-Smashbox partnership brought in $50 million for the city, according to the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, and organizers are hopeful about renewed, rejiggered efforts in the future—especially while the state struggles under major money woes.

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