“Compared to New York, there’s a lot more fabric stores here,” says Christian the owner and designer of Christian J., a women’s clothing line based in Los Angeles.
We met up with the emerging designer on a recent sourcing trip to the Fashion District. She actually lives in Atlanta, but manufactures her line in the Los Angeles area and sources regularly from Fashion District vendors.
Christian J. offers flirty but tasteful party dresses. It was originally a passion project. Christian quit her day job as an accountant three years ago to work on the clothing line full time. She has been shopping in the district for years. A former New Yorker, she says she appreciates having everything she needs in one area.
“For the emerging designer, Los Angeles is definitely better,” she says. “The fabric is much more affordable which allows me to experiment with new prints and designs.”
For spring, Christian J. is planning to expand her line with a new collection, “Tees & Tulle”. As the name implies, Tees & Tulle will offer quality t-shirts and tulle skirts in fun, summer colors.
We got to tag along as she sourced tulle and silks and picked up some very valuable shopping tips along the way.
TIPS FOR BUYING FABRIC IN THE FASHION DISTRICT
1. Shop around and don’t be afraid to bargain. Many stores will carry similar items at a wide range of prices. Shopping around allows you to compare prices and make sure you’re getting the best deal.
2. Build relationships with suppliers. Your supplier is one of the most important contacts you’ll have as a designer and having a relationship with that person can make things like placing orders over the phone a lot easier.
3. Be aware of closeouts. Often times, vendors will have only one roll of a particular fabric. If you’re looking to do large quantities always ask if that particular print or color is a closeout.
4. Shoppers looking to buy in bulk might want to consider buying their fabrics from the fabric mills and importers at the California Market Center.
Shop the Christian J. collection online at www.iamchristianj.com. You can also find the collection on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Interested in visiting the Fashion District? You can download a map of the area here.
CB Flowers and Crafts is a wholesale craft store open to the public. The family-owned business has been operating out of the Fashion District for over 20 years and supplies craft and party supply stores across the country, specializing in bridal accessories and religious ceremonies. Because they are such a large wholesale vendor, the selection is huge and most items are available in all colors and a variety of styles.
Looking for supplies, but not sure where to start? Let the CB staff help! They are knowledgeable and talented. In fact, all of the sample party favors and centerpieces on display were made by the staff using only supplies sold by the store.
It’s the perfect source for party décor and favors for baby showers, birthdays, bridal showers, First Communions, Baptisms, weddings, and quinceañeras.
CB offers a full range of craft supplies from ribbon and glitter to tulle and silk flower petals. Here you will find:
First Communion & Baptism:
Bridal & Wedding:
The LA Fashion District has six full blocks dedicated entirely to fabrics and notions. Dubbed the “LA Fabric District” this area is a top destination for designers, fashion students, Cosplayers, crafts enthusiasts, and DIYers from all over the world. So what are the best places for fabric shopping in the district? We asked the gals at Sew FYI, a sewing studio and shared design space in Downtown LA, to share their favorites.
SEW FYI’s TOP THREE STORES:
The One-Stop-Shop: Michael Levine, 920 S Maple Ave.
Michael Levine has been a Fashion District staple for decades. It offers everything in fabrics and notions from specialty items – leather, designer textiles, and bridal lace – to trim, patterns, and sewing tools.
For One-of-A-Kind Finds: All Trims, 625 E 9th St.
Here is where you’ll find the most fashion-forward laces, trims, buttons, and elastic.
The all-around good fabric shop: Journal Fabric, 419 E 9th St.
Journal Fabrics offers a great selection fabrics and can boast some of the best customer service in town.
Sew FYI is a membership-based sewing and design co-working studio. The concept is similar to that of a gym – you purchase a membership, and they provide all the equipment. Membership includes:
Sew FYI also offers workshops for all ages and skill levels as well as production services. Visit www.sewfyi.com for more info and mention this blog to get 20% off any purchase!*
*First time customers only.
The LA Textile Fall/Winter 15/16 Show wrapped up at the California Market Center this past Thursday after a great turnout and very busy week for the design and production services trade show. LA Textile took place September 29-October 1 and featured hundreds of fabric selections and design services from around the world. Returning to the show were the Lenzing Innovation Pavilion, the European Collections Pavilion, the Korean Pavilion by KOTRA, and the Trend Forum by Paris-based forecasting company Promstyl. Designers were able to seek inspiration and design ideas from the four macro-trends presented at the Trend Forum: utilitarian-chic “Block”, cozy, sensitive “Tenderness”, sophisticated, sporty-luxe “Details”, and colorful, eccentric “Animism”.
In addition to trend forecasting, show attendees were treated to various perks including a series of complimentary seminars and free snacks and treats throughout the day. Companies in attendance included Gap Inc, Aldo, New Era Cap Co, Nasty Gal, 7 For All Mankind, Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent, Citizens of Humanity, Ella Moss, Paper Crown, Bebe, Juicy Couture, BCBG MaxAzria, Modcloth, American Apparel, and more.
We highly recommend LA Textile to designers and brands looking for high-quality production and design resources. The collection of fabric mills, forecasting services, and opportunities is unlike anything else in the district.
Save the date for the Spring/Summer 16 show March 2-4!
This blog has long been a platform to share information about the LA Fashion District and its many businesses, but today we are highlighting the shoppers and designers who rely on it for inspiration and supplies.
Earlier this week we met with Michele Van Beek of J Etta Beauty, a line of fashionable chemo hats. Michele launched J Etta earlier this year in honor of her mother, who passed away from cancer last June. We asked Michele to share her story and tips on where to source in the Fashion District.
“I felt like Alice in Wonderland the first time I visited, and now it’s my favorite place to be!” she said of her first trip to the district. When sourcing for J Etta Beauty, Michele likes to explore the fabric and trim shops around 9th Street and Maple Avenue, but there are two vendors she frequents Perial Company (908 S Maple Ave) for embellishments and JB Textiles (836 Maple Ave) for fabrics.
Perial Company looks and feels like a costume designer’s paradise. The store specializes in beaded fringe and feathers. You’ll also find tassels, foam, gimp, cord, trims, masks, beads, gloves, and rhinestones.
JB Textiles is one of those businesses that have made the district famous for its endless rows of fabric rolls. Its walls are lined with lycra, spandex, stretch lace, vinyl, leather, chiffon, and faux furs.
“J Etta Beauty is a company built on the love I had for someone and intended to bring love and joy to others in the same battle.” After her mother’s death, Michele turned to fashion as a creative outlet. She taught herself to sew and created her first chemo hat using a pattern she bought online. J Etta Beauty now boasts three different patterns. Each hat is handmade and takes at least three hours to complete.
Michele hopes to have J Etta Beauty stocked in hospital gift shops one day, but for now she’s focusing on donating hats to cancer patients and growing her Etsy shop. Half of all proceeds are donated for cancer research.
Are you a designer or crafter who sources in the LA Fashion District? We’d love to hear your story! Contact Ariana Gomez at email@example.com.
For pricing and purchase inquiries please contact the vendors directly:
908 S Maple Ave
826 Maple Ave
J Etta Beauty