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New campaign highlights apparel 'Made in Los Angeles'

A sewing machine.

Jeff Horwich: Today, the apparel industry's largest trade show kicks off in Vegas. And this year, the mayor of Los Angeles will be there, promoting a "Made in LA" campaign.

Here's Marketplace's Jeff Tyler on the surprising rise of a new American clothes-making hub.


Jeff Tyler: At this factory in downtown Los Angeles, large knitting machines transform yarn into fabric. What distinguishes this city from fashion hotspots like New York or Paris?

Pat Tabassi: We’re a great hub for the casual 'L.A. chic' look.

Pat Tabassi is marketing manager for Design Knit, a textile manufacturer. She says the company considered relocating to Shanghai, but decided the move would add time to their production process.

Tabassi: It’s really about efficiency. Because everyone wants to get their goods out as quickly as possible.

Los Angeles specializes in what’s known as ‘fast fashion’ -- style as set by celebrities. Ilse Metchek is president of the California Fashion Association. She says L.A. designers have a moving target.

Ilse Metchek: You have 10 weeks to define what’s hot. And in 10 weeks, it’s not.

Companies based here can jump on a trend before it goes out of style.

Metchek: That’s what we’re all about. Built-in obsolescence.

From the home of built-in obsolescence, I’m Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeff Tyler is a reporter for Marketplace’s Los Angeles bureau, where he reports on issues related to immigration and Latin America.

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