Fabric store

New Zealand Fabric Store looks like nature in LA

In a gallery-like loft on South La Brea Avenue, rolls of fabric are displayed by color in rich cascades of textures and patterns. The labels on the rolls make it clear that this is no ordinary fabric store: some are labeled with the names of top fashion designers, such as Tory Burch, Marc Jacobs, Diane von Furstenberg, and Donna Karan.

This is the first location in the United States for Fabric Store, a New Zealand-based company that also has four retail stores in its home country and three in Australia.

The emphasis is on natural fabrics – silks, linens, leathers, lyocell tencel, viscose rayon, cottons (including Japanese cottons), Italian wools and New Zealand merino wool jersey, as the country of origin of the brand is a world top producer of the ultra-fine and soft merino variety.

“We offer a more trendy and trendy approach than a typical fabric store,” says owner Roger Wall, who started buying and selling fabrics for a New Zealand wholesale business at the age of 18. . He eventually set up his own fabric sales business in New Zealand, and Australia came up with the idea of ​​reselling the leftover fabrics from New Zealand clothing manufacturers. When this became successful, Wall saw the potential for something bigger and expanded the business to include purchasing from Hong Kong clothing manufacturers.

“We buy 1 to 2 million meters of fabric per year from European and American clothing designers,” Wall explains. “We buy all of the footage samples that they’ve kept and never made into clothing. And we buy from designers because they don’t want it hanging around.

“I know there are other companies out there buying designer bits and pieces, and they’re shouting about it from the roof,” says Jasmine Cucksey, general manager of the Fabric Store and an 11-year employee. “For us, it’s about being able to offer a truly unique range of high-quality fabrics. We source our supplies via [fashion] for designers to get quality products, and that makes us interesting to our customers, but we don’t sell them like, “Oh, my God, that’s amazing; it’s Marc Jacobs! ‘

Mood Fabrics, located just up La Brea Street in a massive 22,000 square foot space, is known for its large inventory of designer fabrics (as well as for its collaboration with the hit TV show “Project Runway “). The Los Angeles store opened in 2007, but Mood Fabrics has offered a range of designer fabrics in its original New York location since it opened in 1991, according to owner Eric Sauma. Designers such as Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui, Carolina Herrera, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, and Roberto Cavalli are listed on the company’s website (www.moodfabrics.com), and Sauma adds 3.1 Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang, Oscar de la Renta, Donna Karan, Vera Wang, Calvin Klein and many more to the list.

Mood Fabric’s warehouse approach with free on-site sewing lessons is almost the opposite of the intimate atmosphere and boutique setting of the Fabric Store, decorated with original artwork. Beyond fabrics, the Fabric Store also offers hard-to-find Japanese sewing pattern books, New Zealand Papercut sewing patterns, recycled polyester Guttermann thread, and books, such as “Home Sewn” by the New Zealand Fashion Museum, featuring designs from 10 of the country’s top designers. The Los Angeles location will soon be adding haberdashery, such as specialty buttons, zippers, ribbons and trims.

Company press secretary Ann Flower also notes how New Zealand stores are a major resource for costume designers, like Ngila Dickson, known for her work on the Lord of the Rings movies. , 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 American outpost?

Prices range from $ 5 per yard for the most basic cotton fabrics up to $ 80 per yard for heavily embellished fabrics, such as sequined or beaded designer pieces.

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The fabric store

Or: 136 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Info: (323) 931-8300, www.thefabricstoreusa.com