Fred Segal, Designer Who Commodified California Cool, Dies at 87

Fred Segal, whose clothing boutique became a symbol of Los Angeles cool by selling form-fitting jeans and chamber shirts to the likes of Bob-Dylan, Farah Fockett and the Beatles, died Thursday in Santa Monica, California. He was 87.

According to a family spokesperson, the cause of a stroke was complications.

Mr. Sehgal became one of the West Coast’s best-known designers and retailers in the 1960s and helped to make the Southern California fashion image creepy, sexy and relaxing. His name became a hangout for ivy-cover store fashionistas, Hollywood actors, and big-name artists and musicians. For tourists, it often consists of sightseeing with Grumman’s Chinese Theater and Hollywood signs.

Credit …Family photo

Mr. Sehgal opened his first store in 1960, a 700-square-foot space on Santa Monica Boulevard, selling denim jeans, chamber shirts and pants, velvets and flannels. Website.

In 1961, he and his nephew Ron Herman opened a large store on Melrose Avenue, with only jeans that they sold for $ 19.95 per pair – a price that was practically unheard of when men still wore suits. And denim pants are typically sold for $ 3 a pair.

“My concept was that people wanted to be comfortable, comfortable and sexy, so I thought it would work and obviously it works,” said Mr. Segal 2012 Interview with Haute Living magazine.

People attended the store to buy jeans, as if no small part was given by celebrities Jay Sebring, The barber who was the inspiration for Warren Beatty’s character in “Shampoo” and wore Mr. Sehgal’s store-bought tight, flamboyant-blue jeans and a fitted shirt. Mr. Sehgal’s clients soon included the Beatles, Elvis Presley and Diana Ross as well as members of the Jackson Five and Jefferson Airplanes.

“When I first came to L.A. in the late ’70s, there were two things that everyone talked about: the Gucci bag and Fred Segal,” writer Pleasant Gaiman Told the New York Times in 2001.

His designs were notable for the fit which was unusual for the time. Pants were cut for men, so they would fall short on the hips, for example, and shops also sold French T-shirts and Danskin lettards.

Apart from his designs, Mr. Sehgal was at the time a small group of retailers – among them Tommy post, Linda dresner And Joan weinstein – Ikram Goldman, owner of Chicago boutique Ikram, pioneered the concept of working closely with designers and selling their clothing.

“He had a very good eye,” he said. “They are the ones who discovered talent and brought it to light in a way that – before Instagram, before social media, before news hit – introduced collections you hadn’t seen before.”

In 2006, a New York Times reporter Described As Mr. Sehgal “unleashed those Hollywood fantasy outfits, selling expensive shirt uniforms and blue jeans and kitten heels to the city’s well-to-do residents and celebrities.”

Frederick Mendel Segg was born on August 16, 1933 in Chicago. His parents, David and Helen Segal, did many things, and according to the family spokesman, Mr. Segal was poor.

Mr. Sehgal never went to school for fashion. He worked as a traveling salesman and polished shoes in Venice Beach – two tasks that let him see people and help them understand what buyers wanted.

Tired of traveling, he decided to open his first store in 1960.

Mr. Sehgal attributes his initial success to his ability to be honest with customers.

“I learned at a very young age that the field is in integrity without competition,” Mr. Sehgal told Haute Living. “When I was selling it to my customers in my store and they wanted to buy it or that, if they would put on an outfit and they would ask me for my advice at the time which I would say, ‘Take That Don’ t Even To buy that, that would be ridiculous, you don’t even feel good in it. “It’s really deep honesty. You don’t know that in business you know?”

The Fred Segal store opened in Taiwan and in Bern, the Swiss capital. In 2015, the brand Opened a store in Tokyo It also included an on-site food truck that sold Mexican street corn, shrimp on a roll and hot dog paired with Coca-Cola and Corona.

The name Fred Segal became so famous that it was casually referenced in films such as “Clueless” and “legally Blonde.”

Mr. Sehgal is survived by his wife Tina; Five children, Michael, Judy, Sharon, Nina and Annie; 10 grandchildren; And two great-grandchildren.

Mike Ives contributed reporting. Jack Baig contributed to the research.

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