So, does this mean LA will eventually overtake New York as the fashion capital of America? Probably not.
For one, Metchek says that the Los Angeles garment industry’s growth has been stunted in the past few years, thanks to a crack-down on illegal immigrants working in California. Metchek proposes that the government should implement laws similar to those in the fruit-picking industry, which allows migrant workers to live and work in the United States on a visa basis. “If that were to happen,” Metchek says, “I would probably see 5% growth per year.”
More than that, though, is that Los Angeles isn’t really trying to be the next capital. They’re far too cool for that. “I don’t think LA will ever be a fashion capital, mostly because I think the people who work in fashion who choose to do their work here wouldn’t want it to be,” Aboutaleb said.
Kerr agrees. “I don’t think LA will ever become the new New York, nor would I want it to! The fact that we LA residents are outsiders gives us a special perspective (and probably makes us happier).”
Asked what the difference was between the New York and LA fashion scene, Kerr responded, “Personally, I think that style is becoming more universal and less city-specific, thanks to the internet, so I’m not sure how relevant this question will be soon!”
She raises a good point. Now that designers, buyers and editors can (and do) zip around the globe with ease and anyone with an internet connection can check out what people are wearing the world-over, is the concept of fashion capitals kind of passe? “Now, in fashion, it’s not just about your local market,” Metchek says. “Now, we go everywhere. And the everywhere that we’re going is only getting bigger. Now you’re going to China, Russia, Brazil, the list goes on.”
So, at the end of the day, if it no longer matters where you are–then why not be where the you want to be. And where the weather is nice. And there’s a beach. “After all [those reasons], you have gorgeous sunny skies 90% of the year [in LA],” Joe Zee says. “Isn’t that reason enough to want to move here?”