Question: In your years as chair of Otis' fashion design department, the Los Angeles fashion scene has matured a lot. Assess Los Angeles now.
Answer: So much talent has migrated to this city, it is staggering. I feel that L.A. is really considered in the United States of America, the home, the heart, the core of the contemporary market. That is where most fashion is made, and it filters down to juniors. L.A. is a place lacking in rules in a way that London has rules and New York has rules. If someone from New York comes here, and you take them out to dinner, they'll call you from their room, and they'll ask you what they should wear. That just doesn't happen here.
Q: Celebrities have become sought-after commodities for fashion companies. What do you think of that?
A: It bothers me tremendously because it doesn't have anything to do with personal style. What bothers me even more than that is they are going into making clothing, and because their name is on it, it will sell. But they don't have the capability of doing the work, so there is a whole bevy of designers behind them who are getting no credit.
Q: What are some other recent developments that have impacted the local fashion industry?
A: That whole Orange County garment industry thing is huge. It is the newest thing in America. It is one of the things that has made L.A. such an important marketplace. It has all grown into one mega-important (place). I think people all over the world are trying to do Orange County, but Orange County is authentic. Everyone else is trying to be authentic.
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