Fred Segal Turned Jeans Into Incredibly hot Fashion in the Early 1960s

Whilst operating as a product sales director for the H.I.S sportswear manufacturer in the early 1960s,

Fred Segal

had a vision: Blue jeans did not have to be just strong do the job trousers costing a couple of bucks they could be recast as a fashion product and priced at $19.95.

His boss imagined it was a ridiculous concept. So Mr. Segal quit and opened his individual Fred Segal retail store in the West Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles. He utilised lighter excess weight denim, included rhinestones and other tailored touches and lowered the midsection to hip-degree. Famous people and travellers thronged his tiny outlet. The retail store boasted that its customers involved the Beatles and Bob Dylan.

Mr. Segal opened an additional retailer nearby on Melrose Avenue and designed it a beacon of avant-garde trend. In the late 1970s, he came out with a line of satin jeans, shirts, jackets and caps.

He opened a more substantial store in Santa Monica in the 1980s at the site of a former skating rink and loaded it with dozens of independently owned boutiques.

A Fred Segal garments retail outlet in 1974.


Richard Creamer/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Illustrations or photos

A retail store, he claimed, should be a “daytime night club,” swirling with tunes and stunning people.

Soon after a stroke seven decades in the past, Mr. Segal needed a wheelchair but loved shuttling among properties in California and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. He died Feb. 25 at the age of 87.

Frederick Mandel Segal was born Aug. 16, 1933, in Chicago and grew up in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles. His mothers and fathers break up up when he was incredibly youthful, and he was elevated by his mom and two older sisters. All around age 6 he commenced earning money by shining footwear.

Just before starting up his fashion job, he examined at the University of California, Los Angeles, but did not graduate and served as a prepare dinner in the U.S. Army. “He lied to the powers that be and stated he experienced cooking expertise due to the fact he did not believe that in war and did not want to be sent off to kill people,” reported Annie Segal, just one of his daughters.

In the mid-1970s, he turned a previous motel and apartment intricate into a searching heart known as the State Mart, featuring a picnic place and playground, in Malibu, Calif. All around the similar time, his stores featured jeans pieced together from waistbands sliced off faded old jeans, which includes the belt loops. People denims bought for $120 apiece.

Rick Caruso,

a developer of significant-finish browsing facilities in the Los Angeles space, mentioned Mr. Segal broke the mildew of dull strip malls anchored by a drugstore and a grocery store. Rather, Mr. Segal developed energetic mixes of dining establishments and boutiques that supplied “an electrical power and uniqueness,” Mr. Caruso mentioned. “That’s what I preferred to do.”

The Fred Segal manufacturer is now owned by Global Icons LLC of Los Angeles, headed by

Jeff Lotman.

There are Fred Segal merchants in Los Angeles, Malibu, Taipei and Bern, Switzerland. Mr. Lotman mentioned Fred Segal retailers will open shortly in Las Vegas and Seoul.

Mr. Segal is survived by his spouse, Tina Segal, together with five youngsters, 10 grandchildren and two excellent grandchildren. 5 before marriages finished in divorce.

In his parallel occupation as a peace activist, he campaigned for much better relations between Israelis and Arabs. In 1987, he was amid hundreds of Us citizens and Russians who walked from Leningrad to Moscow to advertise peace. He established what he named a peace park in Malibu and structured a birthday get together there for the Dalai Lama in 1989. The religious leader reciprocated by planting a Bodhi tree in Mr. Segal’s park.

Write to James R. Hagerty at [email protected]

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Appeared in the March 6, 2021, print edition as ‘Retailer Gave Jeans A Shot of Glamour.’

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