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Iconic LA fashion retailer Fred Segal dies aged 87

By Huw Hughes

1 Mar 2021

Iconic LA fashion figure and founder of his eponymous retail chain, Fred Segal, has died at the age of 87.

He died on Thursday from complications from a stroke, a publicist announced, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Segal opened his first eponymous store in 1961, a 350-square-foot space on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood.

He then moved operations to the retailer’s iconic Melrose Avenue and Crescent Heights Boulevard location, where he made a name for himself when he disrupted the scene, selling jeans for almost 20 dollars, significantly higher than the 3 dollars other stores were typically charging at the time.

An icon of LA culture

The store became a hotspot for celebrities, attracting the likes of The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Ross and The Jackson 5, and even featured as a prominent backdrop in the 1995 teen comedy Clueless.

Segal was also a forward-thinker in his approach to fashion, pioneering the shop-in-shop concept and experiential retail at his LA store to shine a spotlight on up-and-coming labels.

The retailer opened several other locations across LA over the coming years, as well as spaces in Bern, Switzerland and Taipei, Taiwan.

Segal “was an innovator, a forward thinker, a rule-breaker, a mentor to so many, such a lover of life and a humanitarian,” his family said in a statement seen by The Holywood Reporter.

“Anyone who knew him felt his powerful energy. He worked his whole life to have self-love and to teach all of us to love one another. To the very end, he inspired us to never give up. He will be forever loved and celebrated.”

In 2012, New York-based media company Sandow acquired global licensing rights to the Fred Segal name.

Since 2019, the retailer has been owned by brand licensing company Global Icons.

Image: Fred Segal pictured in 2006 with Sharon Segal and Jackie Brander during the 'Designing A Cure' event. Credit: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images North America / Getty Images via AFP