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Fred Segal Dies: Iconic Retailer Who Defined L.A. Fashion Was 87

Bruce Haring
·2-min read

Fred Segal, who was a fashion icon in Los Angeles for more than 60 years, has died because of complications from a stroke, his representatives confirmed Friday. He was 87.

“In 1961, Fred Segal created a retail scene that defined Los Angeles fashion and sparked a revolutionary shift in style that has transcended the last six decades. Fred Segal pioneered the shop-in-shop concept and experiential retail, resulting in a brand built on heritage, inclusivity and love that changed the face of retail forever,” read a statement.

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Fred Segal’s became known as a high-end fashion boutique with a young and hip vibe. The stores lured customers including the Beatles, Elvis, Diana Ross, the Jackson Five, Nicole Kidman and Jefferson Airplane, among many others.

When Segal opened his West Hollywood store, 85 percent of the inventory in the 350‑square‑foot store was blue. Later, in a 700-square-foot store on Santa Monica Boulevard, Segal’s form-fitting fashion was a big hit. That led to a jeans-only store on Melrose at Crescent Heights in 1960 in the heyday of that retail strip, and he soon created the first “Jeans Bar.” Fred Segal’s denim designs for men and women were selling for $19.95 when jeans were typically $3.

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There were two Fred Segal locations founded by Segal, both housing a number of independently owned boutiques. The two stores are not affiliated, although they use the same logo and have the same yearly sale, but each has a separate flavor. The Melrose location was run by Segal’s nephew, Ron Herman, while the other was in Santa Monica.

Segal is survived by five children, 10 grandchildren, two great grandchildren, his wife Tina and her two children and grandson. Segal’s family asks that mourners consider donating to the Segal Family-United World Foundation.

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