Fred Segal name is sold

Fred Segal Melrose, a destination store for high-fashion clothes and accessories in Los Angeles. “We have an opportunity,” said an official for Sandow Media, which bought the brand, “to take Fred Segal … to places like New York, Miami, and Las Vegas.” IRIS SCHNEIDER / Los Angeles Times
Fred Segal Melrose, a destination store for high-fashion clothes and accessories in Los Angeles. “We have an opportunity,” said an official for Sandow Media, which bought the brand, “to take Fred Segal … to places like New York, Miami, and Las Vegas.” IRIS SCHNEIDER / Los Angeles Times
Posted: May 09, 2012

Worldwide rights to the Fred Segal name, a moniker that over the last five decades has become a sort of shorthand for the Los Angeles fashion-shopping experience, have been purchased for an undisclosed sum by a New York City design firm.

Sandow Media, which announced the acquisition, said the deal would allow it to put the red-white-and-blue Fred Segal logo on merchandise, as well as build Fred Segal stores around the world. Not included in the deal are the two brick-and-mortar Fred Segal retail centers — one on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles and one in Santa Monica, Calif.

“This is a brand with a lot of equity, a lot of potential, not just in the United States, but around the world,” said Michele Caniato, president of Culture & Commerce, Sandow’s design-management agency division, which will be responsible for expanding the brand. He declined to reveal the price tag, but said, “I think we will see north of $300 million in revenue over the next three years.

“What Fred Segal and his family have done is create a retail space that has always been about design and innovation and providing something unique to the savvy customer,” Caniato said. “So we have an opportunity to take Fred Segal and bring it to places like New York, Miami, and Las Vegas.”

Caniato said that, although possible new stores in other cities would reflect local designers and merchandise, it would keep what he called “a kind of California feeling.”

“We can’t take that away, because it’s very important — it’s part of the DNA. ... What Mr. Segal was a visionary about was creating the shop-in-shop concept. You can go into a Fred Segal store, but you can buy everything from shoes to eyeglasses.”

Segal, 78, founded family-run Santa Monica-based Fred Segal Inc. in 1961. He is retired and could not be reached for his comments on the transaction. Nor could his son Michael Segal, who has run the business for the last three decades. But other family members spoke briefly.

Michael’s daughter Kirsten Segal, who heads the retailer’s marketing and public relations efforts, said: “We had a connection, and it felt right, so it was the right time. We weren’t out searching for people, it just worked.”

That sentiment was echoed by Sharon Segal, Michael’s sister and Fred’s daughter. “We’re in good hands,” she said. “I’m extremely excited, and the possibilities are endless.”

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