Fred Segal, the visionary founder of the renowned Los Angeles-based fashion retail chain that bears his name, passed away at the age of 87 on February 25th due to complications from a stroke. His legacy as a true pioneer in the fashion industry will forever be celebrated.
Born in Chicago in 1933, Segal’s career began at HIS Sportswear, where he eventually became the sales manager. In 1960, he founded his eponymous store in West Hollywood, which marked the beginning of an iconic journey. His initial 350-square-foot store focused on jeans and played a pivotal role in popularizing premium denim. Notably, he introduced the concept of a «Jeans Bar» at his Melrose at Crescent Heights location, selling jeans at $19.95 when typical prices were around $3.00. These jeans became such a sensation that they caused traffic jams.
Fred Segal’s Melrose location transformed into a fashion hotspot, reshaping West Coast style and attracting celebrities like Diana Ross, Farah Fawcett, Elvis Presley, and The Beatles. The store’s restaurant, Mauro’s, became a celebrity haunt. Segal also pioneered the shop-in-shop retail format, inviting associates to manage their own sections. This approach helped launch brands like Juicy Couture, Guess Jeans, and Hard Candy.
While Fred Segal expanded worldwide, the Melrose flagship remained the spiritual home of the brand. It was a fashion mecca referenced in popular films, and it continued to draw celebrities like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.
In 2017, the iconic flagship relocated to Sunset Boulevard after the business was sold. The Fred Segal brand is now owned by Global Icons, which plans to open a new flagship store in Las Vegas.
Fred Segal’s passing is a great loss to the fashion world. He is survived by his wife, five children, 10 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. In accordance with his wishes, there will be no funeral, but his family plans to celebrate his remarkable life in the future.