Deciding on Smashbox instead of MBFWLA "was a question of loyalty," says Lucero, who showed there last year. "They were so great to me, and they made everything so easy by providing hair and makeup people." Another designer who requested anonymity said she chose Smashbox because of their laid-back L.A. attitude. "It's enough work to get a collection together," she says. "I don't have the energy to then go fight some New York-style battle to get a good time slot."
Though the backbiting and bitching continue — it is fashion, after all — it's a turning point, albeit with a certain amount of growing pains, for L.A. Ultimately, the designers win — more shows mean more buyers and press — as does L.A. fashion, which is finally getting taken more seriously.