California designer Karen
Kane has launched an
on-going series of collections with Dillard’s department
stores featuring designs that are manufactured here in the
U.S. The first collection launched over the holidays; it
was carried in 179 Dillard’s stores, including its largest
store located in Scottsdale Fashion Square, and online.
The “Made in the USA” collection is part of a company
initiative launched about 18 months ago to keep the
brand’s manufacturing in the U.S. — something that Karen
Kane company President, Lonnie Kane, feels strongly about.
“As a company, we are always looking to bring more of our
manufacturing back to the U.S. It particularly makes sense
since now as the quality of the goods produced in China
and other countries has dropped considerably. And so has
the timeliness in receiving those goods. Manufacturing
here allows us much better quality control and faster
delivery times — both of which are crucial for our
business,” says Mr. Kane.
He was recently invited to the White House to participate
in the President’s Business Round Table, a forum focused
on bringing manufacturing back to the states. Karen Kane
was the only women’s apparel manufacturer to participate;
other attendees included representatives from a cross
section of American companies such as Intel, Ford Motor
Company and Siemens.
“There are definitely challenges for the apparel industry
to manufacture here. Sometimes specialized machinery is
required, like for sweater production. You also need
trained personnel; some things require levels of expertise
that people need to be trained for. It’s not easy to get
equipment financing right now… all of these things play
into a company’s ability to produce goods here,” says
He points out that there are things American companies are
able to do well domestically, including getting raw
materials, producing goods quickly and delivering better
quality products for American consumers. Manufacturing
goods here also provides jobs for U.S. citizens; Karen
Kane currently employs over 140 people in their Los
Angeles facility and hopes to employ more in the future.
The “Made in the U.S.A.” collection at Dillard’s is
identifiable by these signs sitting atop the
racks, and also by customized tags on the garments.
If you’re a Karen Kane fan, and trust me, there are
thousands, you should know that Karen is making a very
rare personal appearance here at the Dillard’s in
Scottsdale Fashion Square on Saturday, March 24 to present
her latest spring fashions and greet you in person.
The second “Made In the USA” collection is launching in
April; you’ll be able to purchase it in store at
Dillard’s, online at Dillard’s.com and Karen Kane online.
Karen McKnight is a writer and blogger in Scottsdale,
Arizona. She publishes
ScottsdaleFashionista.com, one of the valley’s
most popular fashion websites.