Fineman West & Company Featured in "Fashion Manuscript" Cover Story: Guiding The Fashion Industry

There are two fashion industries in the United States, says Harold West, managing partner of accounting and business advisory services firm Fineman West & Company LLP: the glamorous, high priced designer names, and the larger, quieter group of manufacturers that produce the garments sold in stores such as Ross Dress For Less, TJMaxx, Target and Walmart.

For these and other entrepreneurial firms, Fineman West, headquartered in Downtown Los Angeles, becomes an essential financial advisor as much as an accounting consultant. Previous and current clients include J Brand, Windsor Fashions, Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, Hudson Jeans, Robert Rodriguez, Bearpaw, YMI, Next Level Apparel and up-and-coming brands, such as Brock Collection and Hot as Hell.

“We call it main stream fashion or everyday style. That’s probably the bulk of the industry on the West Coast and probably the main concentration in the United States. But you don’t hear much about that segment of the industry. These are not the businesses that sell for major multiples. They are the businesses that make money year after year. It’s an industry that works differently from the so-called fashion industry,” West said.

Instead of elaborate offices to enhance the brand, these companies focus on profit.

“It’s easier to do than the other way,” he said. “You can make a profit and decisions are made to increase bottom lines, then using those profits to invest in other types of businesses such as real estate and build personal wealth.”

Unlike major designers, these companies are often family run for generations, and intend to remain that way.

“They become very wealthy, often wealthier that those with the famous names,” he said.

Fineman West helps with it all. The 35-person firm provides a full range of business management advisory, tax, and accounting and auditing services, working with their privately held clients on every level. That can include assisting with incorporation and getting systems in place, to assessing the data they’re compiling for financial reports. The apparel, manufacturing and jewelry industries account for some 60 percent of its client base. Clients range from start-ups to companies in the $250 million to $300 million range.

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