All The Rage

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Designer Julia Clancey's collection stolen, partially recovered

October 24, 2009 |  8:00 am

On Tuesday, five days before her scheduled Los Angeles fashion show, two sets of designer Julia Clancey's entire Spring/Summer 2010 collection were stolen from in front of her Marina del Rey apartment unit, forcing the designer to cancel the show, a scenario reminiscent of Clancey's March 2008 runway show at Smashbox Studios, which was nearly derailed after that collection was detained by U.S. Customs.

LEMON TOPOn Thursday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, a portion of the collection was recovered after an employee of the cleaning service hired by the Dolphin Marina Apartments on Panay Way allegedly confessed to stealing the box of designer clothes. The Sheriff's Department said Sara Avigal Herrera  was booked on suspicion of grand theft.

Thursday, Clancey told All the Rage she'd invested six months in creating the collection, which had been designed here and manufactured in Mumbai, India, placing the value -- including lost sales to L.A. boutiques and exposure to potential buyers -- at roughly $300,000.

Friday she said only seven of the 40 pieces, valued at about $20,000, had been recovered. "I think the rest are probably in a landfill somewhere," she said.

Clancey said that the clothes had been sent by a Mumbai-based courier, which contracted with Federal Express to courier the single box containing the clothes to her Marina del Rey home. 

"That courier didn't ask Federal Express to require a signature so the box was left in front of my apartment, where it went missing sometime between 10:15 a.m. and 1 in the afternoon," Clancey explained. "The Vavavoom company in India is going to have to make me another whole set but it's not going to help me now. I was already late having this show and the buyers at all the boutiques won't have any money left to spend."

According to a news release issued Friday afternoon by the Marina del Rey Sheriff's Station, detectives in the area are still trying to locate the outstanding stolen property. Clancey said that might never happen, since the clothes might have been stuffed down a trash chute at the complex and the trash has since been trucked away.

"When this first happened people were saying some horrible things on FaceBook like I was only doing this for publicity," she said. "At the very least they should have egg on their face that I didn't make this whole thing up."

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: Some of the pieces of designer Julia Clancey's Spring/Summer 2010 "Tutti Frutti" collection, two sets of which were stolen from the designer's doorstep Tuesday, causing her to cancel her Los Angeles Fashion Week show which had been scheduled for Sunday. Credit: Julia Clancey