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Friday, Jun 9, 2023


By HILDY MEDINA Staff Reporter Rick Pallack, one-time clothier to the game show stars, has come back to earth. A decade ago, Pallack was one of Hollywood’s premier designers. His Sherman Oaks store, and Pallack himself, personified everything that was Hollywood in the ’80s glitzy clothes, big hair, wealth and celebrity. But Pallack was best known for the credit line appearing at the end of “Wheel of Fortune” and countless other TV game shows: “Wardrobe by Rick Pallack.” According to Pallack, the credit was given for his wardrobe consulting services, not the clothes themselves which he said were always paid for. But these days, the credit line can only be seen on reruns and CNN’s Showbiz Today. Pallack said he has cut back on his free consulting services, saying he already has garnered enough publicity and doesn’t need the headache of costuming broadcast personalities. “There were not enough hours in the day to keep quality control,” Pallack said. “I was working seven days a week until two o’clock in the morning.” There is little question that Pallack belongs in a Who’s Who of celebrity designers. The ivory walls of his men’s wear store are covered with countless black-framed thank-you notes from some of the world’s most famous people including Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jackson, Magic Johnson and even former presidents George Bush and Ronald Reagan. But Hollywood is a fickle industry, one that likes to change with the fashions and some say Pallack’s star has eclipsed. “That’s a name from the past,” said Beverly Hills clothier Fred Hayman, who is currently a favorite wardrobe consultant for network TV shows. “Rick Pallack is well known. I just don’t know where he is or what he’s doing.” In a world where trends begin and end almost weekly, no one stays with the same designer or retailer forever. “Just like Vanna (White) often looks for new designers, they’re going to change who they use,” said a production staff member with the game show “Jeopardy,” whose host Alex Trebek has worn Pallack’s designs. “It’s always a matter of refreshing the look.” Lisa Dee, a spokeswoman for “Wheel of Fortune,” said it’s normal to change wardrobe consultants from time to time. “There are a limited number of elements you could work with,” said Dee about using one retailer for an extended period of time. “It’s less a matter of changing from Rick to Fred (Hayman), and more a matter of refreshing the look.” At his peak, 20 percent of Pallack’s business was entertainment-related. Those customers now account for about 10 percent of his annual sales, Pallack says. “(Hollywood) gave us the worldwide exposure and it’s created the demand throughout the world,” Pallack said of his store’s relationship with Tinseltown. “It’s worked out just perfect.” Pallack is now using the name and reputation he built up over 29 years in the business to cut licensing deals with clothing manufacturers. He would not disclose the names of the companies with which he is negotiating for use of his name, but said they are “major public companies.” “I’ll be designing, advertising and mechandising, all through licensing, the full works,” Pallack said. “I’m ready now and now I want to do it.” A San Fernando Valley native, Pallack owns the entire block of property along Sherman Oaks Avenue where his shop is located, “except for one guy who held out.” In its 15 years in business, the Rick Pallack store has had about $60 million in sales, Pallack said. Perpetually tanned, blow-dried and impeccably dressed, the 39-year-old Pallack seems to have been born with the need to design and sell clothing. While other 10-year-olds were riding their bikes or playing cops and robbers, a young Pallack was busy creating and selling cufflinks. “They were buttons that kind of coordinated with what was in fashion at the time,” recalls Pallack. “I went to work for Mike Howard on Rodeo and Little Santa Monica. By the time I was 12, I was coordinating outfits.” When he got to high school, Pallack sold clothes to his friends, setting up shop in the trunk of his ’67 Dodge and a hall locker at Taft High School in Encino. After graduation, at 19, he converted an apartment into a men’s wear store. Five years later, Pallack switched to nicer digs his Sherman Oaks store, where today tuxedos can be had for $750 and a marked-down dress shirt runs $99.90. Becoming the dresser to Hollywood’s elite was not what Pallack planned at the time to do. “My dream, at most, was opening my own clothing store. I had no idea how all this would happen,” he said. It happened, explained Pallack, after costumers from nearby studios began stopping by his apartment on Coldwater Canyon Boulevard occasionally to pick out clothes for TV shows and films. “The biggest entertainment companies are 10 minutes from my store,” Pallack explained. “When I opened my own store … the costumers loved it. Then the talent started coming to me. From Stallone to Michael Jackson, you name it.” Most of Pallack’s celebrity clients still shop at his store, he said. His two youngest clients are Hugh Hefner’s sons, aged six and seven. “I designed little silk robes for them, like their father’s,” said Pallack.

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